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Old 09-12-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
choppee
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TERRIFIC TEN! A Birthday Celebration at the WORLD!!!!

Another trip report! And yes, I am glad to have the chance to do it all again. Who isn't glad about another trip to the World? I do believe that I have a small obsession about anything Disney and just for the record? Goofy is my favorite! I mean, the guy absolutely ROCKS.

Anyway, so this is my family's second time at WDW, although my hubby and I have gone before both separately as kids. When we went the first time as a couple/family we thought we had waited long enough. In other words, we felt like the kids were old enough to walk, communicate clearly, and eat on their own (Mommas out there, can you hear me?). When we got there though, we found out that we were wrong to have denied our kids (ourselves!) the chance to experience it before. The wasted years. Oh, well. Live and learn. Let me tell any of you out there with kids though that if you feel you want to do it, DO IT. Don't let anyone tell you differently. The memories aren't just for THEM, they are for YOU TOO.

Here's a picture of my kiddos. I have three. They are the sweetest kids in the world to me!

Okay, so back to the tale. Last time we went was in June 2011, and we waited another two years to go again--June 2013. Since we are teachers, summer time is the only time to go. We drove the last time we went, and while that was fine, I wanted to do something different...I wanted to take the train! Our youngest, we'll call him Fatdaddy (yes, I really call him that!) has always had a special affinity for trains, so this was our way of including him into the fun!

The end of school came and my students were all gone. It was countdown time! The school year ended for us on June 7th, and we were scheduled to catch the Amtrak train from Cary, NC on June 14th at around 9:30 pm. I was really looking forward to having a relaxing trip down without the frequent stops, whines and frustrations of traffic...we were going on a train!!! So cool. I had organized our trip down to the letter--train, tickets, hotel stay, everything! So why hadn't I gotten it together with the packing???

Yes, this is my stuff. Yes, I have too much. No, I'm not putting anything back. Lol! See the torn fabric by the pillow? That's me throwing the suitcase on the bed trying to rush to get my stuff altogether. Sigh.


The kids' stuff. We have three of them, and my hubby was trying to put all their stuff in one bag. Mwahahahaha! Ask me if he succeeded...nope! Pillows and blankets are for the train.


Here are two of the three...DD2 and DS. We'll call them Ladybug and Fatdaddy! They are wearing pants because I was worried that they would be cold on the train....ended up not being a big deal at all. We are a hot natured family, I guess...


The kids each packed their backpacks with books, snacks, drinks and coloring books. This was my idea to keep them occupied on the train. I needn't have worried! The novelty of being on a train was plenty exciting for them. DD1's stuff and hubby's shoes.


For some reason I totally forgot to take a picture of myself, hubby and DD1. So busy getting last minute stuff. Sorry! We are coming later...

So we locked up and made our way to the downtown Cary area. We had planned to eat at a local restaurant and then mosey over to the train station after dinner. I had a coupon for O'Mulligan's so we headed out there.


Nice place! Very friendly and homey. I was on vacation, so I got what I wanted. Can I say that this was DEEELISH! Perfectly cooked.


DH got the fish sandwhich...was also awesome. We're gonna have to come back! He swallowed this whole, nearly.

Fatdaddy got the chicken nuggets and fries. Pretty good, pretty much expected.


Ladybug got the grilled cheese.

DD1, the Munchkin, got the cheeseburger. Pretty good!


The kids finished early, and the hubs and I had ordered a glass of wine to take the edge off. The kids got interested in a golfing arcade game. They decided to give it a try. Some locals gave them direction and a hand.


Can you believe that they had a blast? I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it! Anyway...

So we left! It was getting late! We had a train to catch! We piled up in the van and went to the station! I was beginning to talk and think with exclamation points! VACATION!

We arrived at the Cary, NC train station. Drumroll, please. Yes. I am beginning to feel that hype. Notice the girls' shirts? I got those from an Orlando outlet last time we visited. Yeah. I'm that kind of planner....and they fit poifecktly.


