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Old 05-30-2009, 10:58 PM   #61
bumbershoot
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When we left fair Molly on the 24th, she was a stress case. Spent ages on the computer stressing when she should have been packing. But the headache and hangover from the ibuprofen were just too dang much.

Not the best way to start things!


********
None of us got to bed early. I don't even remember what on earth we were doing, but we were doing something. Hubby wasn't even helping with the packing, but he stayed up for moral support, which is lovely, but *someone* needed some sleep!

I slept, maybe, an hour. I was wiped out when setting my alarm, and I set the second alarm for the time we were to be *leaving*...augh. Hubby couldn't convince me to get up, so when my alarm went off...I was angry with myself but was snarly with him. I got ready quickly while R dressed the kiddo (who slept through it). We would put E to bed in the clothes he's going to wear, but he's a sweaty dude and that wouldn't work.

At last we were out the door! Got to MasterPark, to which I had a most excellent coupon. Up to the last minute I was trying to find a great park/fly rate that was better than the parking garage, but I couldn't find one. Oh well. We used their valet garage (fa-fa fa-fa) b/c it was the same rate, with the coupon, as the normal garage would have been.

Seatac is big and sprawling, and the Virgin America gate is far far away. No train needed for it, but it's a hike.

Perfectly fine flight. I'm still mystified as to why VA has a game in their "Red" system called....Mad Bomber. You can't even say the name of the game, ya know? The guys might have slept, I'm not sure...I didn't.

Early on we had an Orange Juice Incident, which caused DS's pants, unders, and sweater to be drenched and sticky. I had another pair of shorts and a shirt (or maybe the sweater protected the shirt?) with me so that was solved, but you don't notice any underpinnings being mentioned, did ya? He was in peril for a couple hours, since the shorts were loose.



We got to LAX, saw no celebrities. Got our bags off Virgin America from the Alaska carousel, which is one carousel beyond the VA-labeled carousel. The opposite happened on my last flight...took Alaska, our bags came off the VA carousel. Something's wrong there...

We were tired, realizing just how EARLY we were there, it was chilly. And we'd missed the Grayline Disneyland Express by about 10 minutes. I knew it would happen but that doesn't make a person feel happier, ya know?

There's no nice waiting area, so we just went outside. We were at Terminal 3, and we were bored, so we walked to #2. Should have gone to #1 but we were worried about the bus coming early, so we stayed put.

Got a driver who actually rolled his eyes and spoke slower at me, when I asked a question b/c I didn't understand what he'd said. Lovely start!

However, he was a good driver and you can't argue with the beauty of these seats...




OK...maybe you can.


R&E sat together, and I saw this sleepyhead.

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Old 05-30-2009, 11:15 PM   #62
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I thought I could do more tonight, but I'm wiped out. The guys are having a pirate sleepover in the living room tonight so I get the whole bed to myself, and I think I'm going to go sleep now!
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:42 PM   #63
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Sweet dreams!
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:26 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
Augh! You were there????? That was only our second day in the parks, when you posted.



Yeah, hubby had to take a couple business related calls while at the parks. Sat in the GCH lobby finding out that he didn't get yet another job that he's perfect for within amazon, but that's OK, he's got m'soft, so thhhpppthhhht on amazon (who made a perfectly decent business decision that we support, but we HATE this whole losing the not-yet-vested stock grants especially since they were a rather large part of his yearly raise, and it just happened to happen before he got some certifications he's wanted, and while they had nothing he was 100% qualified for).


Sherry...let's not talk about GRR. Not yet at least. But let's just say...it was really busy (much busier than last year) and REALLY hot (though not as hot as it is in TACOMA WASHINGTON today!!!!!!!!), and we were not alone in wanting to enjoy the GRR goodness. And yet the FP machines were off off off.

So let's not talk about GRR.
Congratulations to DH on job offer.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:30 PM   #65
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E looks so cute in his half asleep picture. I hope you got good rest.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:37 PM   #66
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I hope you got good rest.
I did, but then I awoke having a horrible awful terrible sickening dream and had to call the guys (who actually slept all night in the living room) in for a group hug.

