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Old 12-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
Mrs. Gumdrop
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Two Gumdrops Take on the World - Dec. 2012: Arrival Day, Part 1

We needed this vacation. Shall we tally up the reasons?

Acquired: 1 Associates degree (me)

Survived: 2 years of a 3 hour commute (DH)

Endured: DH’s Father contracted Guillian – Barre Syndrome, sending our family into chaos and derailing our June Graduation WDW trip plans. (BTW, He is doing great now!)

Accomplished: The sale of 2 houses (Ours and DH’s parents) the process of which took the entire summer and derailed our (rescheduled) September and November WDW trips.

Withstood: 2 house moves, including downsizing from a townhouse to an apartment.

Need I say more? I guess I probably do.



Hi! I am Lauren, Mrs. Gumdrop, and the author of this little saga. I am a 30-something Disney enthusiast, and planner extraordinaire. Interests: Interior Design, all things Disney, pretending to quilt (also known as collecting fabric) and reading. I have a special soft spot for Walt and Roy O. Disney and Imagineering.



And my DH and Partner in Crime, Mr. G! He is a 30-something Mac demi-god and the love of my life. Interests: Sci-fi, Apple Computer Products, American History and me ☺ He has loved our 3 DCL Cruises, but this will be his first week at WDW since he was a boy scout. He has a special soft spot for the triumphant “Disney Classic” The Black Hole and conversely hates Stitch.

Together we are child-less (hopefully not forever), gumdrop-shaped (or Pooh-sized if you prefer) nerds in love. We do have a very sweet kitty who stayed home for our adventure. Here is our Josie Baboo!


She was a little grumpy about being left behind!

This vacation was rescheduled three times. As a planner, it was disappointing to fully plan so many trips that didn’t come to be. But this trip turned out to be quite the consolation prize. We squeezed in as many Christmas celebrations as we could including Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, & the Candlelight Processional. Not to shabby!

This trip was Delayed but not Denied, so let’s get started!
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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Reserved for Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Travel Day!
Arrival Day, Part 1
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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Travel Day!

The time had finally come to head out on out big adventure and we had many hours of driving ahead of us – 17 hours to be more specific. We decided to break the driving into 2 days. Day 1 – Maryland to Savannah, GA. Day 2 – Savannah to Orlando. Let’s Go!



By the time we got the car loaded, and stopped off at Chik-fil-a for breakfast it was already 8:30 am. Later than I intended, but soon enough. Our departure day was a Saturday, so we had nothing to fear from the DC Metro traffic. The day was gray and chilly – just the kind of weather you want to leave when headed to Florida! We had great traffic through Virginia and decided to stop for lunch around noon at Cracker Barrel in Roanoke Rapids, NC.



Lunch was chef salads for both of us and the food was consistent with ever other Cracker Barrel we have ever eaten in. Not amazing, but perfectly good. As you can imagine by the time we reached NC, the weather was sunny and warm. Oddly the only rain we saw all week was a little sprinkle as we walked into the restaurant.

Nothing much happened on the drive, other than spotting South of the Border in South Carolina. Mr.G had talked about wanting to stop out SotB on our way down when we were planning the trip. Fortunately after so many hours on the road the giant sombrero no longer had the allure it once had for him. We drove right by!



Can you tell at this point I have notes to work from? Well I can tell you around day three the note taking fell off in a big way, so enjoy these specifics while they last! My memory is like swiss cheese!

After many uneventful hours of driving we rolled into Savannah and to our Hotel at 7:15 pm. We had a reservation at the Mansion on Forsyth. It is a Kessler property that was recently included in the Marriott Autograph Collection, allowing us to book the room with our Marriott points. I was pretty excited about staying at this property, but I didn’t exactly get what I was bargaining for. The property is a little eccentric in it’s décor. It is kind of hard to explain, but the elevator was clad in marble with a back-lit black and white photo from Forsyth park on the ceiling, lined with black crushed velvet. In short the elevator felt like a mausoleum. Likewise I would describe the room as vampire-chic. See for yourself:










One door lead to the shower and the other to the toilet. You can’t tell from this photo but with the lights on you don’t get much privacy!



After freshening up we decided we were too road weary to go out in search of food, so we decided to enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant called The 700 Drayton. This wasn’t our best choice of the trip. The food was delicious and the service was careful if leisurely, but we were not appropriately dressed for this rather posh establishment. I felt a little bad to be sitting there in my pink crocs (yes your read right!) while groups around us were celebrating special occasions in evening clothes. But they weren’t every busy and I am sure they enjoyed our money. My notes say I had a golden beet salad along with roasted chicken with mac and cheese. I do remember it fondly. Mr.G had a wedge salad and a scallop dish he really liked. The prices were on the high side, and it was after 9:00 pm when we left the restaurant and we were beat. Time to hit the sack! Tomorrow? Road trip, Part 2.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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I'll join in! Your trip sounds a lot like the one I'm planning right now - a lot of things getting in the way of vacationing! That hotel room in GA is unlike anything I've seen… I like the vampire chic term lol Looking forward to reading more
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Disney9.9.10 View Post
I'll join in! Your trip sounds a lot like the one I'm planning right now - a lot of things getting in the way of vacationing! That hotel room in GA is unlike anything I've seen… I like the vampire chic term lol Looking forward to reading more
Welcome!
This trip was so long anticipated that when it finally came I was deciding against writing a trip report and just focus on enjoying the moment. But it was Mr.G who insisted. He is not the Disney fan that I am, but I think he knew reliving the trip by sharing it would be fun. And so far he is right.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:21 AM   #6
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Glad your trip finally happened. Can't imagine rescheduling that many times! Looking foward to reading about your trip.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by abbie13_15 View Post
Glad your trip finally happened. Can't imagine rescheduling that many times! Looking foward to reading about your trip.
Thanks Abbie!
It was a long road to get there. And not just because we drove. Ha!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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Joining in....