We are here! We are here! I don't know who was more excited...me or the kids???


So we checked in. It was a quiet, peaceful process (soooo not like the circus in my head at that time!). The ticket counter was open and the agent was very friendly and took all our bags. We had three to check. I had brought an extra suitcase just in case our bags were too heavy...well, guess what? She reminded me that on trains, you can check two bags per person, NO CHARGE. I had struggled to underpack for nothing! So, I turned that lemon into a glass of lemonaid and checked in the empty bag. I knew we would get souvenirs and stuff. No need to repack or ship anything to ourselves! SCORE.

All checked in, we sat down to wait. We were told the train would be a little late. No prob. I gave the children a quick gift for reaching this point of the summer vacation...they all got goody bags!






They are filled with all kinds of Disney related stuff. Most of it is from the Dollar Store or Michael's...shhhhh!

The girls...

The sonny-boy!


This kept them occupied, and it was a good thing too, because after 30 minutes we were given an announcement that the train was going to be even later!!! When would we get on the train????? I'll let you know next post....

EDIT:

Here is a listing of each of the postings in case you are lazy like me and don't wanna read through all the conversations! Enjoy.

Chuggin' on down the lane!

Finally! In Orlando!

Dooooowwwnnntooowwwn!

Dooooowwwnnntooowwwn! Cont'd.

Whoops!

Vrrrrooooommm!!!

Is that Chip Foose????

OOOOHHHHHHHH!!! Looka THAT one!!!

Hotel Hoppin'!

Going to Africa!

Feelin' Magical

Totally fun, Totally TEN!

Meanwhile, Back at the Studios....

Birthday Lunch!

A Fantasmic Evening!

A Fantasmic Evening, cont.d

Come on in, cousins! pt 1

Come on in, cousins, cont.d pt 2

Come on in, cousins, cont.d pt 3

Come on in, cousins, cont.d pt 4

I really need more leis....short pic post

A most magical day

A most magical day pt 2

A most magical day pt 3

A most magical day pt 4

A most magical day pt 5

Doooowwwnntooowwwnn! Again!

Doooowwwnntooowwwnn! Again! pt 2

Finishing up! The End! Finally!

Finishing up! The End! Finally! pt 2

Last edited by choppee; 01-23-2014 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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Following along!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:58 AM   #3
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Hi! I can't wait to hear more about your vacation on the train and DW! Your kids are precious! The "Ten" caught me in the title. We are going to DW in Jan to celebrate my DD 10th b-day.

My Mom is a teacher. My heart goes out to you and your hubby! That is a tough job!
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TX Momof2 View Post
Hi! I can't wait to hear more about your vacation on the train and DW! Your kids are precious! The "Ten" caught me in the title. We are going to DW in Jan to celebrate my DD 10th b-day.

My Mom is a teacher. My heart goes out to you and your hubby! That is a tough job!
welcome! glad you could join! i've got a lot of pix to share. and you know what? we went because it was my oldest daughter's 10th birthday, hence terrific ten! her words! she is the one who named this trip. how funny is that?

and yes...thanks for the heartfelt sympathy! i enjoy teaching, but it is a hard job.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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Following along!
thank you for following along! i love to talk about our trips to disney! and i appreciate you interest
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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Chuggin' down the lane!

Okay. Okay, okay. Last time I posted we were at the train station. We were waiting patiently to board our train, which was late. Remember I told you that the train was supposed to be there around 9:30? Well, when we first arrived they told us it would be 30 minutes late which at first was no problem. BUT THEN.....

Look at the time!!! Really??? I'm trying to be patient, but the kids are getting antsy and hey, so am I! By the time I'm believing all the rumors about trains being late and unreliable there was an announcement made that the train was arriving to the station! Thank God!

We gathered our things. The kids began to hyperventilate, especially Fatdaddy. He was holding onto DH's hand and practically jumping out of the station. The agents had all the people line up and wait for the train to slow down. Forgive the crappy, dark pictures...holding pillows and blankets!

