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Old 05-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
amazingact21
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Flowers, 5Ks, and Fiancées-A May 2011 TR *Updated 4/30 The Last Update*

Introductions:


Welcome readers!

As my title states, this trip report will cover my experience at being at Disney during the Flower and Garden Festival, running in the Expedition Everest 5K, and celebrating an engagement at the world.

Before I begin diving into my explanation on how and why this trip came to be, let me begin by introducing the cast.





There was me, Alicia, the writer of this TR and the "original" Disney lover. Normally, I'm the planner of the trips and the one who tries to do everything humanly possibly in one trip. I'm 20 years old and am a junior in college, and a rookie runner.

Then there's my DF, Alex. He's 22, in the Air Force, and works very hard so that we can take wonderful trips. I took him to WDW this past December, and he fell in love with it. So much, that he was the one who convinced me to go on this May trip.



This trip was never in the books for us. We had spent 4 amazing nights at Shades of Green during the holidays, and we were thankful that we got the wonderful experience that we did. It was fantastic to escape reality for a few days, but by the new year DF was occupied with work, and I was knee deep in school work. Anyone following along in my December TR could see how hectic our life was by the lack of updates I did.

The thought of another trip was just a nice fantasy that we pulled out when we didn't think we could stand another staff meeting or another group presentation.



But then, one day, DF ran into a man at his gym wearing a runDisney shirt.


It must have been fate.


And a whole lot of pixie dust.


Because DF and the runDisney man began talking and before I knew what had hit me, DF was asking me to sign up for the Expedition Everest 5K Challenge with him.



That was back in early March.


By the end of March, we had checked our financials and my school schedule and deducted that a short trip could, in fact, be done.


We set the dates.


May 6-11th.
With the EE 5K Challenge falling on the night of May 7th.

Then we called to reserve a room.


All Star Sports.

Then DF convinced me to add on the DP, because he really wanted to give it a try. So, we began making ADRs.





The details were done, the trip was ready, and we were in training!



Two weeks before the trip, DF popped the question, making this trip more than just a 5K run and a small get-away.



Despite the fact that the trip wasn't very long, and it wasn't very well-planned, DF and I had quite the adventure.


There were some tear-induced, heart warming, moments.


There were some really ugly moments.


There were some moments we wished we were back at home.


And there were some moments we wished would never end.


Initially (since I hadn't even finished my Dec. TR when we went on this trip) I wasn't going to do a TR for this one. However, there were too many times when DF and I caught ourselves going, "Won't THAT be a fun story to tell when we get back home?!" And, so, here I am, beginning a new trip report.

For anyone who followed my December one, I promise my posts are going to be more consistent and more organized.

And have more pictures!


So, without further ado, here is my May TR!!!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #2
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Chapter Links

Introduction
A 1922 Story and 203 Cars Later
The International Drive of Hate to a Painful Packet Pickup
Striking Out the King
Tangled Up in the End Zone
I Like a Little Coffee with my Creamer
There's Two Rules to a Happy Marriage
If You See Me on the Side of the Road, Just Throw Some Water on Me
She'll Think I'm a Stalker!
The Expedition to Everest
Searching for the Batmobile
Alex vs Toilet
You've Got to Pose Funny
Stitch for Pluto? Sounds Good
Just Lettuce and Cheese? No Buns?
You're Engaged...She Deservies Flowers!
It Reminds Me of My Room!
You're Eyes Were Bigger Than Your Stomach
You're Back
I Was Trying to Give the Gate Card my Suicide Prevention Card
I See Flashing Lights
We Give Up Our Orange Cards for Good
Congratulations, I'm a Captain, I Can Marry You...It Wouldn't Be Legal, Though
I Want a Starfish Like That!
Sum of all Segways
You're Having a Panic Attack and Your Pocket Book is Having One!
Can I Have Extra Teriyaki Sauce, Please?
Which Way Do We Go?
Where's Wishes?
Put Your Bag Down, Sweetheart
The Monorail of a Thousand Daddy's
Are You Going Bashful on Me?
Oh, Wait, That's a 100% Tip!
I'm Tired, My Legs Hurt, I Need a Margarita!
Caramel Coma
Yo Ho...Oh No!
Is That Your Final Answer?
But What'll We Do with these Snack Credits?