Hubby seems to have an ear infection that he thinks got started during one of our many pool visits. I think it's mainly a cold. But tomorrow he has both an exit interview from his (still officially current) workplace AND 5 hours of interviews for another position with the same company, which was set up before he got the contract position.

E was overtired and ignoring us, and a time-out turned into a headache on his part b/c he was crying, which turned into a big ol' hug and rock and singing and thankfully a nap for him.

So I'm the only one awake! Which is kinda nice, because I'm also doing housework and getting things cleaned up from our trip and such. I have a bad tendency to put off unpacking for ages, but not this time, not so far!

Though I admit to the urge to make myself some little icy drinky to go in my souvenir light-up Rainforest Cafe cup, LOL. Alas, that would require the blender and I'd wake the household.

Speaking of housework, gotta go start the dryer really quick to continue to feel virtuous for when I come back to the report!
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:37 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
I did, but then I awoke having a horrible awful terrible sickening dream and had to call the guys (who actually slept all night in the living room) in for a group hug.

Hubby seems to have an ear infection that he thinks got started during one of our many pool visits. I think it's mainly a cold. But tomorrow he has both an exit interview from his (still officially current) workplace AND 5 hours of interviews for another position with the same company, which was set up before he got the contract position.

E was overtired and ignoring us, and a time-out turned into a headache on his part b/c he was crying, which turned into a big ol' hug and rock and singing and thankfully a nap for him.

So I'm the only one awake! Which is kinda nice, because I'm also doing housework and getting things cleaned up from our trip and such. I have a bad tendency to put off unpacking for ages, but not this time, not so far!
Though I admit to the urge to make myself some little icy drinky to go in my souvenir light-up Rainforest Cafe cup, LOL. Alas, that would require the blender and I'd wake the household.

Speaking of housework, gotta go start the dryer really quick to continue to feel virtuous for when I come back to the report!
Ahhh...yes, I know the syndrome of unpacking procrastination....of course, I won't name anyone in particular (ahem), but let's just say that if I have a Halloweentime trip to DLR and then a Christmastime trip to DLR....well, the items in the suitcase on the December trip look strangely, eerily and suspiciously similar to the ones that accompanied me on my October trip!! (Not clothing, of course - that actually does get taken out and washed when needed - but all the other little necessities and knick knacks that I cram into the suitcase compartments just seem to want to stay in the bag on every trip!)
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:53 PM   #68
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Oh Sherry that's too funny. Though in a way, it makes sense, right? I have a disney drawer where I keep the lanyards and autograph books and such...maybe I should just keep them in the travel bags? Though we do, sometimes, think about traveling to other places where we would not need the disney things, so maybe that wouldn't work.


I forgot something about our travel...I wrote in my notes that I was "crankypants" while getting up and ready that morning, and also that the VA crew were crankypants too. I don't remember what they were doing, but they just weren't happy it seemed. But the pilot was "awesome", I wrote in my notes...I think he did a spectacular landing.
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:27 PM   #69
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OK! Let's start the good stuff!



The ride was uneventful, and we got to the hotel in good time. It was so thrilling! Everyone was really excited to be there.

I got the roundtrip Disneyland Express ticket, so when we got to DLH they took my printed voucher and gave me a rather small, flimsy slip of paper that was the all important go-home ticket. I was so scared through the week that I would lose it!

As we approached the doors, we asked the Bell Services people if we should check in first and *then* park our bags or vice versa. Instead of just answering they chose to make a deal about "you can't check in but you can" blah blah blah...whatever...here's the wording on the disneyland website:

Quote:
What times are check-in and check-out at the Hotels of the Disneyland® Resort


* You can check-in anytime, but rooms are available after 3:00 p.m. Should you arrive early, you can check-in, store your luggage at the Bell Desk and enjoy the Disneyland® Resort.
* Check-out is by 11:00 a.m. If you would like to enjoy a day at the Disneyland® Resort after you check-out, you are welcome to store your bags at the Bell Desk until you are ready to depart.
I am sure there are people out there who get confused, but the sentence I used *clearly* differentiated between *checking in* and *getting our room assignment* (especially since if we could check in AND get our room, WHY would we want to park our bags with them????), so if they'd really listened to me, they would have known I knew the difference. I only tell the above b/c I go for extreme detail when I can, not because it made a difference in my stay (and it shouldn't make a difference in anyone else's). Just know...you can do everything but get your room assignment at any time, AND you can park your bags with Bell Services BEFORE checking in.