The train is slowing. Notice the sleeping car? The train stopped to board these people first. We didn't opt for a sleeping car...felt that we would be fine in the coach area....


Another view. And my husband's elbow. For your viewing pleasure..... I swear, I'm the worst for photos.




The kids are about to bust...but Fatdaddy is mad, because I won't stop taking pictures and let him board! If he had smiled, this would have been one of my favorite pix! Love my girlies' smiles!


During the boarding we were hurried in by the conductor. No pix! Sorry. I had a hard time holding onto all kinds of stuff and couldn't take a pic. We were seated all together and I immediately tucked my kiddies in. Remember, it was 10:30 when the train arrived, so by now it was around 11:00. Way past their bedtime! They were so excited it didn't really matter, but I wanted to have peace, so I had my way!

Ladybug has a sleeping mask...it was in the goodie bag! I had gotten the idea from someone else's trip report. Great idea, and the girls' LOVED the masks! The neck pillows were from Five Below. Score!


Here's the Munchkin. Note how far you can lean back....I was pleasantly surprised! Very comfy, even for my 6'1" husband!.


This is the interior of the train. See the length? Hubby is on the left. Since we are a family of five, there is always one man out. Since I am leery of strangers around our kids, we decided since he was big and strong he could fight off any monsters or psychopaths while I scuttled away with the kids. Okay, I decided!


This is Munchkin again, she is the birthday girl this trip! It will be her birthday on the 17th, and will become 10. She is the reason this TR is called Terrific Ten! She came up with that all by herself. She has her stuffed giraffe, Imani and decided she didn't want to sleep just yet. Too excited!


Ladybug heard us stirring and decided to see what was in her goody bag. I gave her permission to open ONE thing, and she decided to open up her Tinkerbell magnet doll kit! Yes! Only 2.99 at Michaels! SCORE. She loved this. Very much the girly-girl. Fatdaddy tried to stay awake to watch, but eventually fell asleep. The rocking of the train was hypnotic. We all eventually fell asleep.


Now, here's the thing. I had a great experience on the train and would do it again in a heartbeat. But DH, well, he had a seatmate that he thought was rather weird and strange. He's not sold on doing it again. Oh, well. I'm pretty sure that the seatmate thing is an anomaly and not the norm...maybe we'll get the chance to see, maybe not. Anyway....

We slept through the night like babies. I woke up around 8(I always do without an alarm) and saw the scenery still rushing by. We would be in Orlando in 2 hrs! I immediately rustled up some breakfast that we had brought along in a cooler. We had stopped by Dunkin' Donuts last night (forgot to mention that!) and had brought along a dozen doughnuts.


By the way, do you see the outlets? You can charge phones, laptops, anything! SOOOO cool....Munchkin had a star doughnut. She likes stars

The kids enjoyed switching around and sharing fun conversation. The girls shared a bit of time together watching the scenery....here they are discussing the palm trees! PALM TREES I say! You can really see the length and space of the seating when lounged out...sweet.


We are sooooo cool!


Up next... our arrival at our destination!
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:48 PM   #7
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joining!

What a fun idea to have the goodie bags to the kids!

We did the auto train down once (drive from Long Island to Virgina to catch the train) and it was fun, but we found we could not sleep in the regular chairs and had to get a sleeper for the ride back, and once we did that it was like the same price as flying.

This was decades ago though so perhaps they have made the regular chairs better b/c it looks like you were able to get pretty comfortable
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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Yay! It took all day to read, but I'm "caught up" now! haha! I love that you rode the train! I wish that that was an option for us!
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #9
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Joining in!
Your kids are all adorable!
I can't wait 'till you get to Disney!
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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Joining in! it sounds like fun. The bad thing about Ohio is the train takes almost longer than driving myself and does some weird routes. Plus I tend to get motion sickness, so I have that fear!
Can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:47 AM   #11
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joining!

What a fun idea to have the goodie bags to the kids!

