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Old 08-21-2003, 10:19 PM   #1
michygoomy
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Gallivanting through the World--Day 1

Latecomers! Whattya say, give me a bump! Give a girl a thrill--I miss page 1

This is my first trip report ever, and I'm finding it kind of fun, we'll see how the rest of the days go.

Our cast:
Me--excellent trip planner, bad traveler, 5th trip to the world
R--DH, ? trips to the world
JL--DS10, fourth trip, just like Momma, not a thrill-seeker
Saba--DD7, third trip, thrill seeker who is finally tall enough

Day 1: August 13, 2003: It’s Not Vacation Without the Weather Channel

I go to bed the night before just certain that I will hit that snooze button a million times like work mornings and we won’t get on the road on time. I think this every single time I travel and it has never, ever happened. Morning (or middle of the night) comes and I’m actually awake a half an hour early, no alarm necessary. R wakes up shortly after and I wake up the kids by asking them if they want to go to Disney World. For once they give me no problems getting out of bed. We have the weather channel on while getting ready—it just doesn’t feel like we’re going on vacation if we don’t have the weather channel on in the wee hours of the morning. It’s comforting—I already knew the forecast, I just need it on to feel like vacation.

Everything is ready to go and we actually end up on the road a couple of minutes early. The 2+ hour drive to Pittsburgh airport consists of lots of fog and lots of road construction—no a particularly pleasant combination. But there is usually a semi in front of us whose taillights are easy to follow so we get to the Pittsburgh area safely. However, about an hour into our drive is when we have our first Eureka moment. R asks me, “Did you pack the power cord for the laptop?”. I just look at him blankly. It wasn’t on the list, darnnit, and if it wasn’t on the list it didn’t get packed. Who cares if it is obvious? DOH!

Pittsburghians—or Pittsburghites—why do you hide your airport? I’ve only flown into it, never driven to it, and I can’t believe how far off the interstate it is. I’m following a map I made in Microsoft Streets & Trips, but still direct R off a wrong turn. I find an alternate route on the map—Broadhead Drive—that I now refer to as Bonehead Drive for missing our turn.

We make it to Charlie Brown’s OK, leave the car, make a pit stop and board the shuttle to the airport. My tension level is high at this point, as this is my first plane trip since August 2001 and I was a horrible flyer before.

We get to the airport, and this is my first experience with the new security. We’re sent to a line with our checked baggage, and I watch other lines as they x-ray baggage and swab for explosives. Yes, it is a whole new world. I’m quite surprised when we get to the end of the line—we hand our baggage over and the man says, ‘That’s all, you can go.” I guess our little family of four doesn’t fit any profiles.

We get to our gate at 7:30 for our 9:05 flight, plenty of time to spare. The kids and I go off for breakfast, while R goes hunting for a new power cord for the laptop. He says he thinks it will cost about 20 bucks. He doesn’t tell me until the day we return that it actually cost $100! Yikes! He knows I would’ve vetoed that purchase if I knew.

Board the plane, say about 20 Hail Marys and 20 Our Fathers and we’re off into the big blue. Now for years when flying I was paranoid about going to the bathroom on the plane. I always remembered a Get Smart episode where they open the door to the lavatory and there is a big gaping hole where the toilet used to be. It took me about 5 years before I would go to the bathroom on the plane, and once that barrier was broken, I cannot fly even a short flight without peeing at least twice. At one point someone squishes me in the door, they didn’t see me trying to get out.

A short 2 hours later we’re flying low over sunny FL, and I’m looking out the window trying to find WDW. I always look and I never see it. Wonder if anyone does? We land uneventfully, and I get my first high of the week as the relief of being on the ground hits. Halleluiah! I turn on my cell as we start taxing toward the gate and low and behold, it rings! It’s Ali, our driver from Cartier. He was tracking our flight and the originating flight from Buffalo to Pittsburgh was cancelled, and they wouldn’t give him the status of the passengers when he called. I tell him we’re taxing across the tarmac right now and he signs off by saying he’s coming. I think to myself, so much for having the car waiting at the airport!

What a surprise, then, when we get down to baggage claim and find Ali waiting there. The bags take a long time to come, but Ali’s car is really nice and very cool. We do our grocery stop and get our snacks for the week along with a really nice foam cooler—much better than the ones I’ve seen in the stores at home.

