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Old 07-08-2009, 09:44 AM   #1
WillowBelle
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4 gigs of pics, 3 blisters, 2 pairs of new shoes, 1 bleeding toe = our great trip!

WARNING!!! PHOTO INTENSIVE TRIP REAPORT AHEAD!

A brief introduction before we start our show .

There is me (Mommy) - Have been to Disney 19 times and am already planning our return trip in October 2010. Favorite "ride" is Mickey's Philharmagic.

DD10 (Gabriella) has been to Disney 5 times - favorite ride is Astro Orbiter.

DD8 (Angelina) has been to Disney 4 times - favorite ride Test Track (as of this trip).

DH (Jarrod) makes a brief appearance at the beginning of our story. Not sure of his favorite ride - he is not a lover of all things Disney so doesn't talk about it too much.


Our saga begins Thursday, June 25th. Knew I was going to have to work all day long. We are a few people short right now for various reasons, and there was nothing I could do to get out of it. Jarrod took the day off work today to spend with the girls (and me, my office is in my home ) before we were gone for a week. He wasn't going to Disney with us - he, as it turns out, joined us on our second leg of the trip at my mom's at Jacksonville Beach.

So - I packed most everything on Wednesday night, in anticipation of working most of the day on Thursday. Finished up getting the essentials packed and taken care of. Being the good parents that we are - we discovered very last minute that neither DD had a pair of sneakers that fit, so Jarrod took off with them to get some brand shiney new shoes....yes, I know that new shoes are typically a when headed to WDW .

Anywho - once they got back we fired up the grill. WDW is a million hours from my house here in middle Tennessee. My thought was, we were leaving near(ish) the dinner hour, so if we had a big dinner we wouldn't need to stop and eat again and eat up valuable awake (for me) time making the drive through the night.

We had a delish dinner of grilled steak, baked potatos, great big salad. Everyone went 'potty' and we were ready to pile into the van.

Had Jarrod take a picture of us throwing our WDW gang sign .



Then took a picture of TomTom (which I like to race the countdown time of).



*Note, the blasted thing does not translate the time-zone change....more on that later .

Give our last and kiss to DH/Daddy and off we go. iPod is set to my Disney playlist. Girls have 4 movies to watch on the DVD player. Nintendo DS's are all charged with every game we could locate along for the trip.

Motoring down the interstate - making great time mind you when I hear:

Angelina: 'are we going to pass any buildings (i.e., cities) any time soon?'
Me: 'Why?'
Angelina: 'Because I have to go to the bathroom.'
Me:

We were still North of Chattanooga - only on the road for about 1.25 hours.

So - find a rest stop (because they're quicker than a gas station restroom). Zip the van off the interstate - potty - snap a picture:



And......as then Willie Nelson sings.....On the road again!

Haul hiney through Chattanooga, North Georgia (where DH and I lived many, many moons ago). Blast through Atlanta (made it in 3.3 hours.....:EEK!: <--that's REALLY good time) taking a few pictures with my celly and sending them to friends who live locally showing them where I was along the way.

Just south of Atlanta Angelina and I have the above conversation again. So...pull off as far south of the city I could get us without her having an accident. Don't like to be in an unfamiliar part of Atlanta without another grown up with me.

Call DH and let the girls talk to him while we're at said gas station. Fill up with gas. Got a bug in my eye while doing that. MAN it stung.....Angelina was standing with me at the van while the gas was pumping. It felt like it was about a 5lb bug in there. I kept trying to get it out and she kept letting me know that 'you missed it' until finally it was out! WHEW and GROSS.

Back in the van and talking to Jarrod myself now, while TomTom is telling me how to get back to the interstate. All of a sudden, the car in front of me on the on ramp dashes into the interstate and I am bearing down on bright orange construction barrels and losing onramp as I drive. I slam on the breaks and try to merge, into a car :afraid:, weave back onto what was once the onramp, and is now dirt where construction is going on. Thankfully there were no men working construction. Phone is now at my feet because I had to let go while trying to not get rear-ended by traffic. Hang up with JP and put my hazzard lights on. Slowly trying to merge back into heavy 75-South traffic.

