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Old 12-11-2012, 08:44 AM   #961
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Something to look forward to.
Yes!

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Hi Cynthia! I'm loving your TR. I would have been so stressed on leaving day. And on Kendall's Birthday! I have to have a plan and it is very hard for me to let go if things don't run smoothly. Quick thinking on DH's part to see about getting them to go. I hate disappointing the girls especially if it is something simple like that. (Well it sounds simple but not being in your own kitchen makes it a little harder. )
Thanks!!! it was stressful and yes, pancakes should have been simple which did add to the stress a bit. One of those thing that shouldn't have taken nearly as much work as it did!

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Glad San Fran was fun. Can't wait to hear all about it.
San Fran was lovely, it is always neat when you see a city you've seen before, differently and we really did. Very spontaneous all around and just perfect as a result.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:58 PM   #962
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No ice

We were on the road by noon. Mapquest told me that it was just about an hours drive, straight north on A1A. We had a couple of errands to run but figured those would be easy enough as we would be on a main road the entire way.

First stop, Publix. We wanted to pick up some beer and wine for the cruise. Since they let you carry it on, it saves quite a bit of money to bring it with you! We weren't too far from the resort when we saw one that seemed easy. Easy meaning we could do multiple things there. Jeff dropped me at the entry and took the car to fill up and hit the nearby liquor store to refresh his rum stash. I headed in, found beer, wine and looked at sunscreen. We were in a bit of a sunscreen crises. Jeff had left one of the big, brand new ones, in his carry on as he’d flown into MCO and as a result, it had been taken from him. Someone else, had lost another, big, brand new one, at OKW. Most likely at the pool on the second day. Either way I was worried that with burn boy in tow (aka Eric) we wouldn't have enough to safely get through the cruise. Burn boy has super sensitive skin and as a result I am very picky about what we use, checking the EWG guidelines etc and buying (ordering online) accordingly. As suspected, Publix did not have any brands I felt comfortable buying. We needed to hit a drug or office store as well so figured I'd just get the sunscreen then instead.

The bulk of the shopping complete we started to get closer. Somewhere outside Cocoa Beach we hit a Starbucks. Why? Well for the wi-fi of course. I was determined to get the work fiasco settled. I bought everyone a drink to keep them occupied while I tried, yet again, to make the requested changes and found myself very confused. What I had in there seemed to match completely with the changes requested. After fiddling some more, going back and forth between multiple screens (which is SO much easier with 2 monitors) I tweaked what I could and sent it back to the powers that be, to review. That mission accomplished relatively quickly, or so I thought, we headed to the last errand. CVS. Why did we need to hit a drugstore? Well Kendall needed a compass for her homework, or so it appeared at the moment. There was something else too although for the life of me, it escapes me what it was. All I know it that it was a very pricey and unbudgeted stop. I purchased overpriced sunscreen that wasn't exactly what I wanted at all...but better than what they'd had at Publix and we forged onward.

As we got closer I actually looked through our cruise docs and found this



Took a picture and texted it to my folks. LOL! It seemed like the responsible thing to do.

Finally, at about 2:25, we saw this!



The skies didn't look terribly happy



And it was windy but I could see blue peeking through behind the ship!



As we pulled up, it started to POUR. Buckets! The plan was that I would take the kids in, get us all checked in, while Jeff returned the car. He wasn't exactly sure where to go but it wasn't supposed to be all that far and he did have directions. It had taken us 2.5 hours to get there. While I can blame a good 45, maybe even 60 minutes on the various errands the fact of the matter is A1A is a small road. With a LOT of stoplights. Mapquest really should factor that in if you ask me as that easily added 30 minutes to the trip, if not more.