We arrive in WDW—yeah!—and head to All-Star Music. The line is kind of long, and I have the kids come up with me when I get close because I notice they are giving all the kids balloons. The CM checks our reservation and says she has a smoking room for us in Broadway. But, oh, wait, when she tries to assign us to it it’s gone! Dangit. She says she can put us in non-smoking and we can smoke right outside our door. Well, I think of what the DISboarders will say about this and say, no, that just won’t work. She makes a call and says she’ll have to move us over to Sports. Saba is bummed—she really liked the pool at Music from the pictures, so I tell her we’ll come back over to go swimming there (and I hear the DISboarders in my head saying, Boo, Hiss, no pool hopping!). We walk out with no balloons and no Music room.

They bring us a van and we head over to Sports. R wanted to walk over since he had the cart already loaded up with all our stuff, but they wouldn’t let him take the cart. We walk into Sports and there is no line and no balloons. We hadn’t even looked at Sports when we booked, because we’re not into sports at all, but when I check in I’m pleased to be informed by the CM that they have upgraded us to a preferred building at no extra charge. OK, now I feel a little better about the unexpected switch.

We head off to our room and find it is on the third floor right across from the pool. How cool is that! Put our keycard in, and the light blinks red. Try the other adult key card, same deal. Try all four key cards a couple of times each, same thing. Dagnabbit! I head down to the front desk to tell him our key cards don’t work.

CM makes me some new key cards and tells me that there are house phones on every floor so if I have any trouble just call and they’ll send someone right out. I go back up with the new key cards, and none of them work again! In the meantime, R finds someone from maintenance who doesn’t have a key to the room and can’t help us. I go looking for the house phone the CM mentioned and can’t find it either. R finds a mousekeeper and asks her where the house phone is and she says, “What house phone?”. R finally finds someone from maintenance who lets us into the room, but the keys still don’t work and we don’t want to leave without them working.

The kids and I change into bathing suits and head down to the pool while R waits for someone from maintenance to come up and re-code our lock. We actually do some swimming and come back and no one has come. We are not happy campers—my day 1 plan had us going to AK in time for the parade, but parade time is coming and we have no working keys. We’re too afraid to unpack on the chance that we won’t get to keep this room.

R has finally called the CM and is getting angry when the maintenance guy shows up to re-code our door. We now have working key cards, but the AK plan is out. We decide to go down to the food court, get an early dinner, then head over to MK for our first evening.

Bus for MK comes in a reasonable amount of time and we’re finally starting our vacation! The bus ride to MK is shorter than I expected, and it’s great seeing the sights, especially as we draw close. We get to MK around 5 and head right to Tomorrowland, my favorite MK land. My first discovery is that Timekeeper is closed, which is such a disappointment. I was prepared for it, but it’s still a bummer, it is such a great attraction. We head to Buzz Lightyear SPACE RANGER Spin (which must always be said with the proper emphasis on space ranger) and find a 40-or-so minute wait, but FP returns in a half an hour. No-brainer there! We get our FP and head off to Carousel of Progress, which I’m pleased to find still operating. We walk right in and enjoy the ride. I wonder at one point if the rest of the audience picks up on the oven being set to 500 degrees.

We head off to Buzz Lightyear SPACE RANGER Spin (you can hear Buzz's voice now, can't you?) and barely wait before boarding. I wonder about the poor people waiting in the standby line when FP is right outside with quick return times. Oh, well, they’ll learn. R gets a ton of points, JL does quite well, and Saba and I suck royally. Gee, gender stereotypes, anyone?

We take a quick peek at Space Mountain when getting off Buzz and the line looks pretty long. I promise R and Saba that we’ll have an EMH day and they will definitely get on it then. We pop on to TTA and take a nice ride through Space Mountain so Saba can get a look at it. I forget how cool it is. I rode it once on my honeymoon, but that was for R, I’m not to thrilled with Rollercoasters, even whimpy ones.

Out of Space Mountain TTA stops suddenly. Announcements come over the intercom tell us to stay in our seats. Where the heck are we going to go, we’re up in the air? We are quite stranded, and I wonder how they’ll get us off if they can’t get it going again. We’re baking in the hot sun and I’m wondering why we didn’t get stopped while in Space Mountain—that would be cool in both senses of the word.

