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Old 07-06-2013, 02:12 PM   #166
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Well... The sale wasn't a huge success.

I promised the kids a portion of the money for their help (plus we got rid of lots of their stuff so it only seemed fair to share the "wealth"). And I gave my mom some money to send to a family member who is having some financial issues due to health problems. So, after all that I didn't make tip money. I did however keep enough to finish off our wand fund.

And everything that didn't sell went to goodwill so I still got rid of tons of stuff.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:59 PM   #167
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for the wand fund! Priorities!!!
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:20 AM   #168
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Haha, yep! It's all about the trip at this point.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #169
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Well, we had a bit of excitement around here this week. We were woken Wednesday morning at around 5:00 AM to an extremely LOUD clap of lightening that shook our house. The power surged a couple of times and then went out. It came back on an hour later only to surge and go out again for another hour. We live in a rural area so we are used to power outages but were not prepared for this. When the power finally came back on we realized that we had no phone, no internet (and our cell phone at our house is dependent on our wi-fi, like I said, very rural), the TV in the living room wouldn't turn on and the refrigerator/freezer was acting weird.

Normally this would all be stressful but when I'm not working you can just multiply that stress by about a million.

I was really worried about our trip. We have already purchased non-refundable plane tickets but I was honestly running numbers to see if eating the cost of those plane tickets would be possible if we had to buy a new fridge and TV.

When DH got home he was so calm (almost annoyingly so). He completely reassured me that it would all work out and that we were not throwing away money on plane tickets just to avoid spending other money. He has some side work coming up soon so the money is coming, even if it's not in hand yet. (He used to work construction before transitioning to the much more stable world of maintenance for a rental company but still does construction on the weekends sometimes). I felt a bit guilty that, once again, his hard work would mean fun for the rest of us but he insists that he wants the kids to have these experiences even though he's not interested in going.

As it turned out the TV repair is going to cost around $250 and the refrigerator repair (done by one of DH's co-workers, it's good to know people!) only cost $50. The phone and internet were repaired by the carrier and the satellite company will be here Monday at very little (about $20) cost to us. Not so bad when I was envisioning $1000s!

So, the trip is, once again, saved and I worked myself into a frenzy for nothing.

I've been busy with plans including ordering photo books for the kids from Snapfish that will double as journals and autograph books. When they come in I'll be sure to share pics!

We're also deciding about shirts. Kya wants shirts, Jace doesn't. My mom seems ambivalent. I've decided on some bleach printing and spray painting techniques we used to use to make shirts for cheerleading camp when I was in high school (about a million years ago). I'll be sure to share those pics and methods when we finish.

We've been too busy for many movies and I feel like we're falling behind! Time to get on the ball which shouldn't be too hard with the oppressive heat keeping us from going outside much. Perfect for some movie marathons.

I have an itinerary and touring plans to share as well but that feels like enough for today. Stay tuned and I'll put them up soon!

Last edited by -Hope-; 07-12-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #170
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Trip Itinerary

70 DAYS!!!!

Every day our trip gets closer my excitement goes up a little! I am SO looking forward to this trip and can hardly wait. There have been so many obstacles thrown in my way, some I've shared here and some I haven't, that just finally getting there is going to feel like such a victory.

I've been working on our itinerary for a while now and I'm pretty happy with it but am also open to suggestions from more experienced darksiders.

For today I'll just share the overview but I also have touring and dining plans for each park day that I'll share in upcoming posts. Yep, I'm that DISer. The good news is that even though I love to plan and come up with itineraries when I'm actually in the parks I've learned to relax and just enjoy things. I think the plan helps to make the most of things but being flexible is also important.

So, our trip overview:

For those who haven't read or don't remember, we're flying into Orlando and renting a car to use while we're there. We're staying at the Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando (with a fridge and microwave in our room) and have free dining on the new dining plan for 2 of our 3 park days.