Unloading quickly in the pouring rain, we handed most of our luggage off to bell services except for the carryons and all our food and new beverage purchases. While you can bring beer, wine, whatever, on board, you have to carry it on. Which was going to be interesting. We had some beer left over at the villa, as well as some juice if memory serves correctly. I'd used our wine protector travel bags (bottle shaped bubble wrap sleeve things that you can use to back bottles with for travel, they are wonderful!) again as mini ice packs, filling them up with ice, closing them and packing them around the items. When we'd picked up the extra beverages we had just put them in the same bags. However it was overflowing and a bit unmanageable by itself so Jeff thought it would work better to just dump all that ice into the insulated larger tote all the items were in and then we could make it all fit and keep his beer cold. I voted for dumping the ice on the sidewalk but was overruled. The end result was a very full bag that clanked, had bottles literally poking out of it but…it all fit. Sort of. And the ice did keep the bottles from being too on top of each other and might avoid breakage, or at least that was Jeff's theory. I also had my camera bag, the laptop bag and another bag of food. I'd made the boys give up their carryons to bell services, having had all the swimsuits stuffed into mine, except for K’s bag which she wanted to carry. For some reason K always keeps her makeup/toiletry bag separate from everything, putting it on top of her tote at the 11th hour. I am always paranoid it is going to get truly lost. So far we've been lucky but it does get left (and then recovered) a fair amount. I had left Jeff with his backpack and parceled out the laptop and food bag to Evan. Still, just my camera bag/purse and the darn bag o’bottles was awkward enough. It wasn't a far walk, basically across a lane of traffic and then you come to the security entry.

I eyed the security belt and wondered how I was going to get that bag through, it wasn't closed at the top as it was so full.

"You'll have to dump out the ice ma'am"

"We can't let you put it through with the ice in it"


Of course you can’t. Why in the world Jeff had thought we even needed it in there at that point had been beyond me but maybe he felt odd dumping ice out of the back of the rental car, in the drop off lane in front of bell services? Or I guess he just REALLY wanted to make sure that first beer was cold.

Let me tell you, walking back outside to the front, in the pouring rain, pulling the ice out by HAND was SO much better and classier looking.

Oh.my.word.

Talk about mortifying.

And COLD! My hand was FREEZING by the time I was done.

The kids of course found the whole thing rather funny. Hand frozen, drenched, we headed in and up. Ah, air conditioning always feels so nice when you are wet.

Not.

Although it did cool my feet off momentarily which was nice. They were of course on fire from the bug bites.

Now the good thing about a 2:45 arrival for a 4:30 sailing is...no line. At all. Check in was painless as they already had all the info for 4 of the 5 of us. In fact, they checked Jeff in, even though he wasn't with us. They took K’s picture but did NOT ask for any kind of ID. So glad we got her the drivers permit before so she’d have official ID. Sigh. She did get a birthday button and we all got "we're celebrating" buttons in honor of her birthday. We found a spot to sit and hit the restroom while we waited for Jeff. I tried to deal with my drenched hair, but without much success. The car return, while not far, had taken a little longer than expected but soon enough Jeff was coming up the escalator and it was time to board. He made sure we all put our buttons on so we could embarrass Kendall as much as possible and we walked through the magic entry. Which they hadn't had in Vancouver so I was excited to take a picture.



Sigh. Blurry as all get out. I did not buy the embarkation picture as well, it was lousy. I'd loved the one from our Alaskan cruise but the background on this one was meh and we all looked rather horrible and in a hurry.

But hey, I got one light picture as we raced through the lobby/atrium



Why were we in a hurry?

Well...we hadn't eaten since breakfast. And while that had been a larger breakfast, it had been a long time ago and second seating was still quite a ways away. Cabanas, the buffet, was only open until 3:15. It was now about 3pm. Time for the DIS/FE meet. Much as I hate to say it, it wasn't even a question. We literally ran to the room, dumped our stuff after the 30 second purview of the room and raced to Cabanas. I'd really wanted to go to the meet and we'd all really wanted to have the kids check out the kids clubs before embarkation but it just wasn't to be. Hunger won out. I was truly grateful that this was our second cruise. Our stateroom was in a similar spot to where it had been on the Wonder so finding it was easy. The buffet, it also in a similar spot. Yes, the Dream is bigger. A LOT bigger. But it is similar, was surprisingly familiar and as a result easy to navigate. At least on the upper decks anyway.