We get going about 5 minutes later, and get off and head towards Toontown Fair. The kids want to go on the Speedway, but there is no way in heck I’m waiting in that line for such a silly little ride. I again promise we’ll get on it on EMH day. On the way we stop in Minnie’s house and Mickey’s house, but decide to eschew visiting Mickey for another day. It is quite crowded and we’ve been up since 4 am (3:30 for me) and I’m just not in the mood for long lines. We head for the train with plans to check out the FP for BTMRR and Splash, and walk up just as the last people are let on. We go find the smoking area near the train, and sit for a while waiting for the next one. We’re all getting tired and cranky and hot, and decide that we’ll wait for the mountains for our EMH day too. So now the plan is to get on It’s a Small World then head out, so the train doesn’t make as much sense anymore. We decide to ride it anyway just to avoid walking. Oh, this is not a good sign, being this tired; we have a lot to do this week!

We hop on the train, which is crowded as all heck. I forget that this late in the day most people take it from Frontierland to the front entrance. Oh, well, we’re still in the shade and riding instead of walking. We get to Frontierland and walk over to It’s a Small World. At least this is one ride you can count on getting on without a long wait, even in the busiest times. As the ride progresses, I do begin wondering what kinds of substances were abused in it’s design. Oh, sure, it starts out cute, but as it goes on it gets weirder and weirder. I like the part near the end where all the peoples of the world come together in harmony and pastels. Ah, that’s the ticket to world peace! Similar-colored clothing! And why do some of the dolls now have purple or green hair? Again, I suspect some creativity-inducing substance was at work here.

On the way back it does begin to rain, and us with no ponchos! They hadn’t been unpacked yet. Saba could care less—while we walked under the bus shelters, she skipped along beside them in the rain, happy as a clam. I realized this is what vacation is all about, and vowed that the rest of the week I’d be skipping in the rain in spirit.

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mic...es.jpg&.view=t

So we arrive back at the resort and R and kids make a trip to the gift shop for their first souvenirs and some postcards and stamps for Mommy. Cable is still out (did I mention earlier that the TV wasn’t working either?) so it’s an early night for us all. We have Blizzard Beach planned in the morning, what could go wrong there?

Day 2: A Tropical Wave is a Future Tropical Storm
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1991 I-drive, 1995 Dixie Landings, 1997 off-site, 2000 off-site, 2003 All-Star Sports, 2006 POP/Carribean Beach, 2007 POP, 2008 Contemporary TPV, 2009 All-Star Music Family Suites/All-Star Movies, 2010 Gaylord Palms, 2011 AKL Kidani, 2012 POP, 2013 CR/AoA AK 2014 POR


The mouse's sprawling, self contained empire sucked the tourists pockets inside out. They came, they spent until there was nothing left to spend--then they went home HAPPY.
Carl Hiaasen


Last edited by michygoomy; 06-24-2006 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 08-22-2003, 02:00 AM   #2
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Wonderful trip report ~ Thanx for sharing!!!!
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Old 08-22-2003, 07:25 AM   #3
Marla Hellwig
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Here is to the rest of the trip without a hitch - thanks for posting!
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Old 08-22-2003, 08:32 AM   #4
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As someone who hasn't flown since 9/4/01, I can empathize with your flight nerves. I too was nervous before 9/11...and since it's been almost two years since I've flown...I know I'm going to be a wreck. And I HAVE to go to the bathroom at least 2 times too! Usually just after we've been strapped in and are waiting to roll my bladder starts calling me!