Extra Posts
The cons of Cruising
The Pros of Cruising
Going to Universal
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #3
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A 1922 Story and 203 Cars Later

May 6th:


Normally, when I go on trips, I have all my bags packed and sitting ready to go 1 to 2 days before my departure. But for this trip, I became Princess Procrastinator.


I hadn't finished with my classes for the semester until late Monday night, and up until that point I hadn't so much as thought about what I wanted to pack.

Two days before we had to leave, I took my mother out for the day to celebrate Mother's Day, since I'd be gone. We had so much fun, I didn't even consider that it was time to pull out the dusty suitcases from the shed.


Thursday morning rolled around, and it finally dawned on me that we were leaving the very next morning.


I hadn't even done my laundry, yet, and it was almost 11 o'clock in the morning.


So, I spent the next four to five hours running around my house like a madman, grabbing shampoo bottles and flip-flops and praying I didn't need to run out to the store for anything.


My cat, Oreo, slunk into my room and zoomed in on the suitcase.


The last time she saw that suitcase, I abadoned her for two weeks.


If you're leaving again, you'll have to take me with you:



With a lot of scolding and feet stamping, I got her to jump out of my suitcase.


Silly me, though, forgot how vindictive cats are.


Oreo proceeded to jump onto my bed, where all my clothes were folded neatly into stacked piles, seperated by what days of the week I was planning on wearing them.


Nooooooooooo



I knew what was coming as soon as she jumped on the bed. I felt like one of those characters in a movie that runs in slow motion with their arms flailing, trying to stop the inevitable from ocurring.


And just like all those amusing actors, I was too late.
Oreo had happily knocked over all my nicely washed and folded outfits.
And, choosing the softest shirt she could find, she laid down on top of it, making sure to cover every inch of the fabric.
Because, naturally, her act of vandalism wouldn't be complete if she didn't deposit as much cat hair as she could on the clothes.



I swear, she looks like she's laughing at me.



Once, I'd thrown the evil little cat from my room, I got down to business and finished packing in record time.



DF arrived at my house around 5pm, but I didn't see much of him. He works a 4:30am-1:30pm shift at work, so he had been awake since 3am that day.
I left him to watch tv for a bit and then head to bed early, while I headed out to a friend's college graduation ceremony.


I was in bed that night by midnight, which might not've been the greatest idea in the world, but the graduation was something I could not miss.



The alarm woke me at 5am sharp. Despite the feelings of we're going to Disney rushing through me, I was still a little grumpy.

5 o'clock is early.


DF and I were supposed to leave the house at 6am, but we ended up taking longer than we'd planned on just about everything.
Our dog, who we were dropping off at his parent's house, was being stubborn and wouldn't eat or go outside. (What's with us and adopting hardheaded animals?!)
DF didn't even hop in the shower until 5:30.

At 6am, we were just sitting down to a quick bowl of Frosted Flakes.

At 6:15am, we were saying farewell to my younger brother, who was leaving for school.

At 6:17am, we began packing the car.


Since we'd had practice with that in December, it didn't take long, and shortly after we were in the car.



Only 22 minutes behind schedule. Not great, but also not terrible.

I could live with 22 minutes.



Since it had been almost an hour and a half since I woken up, I was starting to become really excited about going to Disney.




We'd brought an audiobook along to keep us occupied during the 8 hour drive, but I did not choose very wisely.
I'd went to the library, and, at my mother's suggestion, checked out a collection of Stephen King short stories.


Who in their right mind picks Stephen King to listen to while going to Disney World?!?!


We popped the first disk in and listened with a little horror as the story covered gruesome events and macabre thoughts.


Yikes!


When I think of Disney World, words like magical, enchanting, exciting, thrilling pop into my head.

Listening to the story "1922," all DF and I could think about were murder, rats, robberies, anger, etc


It was more than a little disturbing.



I wish something exciting happened during the drive down through Florida, but it was a typical road trip. (With the exception of the creepy story, of course.)


We stopped in Gainseville for lunch. I wanted Steak N Shake, and DF wanted Chick-Fil-A.


Meh, what the heck, why don't we have both.

We hit the Steak N Shake drive-thru first, ordering two milkshakes. We figured it would save us time to just speed through the take-out windows and eat while on the road.