Get going safetly again - call JP back who announces that I am not allowed to merge while on the phone any more . Fine with me.

Pass through 475-South, going around Macon when my phone rings again. This time it's a TA friend of mine telling me about how another friend of ours was trying to check in to ASMo and they didn't show her reservation in their system .

Coming up......a call to Pop Century, more to calls DH, and why does everyone insist on saying 'Good Morning'?
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:27 AM   #2
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Wow..you're off to a great start! We were at WDW during the same time! We got there June 22 and left July 1.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
WillowBelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkgurl View Post
Wow..you're off to a great start! We were at WDW during the same time! We got there June 22 and left July 1.
The humidity about killed me!

We were definitely off to a great start - turned in to a quite bumpy road, as you'll see.......

Thanks for coming along on my journey with me .
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
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So after hearing about my friend's woe's and the troubles she had getting her room all sorted out, I decided to call Jarrod and have him get me the number to Pop Century. The girls are asleep in the backseat, so I figured now would be a good time to call.

Called Pop and let them know that I was indeed coming. I had a reservation for Thursday night, but seeing as how I wasn't going to be arriving until the middle of the night (morning) I wanted to be sure they didn't give my room to someone else. The nice lady made a notation on my reservation and told me she would tell everyone else there (which was probably a skeleton crew due to the hour) to be expecting me at 3:00.

You see, in my delierum I thought that TomTom made the adjustment for the time change. I live an hour behind WDW time. I'm cruising along, talking to DH on the phone trying to stay awake. The french vanilla coffee that I'd bought at the gas station a few hours ago was long gone. I was DETERMINED to drive straight through. To me it didn't make any sense to stop only a few hours away. Besides, I'm working on excited I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD energy here as well .

Apparently TomTom does NOT make the adjustment . Lesson learned for next long distance, time zone changing trip :lol:. So, I was reading that 3:00 would be my arrival time. Turns out that 4:30 was when I pulled in .

Both girls woke up somewhere along a toll road and were coming out of their skin as we started seeing those famous purple & red road signs.

Finally pull in to Pop. Am greeted by a man at the desk with a cheerful, 'GOOD MORNING and welcome home'. I laughingly explain to him that it's good NIGHT for me. I gather my keys to the kingdom. Armed with my map, we're told we're in the 60's building - facing the pool YES! Not downstairs , but we'll make due anyway because we're quite close to the elevator.

When I packed I was borderline compulsive about how I did it. There were 3 suitcases (all on wheels), 3 beachbags (that could be hung on the handles to the suitcases), 1 camera bag, 1 computer bag and 1 cooler. My theory was 3 girls, 3 things each to wheel to the room.

Get all our trappings up to the rooms, shushing the girls because they were talking a bit loud and didn't want to arouse sleeping babies that may be in rooms near us. Girls get in their pj's. I grab the camera and go out with my rented fisheye lens and snap a few shots around the resort while the pool area is empty:





Lifejackets that can be used in the pools by little ones.









Near the elevator:



Inside the elevator:



Our room number:



You can see our window if you look at the 2nd floor, corner room on Baloo's side. I was so to have a corner room right near the elevator!

Up next, why a corner room right near the elevator is never a good room.......
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #5
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Great Start

I never thought about check-in at 4:30 AM. I guess they are open 24/7. What type of camera are you using? The pictures are very good.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Fantastic start, well with the exception of the near accident on the interstate. Looking forward to reading about all of your Disney adventures.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
WillowBelle
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Quote:
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I never thought about check-in at 4:30 AM. I guess they are open 24/7. What type of camera are you using? The pictures are very good.
I'm using a Canon 50D that DH bought me for Christmas. I used solely Av mode and used the flash as rarely as possible.....which made for some fuzzy pictures sometimes. I think that WDW is not the place to photographically challenge myself. Going back October 2010 though, so can correct my mistakes. The Pop pool photos were taken with a fisheye that I rented specifically for this trip. I had 4 lenses total with me.