Racing in, we quickly grabbed food. And yeah, it was pretty much 3:15 on the nose. They closed the line not long after we had our plates. Feeling more than a little frazzled, I wasn't exactly on top of the pictures but got this one, my plate.



And this one



Happy boy!

It was funny. All of the kids are generally pretty adventuresome eaters. And yet all I think had loaded up on mac & cheese and nuggets. We all went a little light on the food, knowing dinner wasn't that far away but also that we wouldn't have made it without eating something. As for me, generally very anti buffet, I was pleasantly surprised by the food. It was a darn decent lunch with many of my choices really exceeding my expectations. As we were dining they came by the table trying to get us to pre-order bottled water and huge cans of beer. Beer we didn't need but much to my surprise Jeff ordered a case of water. Okay...I guess. Seemed like overkill, a case for 4 nights, after I'd just spent what felt like a small fortune to replace sunscreen that I hadn't lost, but what did I know. It would have been nice to buy and carry a case on but no way could we have managed that without planning better than we had. If we'd have though, we could have gotten a half case or 2 and had each boy carry one. I will need to remember that for the future. While buying a case pre-embakation was cheaper than what the per-bottle during the cruise would be, it was by no means a "deal". Evian or not. Muster was at 4 and we figured we'd meander our way down, we had about 15 minutes to get there I think. On the Wonder, our muster station had been outside and had been a very crowded experience and we hadn't been looking forward to it. This time, it would be in one of the theaters which sounded much more comfortable to us.

About 5 minutes into our muster meander we heard the dreaded words no parent ever wants to hear.

“I left my retainer in my napkin”

Last edited by eandesmom; 12-11-2012 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #963
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Wow a lot going on in that update!! You guys really had an adventure getting onto that ship. And it seems you are about to have one more with that retainer comment! I hope that things slowed down and you were able to really enjoy the cruise!
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:33 PM   #964
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OK, I'm sorry, but the ice story is hilarious! But sometimes, the right to say "I told you so" just isn't enough to make a situation worth it.

Sounds like a pretty hectic, stressful boarding.

At least there was not any debate or question about your destination- the necessity to get some lunch!

And I see by the prelude to your next chapter that you have not taken a vacation from the drama!

Oh, my!
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:40 PM   #965
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That is one of the things we've learned since moving here. Any place that gives you directions always wants you to take Rt 1 or A1A. It's much faster to just jump on 95!! At least A1A is a fun drive, lots of things to see!
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:23 PM   #966
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Oh my gosh!!! I hate to say it, but your "adventures" are SO entertaining!
Of course, I do feel bad that you had trouble finding what you needed (to replace what others lost) and had to dump the ice out and get wet, and rush to get some food...
But the way you tell it is HYSTERICAL!


Not the dreaded retainer in the napkin!!!
Sarah has her braces for nearly another year, and I'm going to get her a case with a lanyard so she can wear it around her neck so she doesn't lose that thing!
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #967
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Wow... that was quite an eventful trip to get to the Dream... and quite eventful actually boarding the Dream... (I'm going to be really curious to see your thoughts between this and your cruise to Alaska...

We're pretty intense with our sunscreen choices as well...

That's actually pretty cool that they let you take your own alcohol aboard the ship...

Oh my... that whole ice thing... I'm sorry but it's pretty funny now but I know how thrilled you must have been... (that type of think happens to me more often then I'd like to admit...)

aaaaggghhhhh.... the retainer? Seriously?
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:03 AM   #968
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:33 AM   #969
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Oh no what a morning, I hate rushing.

