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Old 01-20-2010, 01:01 AM   #166
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Love the food porn! That miserable face is priceless.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:15 AM   #167
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I can feel Timmy's pain. I get super hungry like that also. 'Sorta sneaks up on you before you have a chance to silence the hunger. By that point it is too late to think rationally. I will devour anything I can get my hands on first! The problem is I'm a Weight Watcher and I should know the signs by now. French fries, for whatever reason, are instantly soothing.


Great job helping to make New Jersey a nicer place to live!
My daughter and I are taking part in Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day. There are not too many opportunities near me, but she lives in Jersey City and there are numerous choices. I have to get moving on that soon. I read someone's post (can't remember who) who said there were close to 7 million requests to help and Disney is only issuing 1 million vouchers. I don't know for sure if that's correct.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:19 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karajeboo View Post
For the Simpsons, imagine Soarin meets Star Tours.... on steroids!!!! Super cool ride!!! And I really FELT like I was moving... way more than ST or Soarin.... I even screamed a couple of times!!!

Great update Ellen, and even cranky Timmy is still adorable!!!
I think I may have screamed once or twice myself! It's a lot of fun. And I don't think you would have found Timmy all that adorable if you had been sitting with us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikkiLovesWDW! View Post
Oh you had a PERFECT day for your GAD!

Omg, Timmy's face is soooo funny!

Hi 'Rita! I'm very good friends with her, you know.

Those nachos look heavenly!!! I would love to have them in front of my right now!!
I know, we were so lucky with the weather- it was sunny, very little if any breeze, and in the high 40's- just like a summer day!!

Timmy's face may have been funny- I can assure you, he was not.

Yes, Rita had PLENTY to say about YOU and you fiesta together...

I figured you would like them, being that your favorite restaurant is mexican. You would have devoured them, I can promise you, Nikki!

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Originally Posted by praisehisname View Post
Stupid real life, getting in the way of my DISing...

The thing about Sanaa that scares me is the spicyness. I don't do well with hot (spicy) food.





Mmmm...I haven't tried that one yet, but it sure does look good!

You and Sean had a great time in DTD and MK; you couldn't have asked for a better shopping companion! Looks like the rest of the boys had fun golfing, too!





We do! I miss when the kids would play it non-stop. Maybe I'll go look for it later...




I've only had it as a float, but that looks yummy!








Interesting...did the pop rocks pop in your mouth?




Drool...



I want some NOW!!!

Awesome updates!
Well, welcome back! Everything ok? Just crazy busy, I hope! I have to say, that everything at Sanaa is not spicy, I just choose that stuff because I like spice. The server can definitely point out what is NOT spicy should you ever end up there. The pop rocks didn't pop- they just kind of were in the drink, which was weird...maybe they were a bad batch? At Fultons they were like fireworks!! Glad you're back!

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Originally Posted by tinytreasures View Post
yum that hamburger looks good
It was a good burger- not the world's greatest burger, but good. They had very generous portions at all the restaurants we tried at Universal, from what I can remember!

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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Still at work. Still no pics for me!
Oh no!! Stupid work computer!!

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Originally Posted by Mysteria View Post
Love the food porn! That miserable face is priceless.
Yes, priceless...but not painless...


Quote:
Originally Posted by areck View Post
I can feel Timmy's pain. I get super hungry like that also. 'Sorta sneaks up on you before you have a chance to silence the hunger. By that point it is too late to think rationally. I will devour anything I can get my hands on first! The problem is I'm a Weight Watcher and I should know the signs by now. French fries, for whatever reason, are instantly soothing.


Great job helping to make New Jersey a nicer place to live!
My daughter and I are taking part in Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day. There are not too many opportunities near me, but she lives in Jersey City and there are numerous choices. I have to get moving on that soon. I read someone's post (can't remember who) who said there were close to 7 million requests to help and Disney is only issuing 1 million vouchers. I don't know for sure if that's correct.
Oh, I really hope that is not right! It's only January!! At the things we took part in, not all of the people signed up were doing the Disney thing (which I thought was kind of silly since they could donate it and do a double good-deed). Well, I will post when I get our vouchers- they said it would take 2 or 3 weeks.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:27 AM   #169
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OOPS!! I missed a bunch-

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Just beware of motion sickness on The Simpsons ride if you aren't good on motion simulators.
Yes- absolutely. Good point!