Saturday September 21: Travel Day
*Online check in for flights
*Leave home by 10:00 AM
*FF Lunch on the way
*Drop car at Sleep-n-Park hotel, shuttle to airport
*Flight to Orlando departs at 3:25 PM
*Dinner at Atlanta airport during layover
*Arrive in Orlando 9:00 PM, pick up rental car
*Check in to partner hotel

Sunday September 22: LegoLand 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
*B in room/on way to park
*Leave room by 8:15 AM to drive to Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland to meet LL shuttle
*Lunch and snacks at LL
*Shuttle back to Orlando 30 minutes after park close
*Dinner FF restaurant close to our hotel or pizza delivery
*Pick up items from local grocery for room (can drop mom and kids at hotel and do this on my own if they need to rest)

Monday September 23: IOA/WWoHP!! 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
*B in room/on way to park
*Leave room by 7:15 for early entry to WWoHP
*Dining plan CS Lunch
*OOP Dinner at Three Broomsticks

Tuesday September 24: US/CityWalk 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
*B in room/on way to park
*Leave room by 8:15 for park opening
*Dining plan CS Lunch*
*Dining plan TS Dinner at Finnegans 5:00 PM
*May or may not want to do early entry/park opening the next day. We can decide before bed.

Wednesday September 25: IOA/Travel
*B in room/on way to park
*Check out of hotel before leaving
*TS Lunch at Confiscoís Grille 2:00
*Use any remaining snack/beverage credits on way out of park or at CityWalk for trip home
*Leave UOR parking garage no later than 4:00 for airport, fill car with gas on way
*Return rental car
*Flight departs at 6:30
*Dinner in Atlanta during layover
*Arrive in STL at 10:42, call Sleep-n-park shuttle
*Check into sleep-n-park hotel for the night

Thursday September 26: Travel
*Free B at hotel
*Check out and drive home when we are all up and ready, no rush!

So, that's it, our trip in a nutshell. Let me know if you see any glaring issues that I need to address.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:51 AM   #171
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70 DAYS!!!!

I'm SOOOOOOOOOO excited for you!!! I cannot wait to hear all about it (and glean all your input/tips after you go) because I know I'll be heading to the darkside in the future!

Plans look fantastic!
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:26 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoboysnmygirl View Post
70 DAYS!!!!

I'm SOOOOOOOOOO excited for you!!! I cannot wait to hear all about it (and glean all your input/tips after you go) because I know I'll be heading to the darkside in the future!

Plans look fantastic!
Thanks!! And now the pushed becomes the pusher!
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #173
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Poor you - I HATE spending money on repairing things I already own. So glad the cost wasn't too bad and that you got to keep your trip! Your husband sounds like a good guy.
Can't wait to see the snapfish!
Dinner at 3 broomsticks. Sigh. Jealous! Harold and I decided to save our money and do Universal next time when they have their new additions. Toby can only do 2 of the rides so next time will be better but I'm still sad about it. Being responsible is no fun at all. I'll just have to live vicariously through your report to tide me over.
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:56 PM   #174
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are you driving or using the hotel shuttle to the darkside for those park days?
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:30 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alysa View Post
Poor you - I HATE spending money on repairing things I already own. So glad the cost wasn't too bad and that you got to keep your trip! Your husband sounds like a good guy.
Can't wait to see the snapfish!
Dinner at 3 broomsticks. Sigh. Jealous! Harold and I decided to save our money and do Universal next time when they have their new additions. Toby can only do 2 of the rides so next time will be better but I'm still sad about it. Being responsible is no fun at all. I'll just have to live vicariously through your report to tide me over.
Being responsible can be such a drag! I've waffled on this trip so many times. The relatively low cost of repairs makes it easier though.