Speed through.....HA!


We were both aware that Gainseville's a college town and busy, but we survived a year in Tallahassee when I went to FSU, so we were pros at weaving our way through massive conjestions of cars.


And we were, in fact, doing pretty good.


Until we got to Chick-Fil-A.


APPARENTLY, that Chick-Fil-A is immensely popular with its drive-thru.


The first thing that tipped us off was the sign that proclaimed every 100th customer eats free.


Free food is never a good place to stop when you're in a rush.
Everyone loves free food.


The second thing that tipped us off was the very intricate drive-thru.



It had loops.


Loops!


And within those loops was a traffic guard.

Some poor Chick-Fil-A employee was in a reflective jacket directing people on how to properly move forward in line.


DF and I looked at each other with scared, startled, and confused expressions on our faces.


We wanted to escape the madness, but apparently, once you get in those loops, you can't pull away. There were other cars further back in line blocking our way.


We were stuck.



It took about ten minutes for us to get to the order window.
So much for us saving time.


Right before we reached the speaker we saw this huge sign:



203 cars in 3 hours!?!?!


After another three minutes of waiting for our order to arrive, I looked at DF and simply said, "Never again."




That Chick-Fil-A was mayhem!!! Utter mayhem! I've been through some busy drive-thrus in my life, but this one took the Lombardi Trophy for most impressive, most hectic.

So, fellow drivers, if you ever feel the craving for a chicken sandwich, avoid the Gainseville Chick-Fil-A at all costs.



Leaving Gainseville with our highly-earned lunches, we decided not to make any more reckless stops until we reached his parent's house in Rockledge (about an hour east of Orlando). It was already 1:30 and we still had to drop the puppy off, drive back to Orlando, go to packet pickup, and check into our resort.


We'd already been on the road for 6 hours (time change) and we still had another 6 hours worth of tasks to do. The day was hardly over.



Up next...The International Drive of Hate to a Painful Packet Pickup
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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Great start, I'm in! Sounds like an interesting trip. I'm especially excited to read about your experience with the Expedition Everest challenge!

203 cars in 3 hours is crazy! I would have been very intimidated by that drive-thru, and I worked one in high school!!!!!!!
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:14 AM   #5
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Yay! Another trip report That Chick-Fil-A sounded insane I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!
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A June 2011 PTR!!!

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Old 05-24-2011, 11:46 AM   #6
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YAY soooo excited you decided to do a TR for this trip!!
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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Hi Alicia! I've seen you post on some of the TRs/PTRs I've been posting on and followed your link over.

A great start - love the list of chapter links to come.

Wow on the Chick-Fil-A mayhem!
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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Nice job on your report so far. I'm anxious to hear about the 5K.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAStevens218 View Post
Great start, I'm in! Sounds like an interesting trip. I'm especially excited to read about your experience with the Expedition Everest challenge!

203 cars in 3 hours is crazy! I would have been very intimidated by that drive-thru, and I worked one in high school!!!!!!!

Welcome! Thanks for reading! The Expedition Everest Challenge was unbelievable, and it was something I'm so happy my DF convinced me to do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyAsh32 View Post
Yay! Another trip report That Chick-Fil-A sounded insane I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!
I can't believe DF and I weren't paying attention and got caught up in the Chick-Fil-A madness. It's taught us to be a lot more attentive when picking places to eat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon84 View Post
YAY soooo excited you decided to do a TR for this trip!!
Thanks for following along! I think I'm going to enjoy writing this one more than my December trip; funnier moments happened this trip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Hi Alicia! I've seen you post on some of the TRs/PTRs I've been posting on and followed your link over.

A great start - love the list of chapter links to come.

Wow on the Chick-Fil-A mayhem!

Glad you could find my TR! I have been reading your PTR, but I've just been lurking and haven't said hello.

Everytime we're at WDW, DF and I always get a kick out of overhearing fellow guests' jokes. On our second day of this this trip, a CM joked with us about the 5K and said, "If you see me on the side of the road, just throw some water on me and wave," and DF turned to me a said, "Wouldn't that make for a hilarious chapter title to that trip report thing that you do."
And at that moment, we decided those little jokes would be included into my report. Plus, It was actually kind of fun, standing in a long queue or riding the monorail, thinking about what phrase could summarize that time frame.