We got there right around 10, which meant that a lot of people were checking out. As I've mentioned, we were staying Concierge, and they do have an area at the front for guests staying at that level, but it was more than a little confusing which direction you're supposed to face! There's a long bank of front desk going parallel to the direction of the hotel, then it makes an L. The concierge sign is over towards the short side of the L, but the ropes are oriented so that you might wait facing the main desk, or you might wait facing the short side. It was odd. And no one was there. So hubby waited at the Concierge area while I got in the regular line. Hubby won.

While we did all that, Eamon sat on the little couch with a bunch of other kids (couch only big enough for 2 or 3 kids, everyone else was on the floor) watching Disney cartoons.


They gave us a folder (same sort of folder as we got at PPH when we got Big Kahuna...we did not get it at PPH in '07, so I don't know if this is a "special level" thing or if it's just new since '07 and given to everyone!) with info about the e-ticket lounge (concierge) and a map of DLH grounds and of the resort area, also some park maps and a thing about the BBB.

We also got our keycards (which say DVC member and our names, how fun!) and the phone number to call later on, to find out what room we would be in.


Well, we were all taken care of, so we headed to the parks! Our first stop was to Guest Services (or Relations? one is to the left of DL, the other is to the left of DCA...we went to the DL one b/c it was closer) to get R and E's APs replaced. Back in December, theirs were lost on Screamin' when R's lanyard pouch broke off. I guess they never found them. If they had been found, it would have been noted, and the AP replacements would have been free. I was hoping for some pixie dust, but alas, she charged us as is policy. Oh well.

So in we went.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:39 PM   #70
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I remember the odd L-shaped front desk area in the DLH very well from the old days of staying there. It almost makes me miss it and want to stay there again rather than one of the other two DLR hotels.

Was the folder you received the pink folder with Goofy on it? If not, then they probably gave you a 'special level' folder. If yes, then I guess that is the basic one all the hotels give out - although, one time at the PPH (the Poopy Water trip), the girl at the front desk was asleep or something and neglected to give me my pink Goofy folder....or our parking pass....

I can't believe they couldn't just give you a straight answer about whether or not to stash your bags before checking in - or PRE-checking in, or whatever makes them happy - or pre-check in before stashing the bags. Silly DLH people!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:18 PM   #71
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It's a blue one with top half of the castle in the clouds...hmm, perhaps they need to get rid of that YOMD stuff already?


Hubby's feeling better b/c he had some spicy food. So glad for him. I'm more nervous about his stuff tomorrow and starting the new gig on Tuesday that he is! I'm also more sad, perhaps, about him being gone from the soon-to-be-old company again...he worked so hard to get back there and we LOVE being part of their culture.

**********************


Now where was I? Ah yes, entering Disneyland.

We were all very tired, and we didn't really catch up to ourselves until Wednesday. On that day, I calmly explained to them that I had things planned out so that we could do MORE things, and that they either needed to go along with my plans (knowing that I had made the plans with their wants and needs in mind), or they needed to NOT COMPLAIN when they hadn't done all they wanted to do. They both chose to follow me around after that. However, I still spent Monday and Tuesday trying to get them to stop randomly getting into lines and refusing to follow or trust me. (OK most of that was Eamon, but Robert truly wasn't comprehending why I had a plan, even though he has benefited from those plans so many times in the past!)

Anyway, so on Monday we were still in freefall. Therefore, we went straight into Tomorrowland and towards Star Tours, despite the fact that last year on that day we waited a good 40 minutes for ST (and learned that they have a whole other inside room for the queue!). We were about to get in line when we saw Buzz Lightyear!!!!!