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Originally Posted by MAGICFOR2 View Post
You know, I never thought about the noise at the game - little John maybe likes noise - he loves the AF Jets, and will ride his bike down to the fence by the runway now that he's older and just sit and watch the jets take off - Yikes - he probably should have ear plugs! And he has a little fisher price tape recorder and he records the jets and then plays them back sometimes for comfort.

And - you're welcome!

Maybe his hearing isn't hyper-sensitive like Sean's is. That would make it a LOT easier to do all those things. Kind of like some autistic people don't feel pain the way the rest of us do.

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I loved back to the Future! I really miss it.
We were big fans of those movies- watched them over and over...I'll miss the ride, too, but the Simpson's ride is even better, I think.

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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
So great that you were able to complete your community service. I just can't bring myself to sign up for anything because I am always volunteering for things on my own. Unfortunately, none of them qualify. Maybe I should check the list again and see if I can find something I want to do. The only option was a hospital for the chronically ill. I see enough of that in my real job!
I felt like that, too, when they initially came out with the program. I volunteer plenty on my own, and of course none of it qualifies!! But $79pp is nothing to sneeze at towards admission.

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Sounds like you had a great day!
It was good! Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:29 AM   #170
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Still haven't seen your pics. The only TR I had time to look at this am was Christine's. I am starting to go into withdraw! ugggghhhhhh!
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:55 AM   #171
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Still haven't seen your pics. The only TR I had time to look at this am was Christine's. I am starting to go into withdraw! ugggghhhhhh!
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:16 AM   #172
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Twistin' by the Pool....

The boys were very anxious to check everything out at the pool. If you have never been to HRH before, you will be interested to know that there is music EVERYWHERE- even in the pool itself! How cool is that? All the music is classic rock- which actually surprised me, I thought they would mix it up a little, but oh well. Anyway, while T&T& Pods went for a swim, I went exploring with Sean. He was VERY busy checking the place out, it felt like we were running a marathon!!













Sean decided to look around over at the volleyball court-



The paths that go up to the slide kind of zig zag and criss cross- making it LOADS of fun trying to keep an eye on Sean.



Every once in a while I'd lose track of him....fortunately I kept bumping into him. But he was very happy roaming around, so all was good!

He went down to the pool-



The DJ had kids doing all kinds of things at the pool- even hula hoop contests-



My favorite part of the afternoon, when Sean SAT DOWN!





HRH is a very nice resort- both Pods & I agreed it would be an excellent place to come with a group for an adult getaway. Not that it was bad for kids- it was GREAT for kids- just....not very magical. I guess that's the difference between them. A lack of pixie dust. Anyway, we decided it was time to go- we had to hit the road and go visit Aunt Irma!


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Old 01-20-2010, 08:59 AM   #173
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Just want to poke in and say hi, I'm probably only 1/3 of the way through. Have to get to work.
Love the retro pictures.

I was so confused in the beginning when you said you were at your first hotel, and couldn't get a bus to the MK. I wondered why you didn't walk over, I was thinking you were at Bay Lake Towers, not the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have to slow down when I read.

Great Christmas Card and I hope you and your family had a great holiday and will have a Happy New year.

I wish you lived around here.
My sister could learn so much from you. Their son is 10, and is autistic.
Her and her husband are still in denial with their son.
They are not pro-active, they always just deal with the aftermath. My sister buries herself in her work. But I'm not in her shoes, and I really shouldn't judge, but me and my sisters get really worried at times, especially when they leave him home alone. We finally convinced her to call one of us, and we stay and visit with him for that one hour or two hours, while they run errands.

Gotta really get to work now.
M.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:14 AM   #174
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Very cool pics, Ellen!! I'm glad Sean had a good time exploring while the other boys had fun in the pool-which looked very nice by the way.
I've always wondered what Universal's hotels were like, and now I have a pretty good idea. They look really nice, even though they lack the Disney magic!
Can't wait for more!
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:15 AM   #175
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Visiting Aunt Irma

Pods' Aunt, Irma, lives about 2 hours west of Orlando in a town called Spring Hill. Aunt Irma is a sweetheart, and will be turning 94 this February! So, whenever all of us go down to Orlando, we try to pay her a visit, and it is so nice to see her. Sean, however, is not a fan of this trip. But he goes. And on this visit, at least we remembered to bring both Blue AND Thumper (a few trips back we brought Blue and left Thumper behind- Oh, what a disaster that was!!) But we got there, and Sean didn't want to get out of the car. So I waited with him for a while, so the rest could go in and visit, and read my book. Eventually he was ready to go in...and we had a lovely dinner that Aunt Irma had arranged for us in the private dining room at her Assisted Living home. See? What a sweetheart!