We did the auto train down once (drive from Long Island to Virgina to catch the train) and it was fun, but we found we could not sleep in the regular chairs and had to get a sleeper for the ride back, and once we did that it was like the same price as flying.

This was decades ago though so perhaps they have made the regular chairs better b/c it looks like you were able to get pretty comfortable
the goodie bags were really fun to do...i worked on them months in advance. anytime i saw anything at the dollar store, i would grab it and throw it in the goodie bag. by the time we were ready to go, those bags were chock full of stuff, almost too much! but then again, how can you have too much disney???

we almost did the sleeper car thing too, but just decided to see how it would be with the regular chairs. me and the kids were fine. my hubby was fine, but thought he would prefer to have a sleeper car if we use the train again. i really enjoyed the train--no fuss, no stress. and affordable!
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:51 AM   #12
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Yay! It took all day to read, but I'm "caught up" now! haha! I love that you rode the train! I wish that that was an option for us!
so glad you could join in! i thought it would be a good way to introduce myself to you in case we end up on the same cruise in 2015! i am more than excited about THAT.

we live in durham, nc, so we are right by the eastern seaboard line. very convenient and fun. driving is okay as well since it's only a 7 hr drive, but we wanted to try something new. this ended up being a good choice! we could fly, but for us (a family of 5) this would be majorly expensive! do the math and you'll see what i mean. i'd rather spend that on souvenirs, dining, days at disney, etc.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:53 AM   #13
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Joining in!
Your kids are all adorable!
I can't wait 'till you get to Disney!
thanks for joining! i'm planning to share the disney arrival later on today! and thanks...i think they're pretty great too. i know i'm biased....
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:55 AM   #14
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Joining in! it sounds like fun. The bad thing about Ohio is the train takes almost longer than driving myself and does some weird routes. Plus I tend to get motion sickness, so I have that fear!
Can't wait to read more!
whooooo...i'm kind of intimidated, jenseib! your trip reports are WAY better than any i've done!

glad that you are joining!
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:56 AM   #15
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Finally in Orlando!!

Right on schedule, we arrived at the Orlando train station. It was kind of a small station near a hospital in the downtown area. I was originally afraid that it would be in a shady part of town, but I needn't worried. In the daytime hours at least, everything was fine. It looked kinda like it had a Spanish-style architecture. Nice enough! And anyway, we were finally here!


As soon as we arrived, we packed up and were allowed to leave the train. DH picked up our bags and waited outside with the kids while I went inside to get the keys for a car we had rented. It was a smaller car than I thought it would be, but it served our purposes. I added another day at the counter though...this was important because I realized that we would not be leaving Orlando until the 22nd at around 7 pm. We could use the day to run about, see the sights and take our time. It was only $30 more so I adjusted our package. No problem! But a word....this is a single counter with only the inventory previously arranged by reservations. In other words, they have no extra cars! If you don't like what you see, you're out of luck! We were fine, but I can see that this may be a problem for some.

The car rental counter. Notice it's pretty casually attended.

Interior of the station.


Our car.


Packing it in!



We packed up and we were off! Traffic was kinda bad, but we made good time. It was about noon. I can't remember if we stopped somewhere and ate, but we must have otherwise our kids would have died of hunger....

We arrived at our resort! We were offsite this trip because of a great deal from a friend's timeshare. But believe me, next time I AM ON WDW RESORT! The resort was really nice, though. We were at Orange Lake and it had a great pool area. Deeply important to the kids!

After a really SLOW check in, we arrived at our condo. I tried to take pix before we did the destruction thing...

Looking at the door from the front room.


The kitchen. Served its purpose. Lacked nothing!


Another kitchen angle.


The front room...I took this one later...forgot!


Laundry! Important. Very good.


Kids' bathroom. This was a 2br 2ba condo.


The kids' room! Notice the happy smile....glad to be with his sisters! These were queen beds. Great point about the rooms.


Master bathroom. Sorry about the destruction!




Master bedroom. King bed. Great for husbands who have karate dreams like mine.


We were all settled in! What to do next?

Next update: We go Downtown!
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