Hope the rest of your trip is a little less stressful!
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Old 08-22-2003, 11:54 AM   #5
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You accomplished a lot on the first day. And your pictures are great! Thanks for sharing. I'll be watching for more.
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Old 08-23-2003, 09:16 PM   #6
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Your humor makes me laugh! Thanks for the report.:D
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Old 08-23-2003, 10:19 PM   #7
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Hmm. I'm a Pittsburgher, and the airport has its own exit right off the interstate. I think good old Microsoft gave you a bum steer there. The perpetual construction does make things rather interesting, though... they put up so many orange signs that you can either read the signs or drive, but not both.
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<Script language='Javascript'>var rndNum = Math.floor(Math.random() * 10000);eval("var CDTDate" + rndNum + " = 'May 15, 2005 12:00:00 PM EST';");document.writeln("<form name='CDTform" + rndNum + "' action='Javascript:void(0);'>");document.writeln(' <font size=2 color=fuchsia>Days until I graduate college </font><br>');document.writeln("<input type=text value='' size=40 name='WrittenByJamesMVenglarikII'>");document.writ eln("</form>");if (theFunction) theFunction += "var d = new Date();";else var theFunction = "var d = new Date();";theFunction += "var c = new Date('" + eval("CDTDate" + rndNum) + "');";theFunction += "var diff = (c - d)/1000;";theFunction += "var days = Math.floor(diff / 86400);";theFunction += "var rem = diff - (days * 86400);";theFunction += "var hours = Math.floor(rem / 3600);";theFunction += "rem = rem - (hours * 3600);";theFunction += "var minutes = Math.floor(rem / 60);";theFunction += "rem = rem - (minutes * 60);";theFunction += "var seconds = Math.floor(rem);";theFunction += "if ((days < 0) | (hours < 0) | (minutes < 0) | (seconds < 0)) ";theFunction += "var out = 'I\\\'ve graduated!';";theFunction += "else ";theFunction += "var out = ' ' + days + ' days ' + hours + ' hrs. ' + minutes + ' mins. ' + seconds + ' secs.';";theFunction += "document.forms.CDTform" + rndNum + ".elements.WrittenByJamesMVenglarikII.value = out;";setInterval(theFunction, 1000);</Script>
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Old 08-23-2003, 10:30 PM   #8
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Well, HeyMickey, I thought that just didn't sound right. The Microsoft directions pretty much matched the directions that Charlie Brown gave, too, though. Maybe good ole Charlie Brown's was the confusing factor?
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The mouse's sprawling, self contained empire sucked the tourists pockets inside out. They came, they spent until there was nothing left to spend--then they went home HAPPY.
Carl Hiaasen

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Old 08-24-2003, 09:12 AM   #9
HeyMickey
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That could be... it's hard to tell. It may be that you had to go that way because of all the construction - I don't get out that way too often so I don't know what they're doing, but as a rule every major road in Pittsburgh is under construction at any given time.

But you got there, and that's what's important.
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<Script language='Javascript'>var rndNum = Math.floor(Math.random() * 10000);eval("var CDTDate" + rndNum + " = 'May 15, 2005 12:00:00 PM EST';");document.writeln("<form name='CDTform" + rndNum + "' action='Javascript:void(0);'>");document.writeln(' <font size=2 color=fuchsia>Days until I graduate college </font><br>');document.writeln("<input type=text value='' size=40 name='WrittenByJamesMVenglarikII'>");document.writ eln("</form>");if (theFunction) theFunction += "var d = new Date();";else var theFunction = "var d = new Date();";theFunction += "var c = new Date('" + eval("CDTDate" + rndNum) + "');";theFunction += "var diff = (c - d)/1000;";theFunction += "var days = Math.floor(diff / 86400);";theFunction += "var rem = diff - (days * 86400);";theFunction += "var hours = Math.floor(rem / 3600);";theFunction += "rem = rem - (hours * 3600);";theFunction += "var minutes = Math.floor(rem / 60);";theFunction += "rem = rem - (minutes * 60);";theFunction += "var seconds = Math.floor(rem);";theFunction += "if ((days < 0) | (hours < 0) | (minutes < 0) | (seconds < 0)) ";theFunction += "var out = 'I\\\'ve graduated!';";theFunction += "else ";theFunction += "var out = ' ' + days + ' days ' + hours + ' hrs. ' + minutes + ' mins. ' + seconds + ' secs.';";theFunction += "document.forms.CDTform" + rndNum + ".elements.WrittenByJamesMVenglarikII.value = out;";setInterval(theFunction, 1000);</Script>
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Old 08-24-2003, 09:15 AM   #10
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I know what you mean. Further up I-79 here we say we have three seasons---construction, construction, construction and winter.
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The mouse's sprawling, self contained empire sucked the tourists pockets inside out. They came, they spent until there was nothing left to spend--then they went home HAPPY.
Carl Hiaasen

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Old 10-26-2003, 10:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for the trip report

Can't wait for your next trip.
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Old 10-27-2003, 12:50 AM   #12
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Sounds like busy busy day... even though all didn't work out as planned.. kids sound good and calmer than my three
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:44 PM   #13
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New readers! How exciting for me!

Thanks for posting.
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1991 I-drive, 1995 Dixie Landings, 1997 off-site, 2000 off-site, 2003 All-Star Sports, 2006 POP/Carribean Beach, 2007 POP, 2008 Contemporary TPV, 2009 All-Star Music Family Suites/All-Star Movies, 2010 Gaylord Palms, 2011 AKL Kidani, 2012 POP, 2013 CR/AoA AK 2014 POR


The mouse's sprawling, self contained empire sucked the tourists pockets inside out. They came, they spent until there was nothing left to spend--then they went home HAPPY.
Carl Hiaasen

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