DF enjoyed it wayyyy more than I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell & Ted View Post
Nice job on your report so far. I'm anxious to hear about the 5K.
Thanks! I can't wait to write about the race, it was a one-of-a-kind experience.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:06 PM   #10
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I'm loving your chapter titles and furry baby pics
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCDisney View Post
I'm loving your chapter titles and furry baby pics
Thanks! I have to give DF most of the credit on the chapter titles; he enjoyed coming up with them.
Oreo loves having her picture taken! I've never seen a cat so willing to just sit in one spot and look at a camera.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:56 AM   #12
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The International Drive of Hate to a Painful Packet Pickup

There always seems to be a really dark thunder cloud that sits over my head at least once on my trip to WDW. Last December, it was when DF and I went to lunch and I ordered a philly sandwich I couldn't eat. Despite the fact that I was inside the Magic Kingdom, I couldn't help but feel like a part of my day was ruined.

Well, thankfully (I suppose) the black cloud for my May trip happened before we'd even arrived. I had another bad moment later on, but it wasn't nearly as frustrating as this one.



Afternoon of May 6th:

DF and I pulled into his parent's driveway around 3:00pm. I was half an hour behind schedule, but I still wasn't too concerned. We were being very efficient ever since the lunch incident, and I had promises from DF that we would make the 5:00 course talk at packet pickup.


If anyone read my December TR, you can remember that the last time DF and I headed to Orlando from DF's parent's house, we were an hour behind.
Well, I was NOT going to let that happen again.

I made DF remind his family several times that we were visiting them for 3 days after the trip, but the afternoon of the 6th was just a drop-off day for our puppy:


They agreed wholeheartedly, especially when we explained that we had to go to a race registration event.


"Of course, Alex, that makes perfect sense. We'll just hug your necks and you can be on your way."


I made DF promise over and over again that he wouldn't procrastinate, because he tends to have a difficult time leaving his family once he sees them. (Understandable)


We had luck going for us before the trip, because his older brother works 9-6 M-F, so he was scheduled to be at work.

As was his mother.

The only person who was going to relieve us of Buster duty, was DF's father. Who isn't much of a talker, and would've been perfectly okay with us making a brief pit stop.



But since when do plans ever go that smoothly???


DF's brother greeted us from the front porch when we got out of the car.


Followed soon after by his mother.



When we asked why they weren't at work, they told us that DF's brother had to take his cat to the vet, so he got the afternoon off, and DF's mom wasn't feeling well, so she called in.


Ironically enough, DF's dad was the only person NOT home at the time.



I had prepared for emergencies like this though and had given DF a 30 minute grace period to socialize with his family.


We took all the dog's stuff inside and sat down on the couch.
Before long, DF's mom was begging us to wait until DF's dad got home so that he could say hello.


"It will only take fifteen minutes."







After DF's dad got back home, DF's younger sister called.


She was on her way home from school and wanted to see DF.


"It will only take ten minutes, she's really close."







Finally, at 4:15pm, DF and I got back into our cars.




Just like last time, we were an hour late.




I wanted to cry, I was so frustrated.




I told myself to bite my tongue and not say anything.

Alex knows how mad you, and you don't need to have a fight before Disney.

Bite your tongue, Alicia. I don't care if it falls off, don't make a peep!

And, in my defense, I tried.

We made it ten minutes on the road before I blew up.

I'd say it resembled a bottle rocket exploding on the passenger seat floorboard.
Flailing, exploding, noisy...

Or a Macy's Thanksgiving Day float losing control.
Causing mayhem, filling the place with hot air, making people scream...



As per my usual self, I turned to the dramatic side and said absurd things like, "From now on, YOU get to plan all these vacations, because obviously you don't listen to my itineraries."

After I exploded, I gave DF the silent treatment.


"1922" was still playing in the CD player, and it was oddly fitting at that time.



We drove through the classic "Welcome to Disney World" sign, but I was too mad to take a picture.
DF dared to complain, because last trip we'd gone in the back way and missed it, so he wanted to capture it this time.


Naturally, that only made me more frustrated, and I told him where he could put the camera.



Without any trouble, DF managed to drive straight to the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Originally, we were going to check into our hotel first, then take one of the buses to the complex, but because it was getting so late, we decided to get the race preparations out of the way.