After dinner, we went back up to her apartment to visit for a while.







Sean started acting up, so I went back out to the car with him. It always makes me so sad that Aunt Irma lives so far away from everyone- and she is all alone. She and her husband had moved down here when they were in their 50s...and her husband passed away not long after. They had no kids, so her brother's families (Pods and his 4 brothers) are really important to her. We always leave happy we saw her, and sad it couldn't be more often.

Back at the HRH, it was bedtime, and Sean had once again commandeered his bed-



That picture cracks me up!! Doesn't he look so comfy?? Well, at least Pods was getting a bed this night, since Tyler was on the cot. Soon it was lights out- because in the morning, Tyler & Pods were getting to the park early to ride RRR!! And- oh joy- I would get to pack up the room!!



See you for more Universal fun soon-

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Old 01-20-2010, 10:43 AM   #176
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Rip Ride Rockit- is it worth it?

We woke up to another beautiful day in Florida-





Pods & Tyler were out fairly quickly after their showers, because we thought their BEST chance to ride Rip Ride Rockit would be as soon as the park opened. I stayed to...pack up the room. You know- again. We ate a quick in-room breakfast- and I just realized I forgot to mention my FAVORITE thing in the HRH room- every room has a little baby Kuerig. It was AWESOME!!! I LOVED that thing!! Anyway, while I sipped my last delicious cup of coffee in Orlando (mayyyyy-be) the bell man came and took our luggage, and we were off!




Today we were walking over, and I called Pods to see how the ride was- and they STILL were not on!! WHAT?? Yep! The park opened, but the ride had not- I guess they were having some problems with it. And they also had no estimate when it would actually be opening...turns out, this happens a LOT with this ride. Well, fortunately, by the time we got in the park, the ride was running and Pods called to say there were just a few people ahead of them. So we sat on the lawn and waited and watched.

Is that them????




They came out...we thought they were going to be like, "It was AWESOME!! Tim, ya gotta try it!!" Instead, they were like...meh. It was not so great. I guess their opinion was that after that really cool 1st drop, which was over like THAT, it was nothing much. They are MUCH more impressed by the Hulk and Dueling Dragons. Something to keep in mind in case your kids ever are trying to convince you it will be worth the 2 hour wait! (Or you're trying to convinve yourself).

I had a request- I wanted to ride Jaws, because we had never done that before, and half the time we have been here in November, it's been closed for refurb (so have alot of things usually. I think because we were here on a Sunday, rather tha a weekday- that may have made a difference). For some reason, Timmy was really afraid to go on this- but we encouraged him, and explained people usually think Jaws is a funny ride, so he came on while Pods & S waited outside.



I do remember when this was first here people said it was psychologically terrifying, but now it's like a hokey, big joke. We headed for the Simpsons and MIB, which were both a lot of fun. Afterwards, it was time to get wet-



Athough the wettest was yet to come later that day! It was getting close to midday, and so we headed over to IOA-



The parks are right next to each other, very easy to get from one to another. Both parks were soooo empty, there were just no waits- we rarely even needed the FOL pass. Pods & Ty rode the Hulk- which they LOVE!





Sean was getting a little fussy, so as soon as they came off we walked in the opposite direction towards Suess Landing.



Next up- the rest of our IOA day, lunch at Mythos, the NBA Cafe...and checking into BLT!!


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Old 01-20-2010, 11:00 AM   #177
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love the photos. I've never been to the "dark side" Beth loves the adventure rides but I think we will save that park for when Katie is a bit older that way she can ride them too. Learning a lot from your TR. Gotta let the Beth have her "time" like Sean does and then we can all come back together and do fun things.

How excited are you for your trip to USVI?
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:05 AM   #178
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Whoo-hoo! Yet another great update. The pics of Aunt Irma were just too, too sweet. I'm glad that you all were able to pay her a visit, and how sweet that she had arranged a dinner for everyone. It looked very nice.