Looking forward to hearing about San Fran.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:44 AM   #970
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Sometimes its so satisfying when you are proven right but not good for the relationship to point (rub it in) it out.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #971
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
The bulk of the shopping complete we started to get closer. Somewhere outside Cocoa Beach we hit a Starbucks. Why?
Because you're subliminally influenced by Kathy?

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Well for the wi-fi of course.
Oh. And there's that.

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Finally, at about 2:25, we saw this!



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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
It had taken us 2.5 hours to get there. While I can blame a good 45, maybe even 60 minutes on the various errands the fact of the matter is A1A is a small road. With a LOT of stoplights. Mapquest really should factor that in if you ask me as that easily added 30 minutes to the trip, if not more.
It's all the highway engineers' fault. They're all jerks, if you ask me.

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I eyed the security belt and wondered how I was going to get that bag through, it wasn't closed at the top as it was so full.

"You'll have to dump out the ice ma'am"

"We can't let you put it through with the ice in it"
Oh boy. This can't end well.

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f course you cant. Why in the world Jeff had thought we even needed it in there at that point had been beyond me but maybe he felt odd dumping ice out of the back of the rental car, in the drop off lane in front of bell services? Or I guess he just REALLY wanted to make sure that first beer was cold.

Let me tell you, walking back outside to the front, in the pouring rain, pulling the ice out by HAND was SO much better and classier looking.

Oh.my.word.

Talk about mortifying.

And COLD! My hand was FREEZING by the time I was done.
Not to mention all the parents covering their kids' ears due to the expletives flying at DH! :scared1

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The kids of course found the whole thing rather funny.
Not us, though. We feel your pain.

Ok, maybe it's a little funny? After the fact?

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Cabanas, the buffet, was only open until 3:15. It was now about 3pm. Time for the DIS/FE meet. Much as I hate to say it, it wasn't even a question.
I'm with you. Food takes precedence there.

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It was funny. All of the kids are generally pretty adventuresome eaters. And yet all I think had loaded up on mac & cheese and nuggets.


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About 5 minutes into our muster meander we heard the dreaded words no parent ever wants to hear.

I left my retainer in my napkin
[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #972
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About 5 minutes into our muster meander we heard the dreaded words no parent ever wants to hear.

“I left my retainer in my napkin”
Oh. My. God. Did you just want to die right then and there?

So - I learned a few things, even though I can't see your pictures.

No ice - check - got that.

Carry on water - check - never thought of that.

Arrive late, but not too late so the buffet is closed - check - OK.

So do you really think arriving late-ish is the way to go? I mean - I will be in WDW before I leave for the ship, so what time do you recommend getting there. Do you think 2 - 2:30pm would work good in terms of lines? I am definitely OK with NOT being the first ones on the boat and I definitely don't want to arrive with the largest crowds.


Another question - Did you actually return your rental or park it there? Please elaborate. Would it be best for us to rent a car for our entire stay - which is 11 days (cruise and WDW) or return the car and get a new rental. This stuff is all new to me, but I know its expensive to park at the port. I actually entertained the thought of using DME, but then we still need a car to get supplies and a way to get to port.

I really, really hope that retainer is recovered. And I can't wait to see pics of your cabin.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:18 PM   #973
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I can really sense the hustle and bustle in that update.

The ice story -- don't you hate it when somebody else makes a less-than-stellar decision and you get to deal with the ramifications? In the rain?

Yeah, before I read your text I noticed a lot of nuggets and mac & cheese on the plates in the picture.

Oh no! The dreaded retainer left in a napkin fiasco! And during muster!
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:27 PM   #974
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What a dramatic entrance! How annoying!

Yummy food, though!

I can't wait to see your cabin!

Oh, those words! Dun, Dun, Dunnnnnn.......
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:01 AM   #975
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I was so distracted by the lost retainer I forgot to comment on the ice - I wonder if you can't bring it in a cooler, or were they just afraid it would leak from a bag? I would not be a happy camper, pulling all that ice out.

Yay for boarding through the ears! That's one of the "official" DCL moments missed on the West Coast.
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