Quote:
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Fantastic start, well with the exception of the near accident on the interstate. Looking forward to reading about all of your Disney adventures.
Thanks for coming along with the journey! That near miss actually made me start sweating! I swear I could see the driver of the car behind me in my side mirror she was so close .
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:43 PM   #8
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Ok, gotta ask...where in Middle Tennessee do you live? I live in Murfreesboro. It would be great to have another Dis buddy near by.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:57 PM   #9
WillowBelle
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Ok, gotta ask...where in Middle Tennessee do you live? I live in Murfreesboro. It would be great to have another Dis buddy near by.
We live in Lewisburg, Marshall Co. not too far from you guys. The 'closest' mall that we shop at is in Cool Springs.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:10 PM   #10
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Your title caught my attention, I had some major foot issues on my trip as well.

Driving all night to get to the hotel, sounds like something my family would do.

Lovely night photos of POP. I am aching to get my hands on a DSLR.

Can't wait for more!
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
WillowBelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifelong_Dreamer View Post
Your title caught my attention, I had some major foot issues on my trip as well.

Driving all night to get to the hotel, sounds like something my family would do.

Lovely night photos of POP. I am aching to get my hands on a DSLR.

Can't wait for more!
This trip was had much more 'adventure' than previous trips we'd been on. I took the girls last summer for a 2 day/night trip where we only went to MK. I thought I could handle it for a week without DH this summer . Just you wait till we get to the bleeding toe part. I DO NOT do well with blood (as you'll see .

I'll add another installment tonight. The picture part will pick up, promise!
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:47 PM   #12
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AMAZING Pictures! What Kind Of Camera Do You Have?
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:49 PM   #13
WillowBelle
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AMAZING Pictures! What Kind Of Camera Do You Have?
Thank you . I have a Canon 50D. This is my first trip taking her to Disney. Had a really good time with 'er. I used a fisheye lens for the ones around the pool. I rented that lens for this trip - I had a SUPER grand time playing with it!
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:55 PM   #14
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Where were we? Oh yes, I had just finished taking photos of an empty pool.

Drag myself back to the room - turned on the Stacey channel to see all of the highlights of all things Disney while I unpacked a few things and got into my pj's.

Climbed into bed around 5:30 and set the alarm for 10:30. Typically we are a rope drop family - not tomorrow.

Around 8:00 I started hearing doors slamming, people talking, babies crying and one man bellow to his wife that 'I HAVE TO GO BACK I FORGOT THE CAMERA' .

We have NEVER had issues with thin walls in a value resort. I think because we had 2 walls that were exposed to the outside, we were hearing everything. *Note to self, next time reserve a room that is NOT on a corner.

Tried to sleep until the alarm officially went off. Drug myself out of bed, woke the girls from their slumber and peek out the window to see:



A nice and cool a/c'd camera + humidity outside = foggy picture. It was POURING out. Clicked on the weather channel to see that it was a passing bubble up storm WHEW!

Dressed the girls and I headed to the food court to take advantage of our first CS meal on the DDP.

I got a philly cheese steak with ff's and a drink. I won't ever get this again. The flour tortilla is HUGE! Some bites were only bread, so I commenced to tearing it all apart so I wouldn't get bread-only bites .



Gabriella got an order of nachos. She is considered an adult in the eyes of WDW. There was a chili/meat that she could add to them, but it didn't look so good to her so she didn't add it. She said they were the best nachos that she has ever eaten :lol:. I can't remember what G got as her desert. She may have foregone even getting one.



Angelina got a childs chicken nuggets with ff's, grapes and an orange juice. The chocolate milk counted as my 'desert' so we didn't have to pay extra for it.



Once we were finished eating we wandered to the van. We have reservations for 1900PF at 7:40, so I was trying to cut down on travel time back and forth.

Up next....we FINALLY arrive to the MK and get some rides under our belt .
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:18 PM   #15
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I just got home so I didn't have chance to read though everything yet. But I must comment these 2 pictures are "DA BOMB". You start with a bang. I can only imagine how the firework pictures come out with the fisheye.

I will catch up after dinner.
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