I have to say, even though I love roller coasters, I think I would be afraid of RRR...I'm terrified of heights, and that first hill just looks totally scary! I've really loved seeing Universal through your eyes though...very cool!
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:16 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
Just want to poke in and say hi, I'm probably only 1/3 of the way through. Have to get to work.
Love the retro pictures.

I was so confused in the beginning when you said you were at your first hotel, and couldn't get a bus to the MK. I wondered why you didn't walk over, I was thinking you were at Bay Lake Towers, not the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have to slow down when I read.

Great Christmas Card and I hope you and your family had a great holiday and will have a Happy New year.

I wish you lived around here.
My sister could learn so much from you. Their son is 10, and is autistic.
Her and her husband are still in denial with their son.
They are not pro-active, they always just deal with the aftermath. My sister buries herself in her work. But I'm not in her shoes, and I really shouldn't judge, but me and my sisters get really worried at times, especially when they leave him home alone. We finally convinced her to call one of us, and we stay and visit with him for that one hour or two hours, while they run errands.

Gotta really get to work now.
M.
Well, hi there!! I've been wondering where you were!! Hope you had a nice Christmas, and I'm glad you found me to read along now. Of course you have me laughing already- that's right!! We REFUSE to walk to MK even from BLT!

I am so, so sad about your nephew!! It is a LOT to accept (I didn't want to believe it when they told us, either) but I HAD to accept it- not wanting it to be true didn't make it so! And he needed help- ignoring everything and pretending he was ok would have been such a sad and horrible dis-service to him. Is he just mildly affected? How does he do in school? I am glad you guys were able to convince her that you would visit with him when she has to go out. Oh, i wish I lived closer, too- I would so love to help in any way i could. Let me know if you have any questions, or need to know anything else-

Hope you made it to work on time!

Quote:
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Very cool pics, Ellen!! I'm glad Sean had a good time exploring while the other boys had fun in the pool-which looked very nice by the way.
I've always wondered what Universal's hotels were like, and now I have a pretty good idea. They look really nice, even though they lack the Disney magic!
Can't wait for more!
They are VERY nice hotels (well- I only know about this one, but i hear good things about the other 2 as well) and if they were somewhere we could easily drive to that was NOT near WDW, I am sure we'd be going there all the time. Thanks!

Quote:
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love the photos. I've never been to the "dark side" Beth loves the adventure rides but I think we will save that park for when Katie is a bit older that way she can ride them too. Learning a lot from your TR. Gotta let the Beth have her "time" like Sean does and then we can all come back together and do fun things.

How excited are you for your trip to USVI?
I'm glad the tr is helping you. I hope giving Beth her "time" will help her as much as it did Sean (and, of course, that made it better for ALL of us!).

Oh- I'm pretty excited for my trip! St John is just so beautiful and laid back, but it's more than that- it's great for us because of our friends we go with- we just laugh and laugh...who doesn't love that?

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Whoo-hoo! Yet another great update. The pics of Aunt Irma were just too, too sweet. I'm glad that you all were able to pay her a visit, and how sweet that she had arranged a dinner for everyone. It looked very nice.

I have to say, even though I love roller coasters, I think I would be afraid of RRR...I'm terrified of heights, and that first hill just looks totally scary! I've really loved seeing Universal through your eyes though...very cool!
Thanks! Irma is great- I wish she would live closer, though. But that will never happen, so we have to cherish a little visits when we can get them.

And truly, Pods said that drop was over SO FAST- how do you go on coasters if you're terrified of heights? I am, too- but I can do Disney coasters. Plus, I really want to try those. But I don't care the same way about the Universal experience, so I'm a happy chicken for the most part while we're there!! HA!
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:30 PM   #180
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Well Ellen, you have truly left me (once again) in awe at your wondrousness! Not only do you write some of the most compelling and humourous trip reports out there, turns out you're the best mom in the world too!!

I just stumbled on this TR as I was drifting across the boards, but once I saw it was you ('cause I LOVED your VB TR) I knew I was going to be at the computer for awhile. Little did I know what a journey you'd take your readers on -- and share with us your family's amazing journey as well. You guys are all amazing, and clearly your gentle spirit, pragmatic view and generous dollop of humour make life that much richer.

Thanks for making mine richer too!
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