totally at the grumpy kitty pic :P
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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Joining in....

totally at the grumpy kitty pic :P
Welcome aboard! That poor grumpy kitty had to stay with my Mother (and her dogs) for three months while we sold our house and then due to all the house sale drama she had to move 2 more times. And everyone knows how cats love to move! Poor Josie!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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Joining in!!! I always laugh at South of the Border. Maybe someday we'll stop there and see what there is to see!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:45 AM   #11
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Looking forward to reading about your trip!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:57 AM   #12
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Arrival Day, Part 1

I woke up early on Sunday, because I was just too excited to sleep any longer.



The sun was coming up over the roof tops of Savannah and I was ready to get going.


Also a quick moment for my appreciation of Spanish Moss. I have lived my entire life in the DC area and it wasnt until maybe 5 years ago that I saw moss hanging from trees in person. For some reason this stuff just feels otherworldly to me. It is a clear sign that I am somewhere else. Does that make any sense?


We had taken advantage of an offer from the hotel that allowed us to upgrade to Concierge for $25 per night. Really all that meant for us was staying on the 4th floor, which was just higher, and free breakfast. So we got showers, packed ourselves up and headed over for breakfast. Let me take a tangent for a moment. We typically stay at Fairfields and Courtyards. At such hotels the only people to tip are the maid service. I knew that staying at this establishment would mean more tipping and I was prepared with many $1. But I really find tipping super awkward. Is it just me? I believe that people providing you services (valet, bell hop, concierge, maids) deserve a tip, but handing a stranger cash just feels weird. Anyway&

Breakfast was fine. I was still feel odd after our dressed down dinner the night before and didnt dare take food photos. But that will change soon! We tipped, finished packing up and it was time to hit the road!


This days drive of about 6 hours was much more comfortable than the 11 hours the day before. Plus I was buoyed by the excitement of finally arriving at Disney! We reached the Florida border before we knew it and had to stop at the welcome center for both bio needs and free orange juice!




Palm Trees!



Back on the road, we reached Jacksonville before I knew it and were cruising right along.


It wasnt long at all before we reached Wyndam Cypress Palms, our home for the week.

We were given the gift of timeshare, which certainly made our trip more affordable. Although it is a perfectly nice place, we resolved to stay on property if at all possible for our next trip. More on that later.

Even though it was only 2:00 pm or so, we were able to check in right away, which was terrific. We were on the third floor, and thankfully we found a cart to help us transport our bags. There was a rather distant elevator we could use to access our room, but it was clear that the resort was designed for guests to primarily use the stairs.

And here you have room 333!

When you first walk in:


Look to the right:


Through to the hallway. Not shown, the closet with the washer and dryer, and also the connecting door to another unit :


Close-up of the bath:


Turn to the left for the bedroom:


The TV and Dresser. Not shown is the closet:


The best part of this unit was having a washer and dryer at our fingertips. Also we enjoyed having an additional sitting area in the space, although we never used the tv.

What did we do after we settled in? Find out in the next update!
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:23 AM   #13
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After all the anticipation that 46 billboards builds up, how could you NOT STOP at South of the Border? We roadtripped from Maryland to Disney too. We stopped. I couldn't resist getting a picture of my son in a sombrero.

Your vampire room looks really swanky!

Staying on property is definitely great, but I'm drooling over that full kitchen.

Can't wait to read more about your trip!
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by clynngibson View Post
Joining in!!! I always laugh at South of the Border. Maybe someday we'll stop there and see what there is to see!
South of the Border looked so sad when we drove by. All of those sprawling parking lots totally empty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnmichele View Post
Looking forward to reading about your trip!
Thanks! There are some great moments coming up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by holleypie View Post
After all the anticipation that 46 billboards builds up, how could you NOT STOP at South of the Border? We roadtripped from Maryland to Disney too. We stopped. I couldn't resist getting a picture of my son in a sombrero.

Your vampire room looks really swanky!

Staying on property is definitely great, but I'm drooling over that full kitchen.

Can't wait to read more about your trip!
I am sure we only resisted the siren call of SotB because we were so excited to keep driving.

The soaker tub at the Mansion was a great plus. And the bed was very comfortable. The room was very roomy as well.

Having a full kitchen was terrific. The washer and dryer saved us though.

Thanks I am looking forward to sharing it!
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:22 PM   #15
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Awesome so far! Can't wait to read the rest!
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