By that point, I knew we needed some pictures of the complex, so, still angry with DF, I tried to snapping a few photos of the entrance sign.

I tried to take it through the front widshield and realized that wasn't going to work:


The squished love bugs kind of detracted from the main focus of the picture.

Alright, let's try from the passenger window:

Too close.


By that point the light had given us a green arrow and we were turning.


DF found a nice parking spot in section 2. Since it was after 5 o'clock, there weren't a lot of people milling around. In fact, most everyone was leaving the complex.


The whole place was really big and nicely spread out.


I felt like there was a ton of space between the events going on, and everything was easy to find.


There was a person directing us to a bulletin board. They told us to find our name and write down our bib number.

(I took a picture of both our names, but I don't want to post it, because it had dozens of other people's first and last names on there as well.)


We saw that we were number 1428.

That seemed like a nice number. Nobody has ever disliked a 1428 before.
Surely, we wouldn't do horrible with a number like 1428...


Right after we found our number, we followed the sign to where a bunch of tables were set up:


We found the table indicating where bib # 1000-1500 should report.Turning our waivers in, I signed our name in a binder, and DF took a huge envelope with all our information in it, and picked up our tshirts and collector pins.


Our shirts were black, which sort of bummed me out, because I thought they were going to be white. I rarely ever wear black shirts when I work out. Yes, they were race tech shirts and could breath easily, but I live in FL...no matter what material its made out of, black is HOT.


The collector pins were extremely cool, though. They were 2 out of 900, which DF thought was incredibly awesome. They had a green and red oval with the words Expedition Everest Challenge written in the middle and the date of the race above it. Sliding up and down above the oval was a yeti, making it look like he was climbing over.

I'm sure later on the pin can be seen in one of my pictures...


The overall packet pickup took less than three minutes to complete.

Even though we were really late, we decided to listen in to the last of the course talk.


Since we got there so late, though, we didn't learn anything.

DF and I left the talk five minutes later and went to sign a wall that was set up.

There wasn't anything left to do after writing our names down, so we headed out. There was a small make-shift "base camp" set up in the grassy area in front of the complex, but I was still mad at DF and wasn't in the mood to cuddle up next to him for a photo.


Throughout the packet pickup, DF kept looking at me with an expression that said, "We're doing something Disney related, aren't you going to be happy?"

But you know how when you're mad at someone...really mad at them, everything they do irritates you? DF disagreed with me and said he liked that the shirts were black. If I wasn't in such a rotten mood, I wouldn't have cared, but it just made me grumpier.
While we were signing our names, he asked a CM standing around a race-related question, and I snapped at him, "If we'd made it to the course talk on time, you wouldn't have had to ask someone."


That was, by far, the worst time I had at Disney. By that point, I was just in a bad mood, and I didn't think my outlook would improve once we got to our resort.
I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I had a late night the night before, and hadn't gotten a lot of sleep, and we'd been in the car for 8+ hours.

Happy or not...we left Wide World of Sports and headed to All Star Sports.



Up next...Striking Out the King
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:28 AM   #13
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Oh no on having a bad moment but at least you got it out of the way before the remainder of your trip! I didn't know your DFs family lived in Orlando. That must be cool but annoying at the same time especially when they kept trying to stall you and make you wait to meet all the family!

I can imagine me being the one having bad moments on our trip because not everything is going as planned. Have been there and done that with the silent treatment!

Anyway, looking forward to reading the next chapter and am hoping the calmness returns
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:46 PM   #14
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Oh my gosh you sound just like me!!! I tend to hold grudges once I am in a bad mood, it takes a while to shake it I hate blowing up like that, but I have to admit I do it too in situations like that!

I hope that you guys were able to have a fun time at Disney though

I wish I would get some race shirts that weren't white, because I tend to get anything white dirty right away but black to work out doesn't sound good either!
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:36 PM   #15
DisneyAsh32
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Location: Louisville, KY / Washington DC
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You sound exactly like me. I would have exploded too. Especially after all of those reminders and everything. It would have made me feel like everyone just totally disregarded my plans and everything we had talked about, so I definitely understand your frustration. But at least you got it out of the way before your trip really started. It can only get happier from here!
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