It makes a lot of sense to wait if Toby can't ride much and the expansion sounds AMAZING so probably worth the wait. :

Yep, Robbie is a really great guy. :
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #176
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are you driving or using the hotel shuttle to the darkside for those park days?
We're driving. The hotel shuttles don't run for early entry and since we have the car anyway I want the flexibility of being able to take a break midday if we want. And when I ran my cost comparison I included parking so it's already in the budget.
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:39 PM   #177
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just make sure you give yourselves plenty for getting to the parking lot, parking and the walk to the parks.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:28 PM   #178
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just make sure you give yourselves plenty for getting to the parking lot, parking and the walk to the parks.
Our hotel is 15 minutes from the parks according to google maps. I've planned for at least 45 minutes (the times listed are the latest we should leave). Is this enough time?
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:32 AM   #179
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Touring Plans Day 1: LegoLand Florida

Time for touring plans! Our first full day in Florida we're heading to LegoLand. I started to just skip this day and go straight to my plans for the darkside but then I thought someone might be reading that would appreciate the info on LegoLand.

My kids are actually a little older than the target age range for this park but Jace LOVES Legos. He isn't really that into rides, especially thrill rides and generally enjoys the theming and shows found in theme parks more than anything else. So, even though the rides are pretty tame for most 14 year olds, I think just seeing all of the really cool builds is going to be enough for him.

From everything I've read Saturdays are busy with locals, like most theme parks. But unlike a lot of other parks the weekdays during the school year are also busy at LLF because a lot of school groups visit during the week. Sundays were deemed the best day to visit the parks by most of the regulars on the forum I joined to find info on this park.

Even though we'll have a car it was much cheaper for us to take the shuttle from Orlando that LLF offers. For $5 per person each way (plus tip) we won't have to worry about traffic, getting lost or parking. We have our seats reserved and will meet the shuttle at the Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland at 8:30 AM.

We'll have a full day because there's a lot we want to see and do. Thankfully park hours were extended for the week of our visit. Originally they were 10-5 but now the website is showing 9:30-6:00.

The numbers following attractions in parentheses indicate their priority for us, 1 being a MUST, 2 being really want to, 3 being it would be nice but is okay to skip if we're pressed for time. I don't know if we need to be this thorough now that the hours have been extended but we already had the plans made for a 7 hour park day.

I've excluded coasters because my kids don't like them. HOWEVER, the coasters at LL are kiddie coasters and the advice I've gotten from the forums is that they are comparable to Barnstormer. Jace says he may want to try one but he'll have to see when he actually sees them in the parks. I'm not holding my breath.

I've also included dining options in each individual land after reviewing menus. I have picky eaters plus dietary restrictions so it helps to know where we can eat around the park without being too locked in to having to be at a specific place when we get hungry.

Sunday September 22: LL (9:30-6)

World of Chima (This is the brand new land that just opened this month, heading here first to try to beat the crowds!)
-Quest for Chi (1)

Land of Adventure
-Safari Trek (1)
-Lost Kingdom Adventure (2)
-Food Option: BBQ Pit

Lego Kingdom
-Merlinís Challenge (3)
-Food Option: Castle Burger

Lego Technic
-Technicycle (3)
-Aquazone Racers (3)
-Food Options: Robot Pit Stop, Lakeside Sandwiches

Lego City
-Rescue Academy (2)
-Boating School (2)
-Big Test Live Show (2) (Try to see the first show of the day)

Leave these areas no later than 1:30

Imagination Zone
-WB Games Zone (1)
-Hero Factory (2)
-Build and Test (3)

Pirateís Cove

-Water Ski Show (1)
-Food Option: Brickbeardís Burgers

Cypress Gardens
-Botanical Gardens (1)

Leave this area no later than 3:30

Miniland (1)
-This is the area with extensive builds of city scapes, movie scenes, etc. The entire land is an attraction in and of itself.

Fun Town
-Grand Carousel (2)
-Greenhouse (1)
-4D Theater (2)
-Food Option: Pizza Pasta Buffet
-Grannyís Apple Fries for snack on the way out

Shopping/Pick up held items (1)

Back through The Beginning
-Island in the sky if time allows (3)

Be back to shuttle no later than 6:15

Pick up dinner near hotel in Orlando to take back to room
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #180
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I don't know what most of those things are, but as always, you are a master organizer/planner and put me to shame! Looks fun!!! I'm so excited for you.
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