Now this was thrilling. Why? Because Buzz was the very first character E saw and met back during our September 2007 trip, he got a picture with him but NO autograph, and we haven't seen a line for him that was open since. Of course, I didn't have the old book with the spot for him, but that's OK.





And then we got into the Star Tours line, which was surprisingly short. That poor droid captain, he just never catches a break! I think that time we sat allll the way in back, which is just a crazy ride. Very different from the very first row.


I know that any repeat readers know that Eamon has the shopping gene that I so totally lack. Oh, I have the window-shopping gene, but I don't have the buying gene. He wants to buy *everything*. He can hold a brand new purchase in his left hand and tell me that the thing in his right hand is the thing he ALWAYS wanted. It.Is.Frustrating. YES he's an only (so far, knock wood that he isn't always an only), YES he plays with his toys for forever, YES both hubby and I have issues from our poor childhoods and WANT to shower him with gifts...but we know that *because* he's an only child it's important to NOT give him absolutely everything he wants (that we can afford). And that left hand right hand thing is really really annoying.

So this trip, he knew that "Disney's birthday present" was going to be all the money available for his gifts. OK that sounds weird, right? We weren't going to buy him a present? Well we did have one present at home to give him (which we forgot about until today, whoops!), but mainly the trip was his present. He knew the amount of the giftcard, and he's starting to comprehend numbers, he does some simple addition using his fingers and nose (he touches a finger to his nose...a little boy we met last year at the DMV taught him that...random math lesson), and we reminded him every moment of the shopping that there was a limited amount of items he could get.

Well I'm very happy to report that it worked!!!!! On Monday, we did pre-shopping. He identified the things he wanted, and made sure that they were OK for 5 year olds, and I wrote it all down along with the price. As the day went on, he started narrowing down the things he really wanted, and was able to puzzle it together (max presents) almost on his own; it was really cool.

After doing the "pre-shopping" in Star Traders, we got Buzz Fast Passes and went off to ride Pirates. Yes, I know, we're awful awful FP planners. What can I say? We rarely use them. It's hard with a hubby and son who won't really listen to you, LOL. So we crossed the park to Pirates, and then after an excellent, but wet-seated, ride on POTC (line going out to RiverBelle Terrace) we went on back to ride Buzz. I did terribly. Sigh.

Some will remember that we wanted to get E into the Space queue. Not necessarily to ride it, but just to see it. Alas, it was no dice. He wouldn't even go up the ramp to get FPs for it. Drat. However, they went to the bathroom (he's fine with that ramp) while I snagged FPs for it (that we never used).

After that we realized we were hungry. It was, oh, somewhere between 2:30 and 3, but we had barely eaten breakfast and I'm not sure we grabbed food from the Concierge lounge, and it felt like a good idea. Well I had a $25 giftcard from MyPoints, and I had a coupon for $10 off a $25 food/na beverage purchase, and I have a Safari Club card to get seating, so off we went! Since we were (still) in Tomorrowland, what a better way to go than by Monorail, right?

We saw the monorail at the station as we started towards the line. First I said "maybe we should slow down so this isn't frustrating to just miss it". Then it was just there, there, there, still there...so I said "hmm, maybe we should speed up!" We kinda sped up, but we still JUST missed it. However, since we were the very first in line and the CM sweeping up was very kind (and turned out to be the next driver!), this was our view:







OK, that monorail, from the front, feels like it goes CRAZY fast! Joshua, our kind CM, said that it does go faster than Space, but still, it's only around 30 mph. Wow. Guess the feeling when you're on a concrete track is mind-tricking. It was VERY fun to get that honor, especially since we didn't even ask for it.


We got to RFC in quick time. Everyone else was being told 30 minutes for the wait...we were told 15 (thank you Safari Club!). I got the quesadilla appetizer (w/o chicken), hubby got the veggie burger, E got the pizza...oh and I got a massive Mongoose Mai Tai in the big ol' shiny blinky flashy souvenir cup, and the coupon and giftcard made it very reasonable, OOP-wise. Had a terrific server, too, name of Christopher, it seems (from the bill). We sat upstairs and that was nice.


From there, we went and took a nap. Wow. A nap? Us? Yep. zzzzzzzzzzzz.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:58 AM   #72
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I don't understand the confusion about them holding your luggage. We have never had that trouble. Did I miss where you mentioned which tower you were in? Nice picture of E with Buzz. And I love riding in the front of the Monorail, I did for the first time last visit. It's funny about going back to the hotel to nap, I am much apt to do it if we are staying at one of the resort hotels. It's looks like great fun was had by all so far.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:07 AM   #73
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Oooh! Oooh! Ooooh! I haven't even read your whole post yet (I am going to go back and do that after this) - I only got as far as the point where you say the last row of Star Tours is a whole different (and crazy) ride - YOU ARE RIGHT!!! That is a secret we discovered (back when all my friends used to ride ST, which now they do not) back in 1991 or so! We tried to tell people and they didn't believe us, and then we figured out they didn't need to know because then we would never be able to get in the back if everyone else did it. We would even ask the CM for the back row and that is where we rode every time. It's wild! And you know what else? I could get my bag in the under-seat basket in the back row MUCH easier - or I could reach the basket, let's say - than in a row closer to the front or middle, such as last December, when I had to actually get down on the ground to throw my bag in the basket because the basket was too far back under the seat for me to reach it!! When we used to do the back row, the basket was right there and no problem to reach!!
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:31 AM   #74
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Awwww.......E looks so happy with Buzz! What a cutie! And how great that he is beginning to comprehend numbers and learning to figure out what he can and cannot afford on the spot. That is one skill that is SO necessary in life. I find myself constantly crunching numbers in my head when I am out anywhere - Ralphs, DLR, a restaurant, wherever - and figuring out percentages for taxes, etc. - and even when I am home, trying to figure out if I have enough $$$ to pay this bill or that, or if I can afford this camera or that one, how much extra $$$ I will have left over, etc., is part of daily life. Sometimes if my brain is tired I will reach for a calculator (A Mickey calculator which I refer to as the Mouseculator), but usually it is all done in my head. I think coming from a reasonably poor background, and essentially being broke currently, forces me to constantly crunch numbers and know the value of getting one thing over another, how much I can get for my money and ways to save, etc. Sadly, many people who have lots of money or live very comfortably, and always got what they wanted when they were young, they often don't learn those same skills because they never had to!

That Monorail has turned into a ride with a little bit of a kick to it in the last decade, I've noticed. In the old days it was seemingly a little slower, and when you would take the turns you didn't necessarily 'feel' it so much. These days, when we are rounding a turn, I am usually thinking, 'Okay, whoa...this is an actual ride now...I have to hold on.' And then I start noticing that the track looks very narrow to me and that we seem to be pretty high up in the air, and I have to look away!!
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:59 AM   #75
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I don't understand the confusion about them holding your luggage. We have never had that trouble.
We got Dreams tower, so that was nice. 10th floor!

The confusion was just b/c they felt the need to explain that I couldn't "check in", when the reality is that we can check in, we just couldn't get room assignments. I caused it b/c I asked if we should drop the bags with them before checking in or after, and some lady behind the Bell desk felt the need to educate me in her understanding of the meanings of the words. It was just a silly moment that was not necessary, because I was *obviously* not thinking that we were going to get into our rooms at that moment, no matter what wording she wanted to use for "doing the paperwork at the front desk, getting keycard, folder, etc".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
And you know what else? I could get my bag in the under-seat basket in the back row MUCH easier - or I could reach the basket, let's say - than in a row closer to the front or middle, such as last December, when I had to actually get down on the ground to throw my bag in the basket because the basket was too far back under the seat for me to reach it!! When we used to do the back row, the basket was right there and no problem to reach!!
I was thinking of you on ST actually. I had actually decided that the basket things were silly and I'd just pop my bag behind my legs. Then someone else asked the CM, and he stated, out loud, for everyone to hear, that as long as it's behind our legs, it's OK. So I guess it's not absolutely necessary to put it IN the basket, just make sure it's contained behind your legs. Woo!
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