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Old 06-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #1
RachelNinja
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Weird and Ninja Shout Out to You! (updated on 10/17)

No, I am not pregnant.

I felt that I needed to start this trip report getting that out in the open before I get into the rest of what I have to say. This trip was definitely a memorable trip. On our last day, I was so close to tears thinking about how this might have been the FINAL trip that we take where it's just the two of us. When I wrote something like that in a caption for Instagram, all my friends commented on the picture exclaiming, "BABIES?!?" I guess I didn't clarify enough! I do believe that we'll be able to go back to WDW before we have kids, but we often go with my family as they have a timeshare in Kissimmee and we have tentative trips in 2015 with our friends and my cousins. However, who knows if the two of us will get to go on our own before we have kids!


The day I married my best friend, 5/19/12!

Now don't get me wrong; we are ecstatic about the idea of having kids. We joke about having twins named Luke and Leia all the time! When I see ideas for countdowns and Disney-themed movie nights for the kiddies, I stow them away in the back of my head and look forward to using them in the future. I smile thinking about the ability to see the parks through the eyes of our offspring while knowing that Howard will be snapping away so that we have these memories in photographs. However, as much as people say it's fun to have a family and go to WDW, I feel that Howard and I are a family already even with just the two of us, so we're enjoying these "solo duo" trips while we can. After our Disneymoon and our Christmas trip, we had to tell so many people that we weren't ready to have little ones yet, and a handful of them said, "You need to go to WDW at least one more time by yourselves!" It just felt as if this was the "one more time," so that's why I felt a little bit of sadness as it MIGHT be a goodbye to the way things were and a hello to a new way of touring the parks.

With that being said, I think it's extremely important to document this trip here on DIS! I actually never wrote a TR for 3 trips that we've been on since I joined DIS, but maybe I'll do a combined report after this one is done and I'm waiting for our next vacation!


Jotting down some TR notes during our trip in April 2012

Rachel
That's me!

Right now I'm a homemaker, which is unusual to say considering I'm a 29-year old living in NYC. Nowadays, both spouses usually need to work especially living where we do, but thankfully, I was able to take some time off. I taught math and English in middle school for 6 years, but I felt so overworked and underpaid that I wanted to leave. I prayed about it for quite some time throughout my 5th year, but it wasn't until my 6th year where I believe God said it was okay to go. I actually worked at a doctor's office doing administrative work for a brief moment last year after I left teaching, but with that opportunity, I realized that I didn't feel satisfied doing that kind of work AND I just didn't feel as if it was right fit for me. I was clearly spoiled having gotten to know my colleagues at my former school as friends; I cried with them and shared life's joys with them. In fact, when I knew I was leaving that job, I actually cried to my mentor saying that I wanted to be able to walk through the academy's doors and tell them all that I was pregnant! Despite the frustrations, I was satisfied knowing that I was able to hopefully positively affect my students' lives.

It seems so simple writing it all here, but this was months and months of tears and feeling as if I were being pulled in two different directions, but now that it's all said and done, I will be returning to my school to teach again if they'll have me back! I do believe that God answered my prayers and said it was okay to leave because He wanted to show me where I truly belonged and that He had given me the gift of teaching. I was kind of throwing it away by wanting to go elsewhere and do something else, but I needed to be away from it to realize it.

Having this year off was also good for my mental health and physical health as well. I have a plethora of health issues that have affected Disney trips in the past, but I was HEALTHY throughout this trip and able to enjoy every moment of it! I didn't have any nausea, gastrointestinal situations, reflux, or issues with my vasovagal syncope and fainting. Other than a headache or two, this was an amazing trip.

I know most people write their introductions and focus more on their favorite movies, characters, and rides, but I feel that my job and health situation is a better way to describe myself and help you understand who I am in terms of reading this trip report! I mean, there's so much more than that, like the fact that I'm a papercrafter and a couponer. In short though, my FAVORITE thing in all of Disney World is looking at ride vehicles and examining how they move on the tracks. Haha, is that odd? If you've read my previous TRs, that's nothing new for you!


Snapping pictures throughout all trips including this one in December 2012

Howard
My 28-year old best friend and husband! When writing, I often refer to him as "hubs." He's HowWeird here on DIS.

Despite being married for over two years at this point, I still get excited writing that this guy is my best friend AND husband! It doesn't get old! I am so blessed to have been able to marry an amazing man. Seriously, he is beyond patient with me and so caring. Case in point? You know how some people start to get a little grouchy when they need to eat? Yeah, that's me. Howard doesn't take offense when I start losing my Disney cheerfulness because I need some food. As patient as he is with me though, he does get annoyed at strangers when they're inconsiderate or just downright rude. I've been learning that it seems to be more of a male vs. female thing though based on what I've observed in my family. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that women have more issues when people they know personally say or do something offensive, but men have more issues with strangers while out and about or driving.

Huh, this is starting to sound more like a sociological commentary as opposed to an introduction of the hubs. Maybe I should ask him to write his intro! Howard just started a new job setting up video conferences and other AV stuff at a well-known bank in NYC at the beginning of 2013 that is a much better fit than what he did beforehand at his former college. I am so proud of who he is when he works because he doesn't like slacking off and will look for more things to do if there's a moment of downtime. He does have an earlier shift though, so he leaves the apartment around 5:30am, but that means he gets to leave around 3pm! When he gets home, he's still just a big kid though, and we just laugh about the most ridiculous things. Why not have fun when making dinner and breaking down boxes for recycling? Why not burst out into song and dance when hanging up laundry or washing dishes? If we can have so much fun while doing mundane things, imagine how much fun we have in Disney World!

Howard's favorite thing in Disney World is taking pictures! He really appreciates great photography, and being in WDW is the best place for him to practice this skill since he doesn't get to do much shooting here at home. In the same way that I love ride vehicles/track, Howard adores light fixtures and other details like that. I think it's amazing that even with both of us there trip after trip, we STILL find new things that we haven't seen before. It really helps that he loves pictures so much because I have a ton to use here on DIS.


Waiting at the AKL bus stop during our Disneymoon in May 2012

Each time we get to go to Disney World together, I'm so grateful for the chance. This is our SEVENTH trip together! We went in April 2010 with my family, Feb 2011 with friends and my cousins, April 2012 with my family, May 2012 for our Disneymoon (Animal Kingdom Lodge), Dec 2012 by ourselves (Pop Century), and June 2013 with my family once again. As you can see, when it's just the two of us, we get to stay on property. I do very much enjoy my parents' timeshare, but having the freedom to just hop on a bus to go wherever we want allows us to have a completely different vacation experience.

And THIS vacation (January 25-31, 2014), whether it's our "last" vacation for just the two of us or not, was fantastic and magical. We hadn't expected to be able to go back this year. The original plan was to go to the timeshare with my cousins from our 2011 trip, but due to financial issues (Danielle's saving money to record music, and Nikki is getting married this year!), we pushed it back again. In December, Howard started pricing a trip because he got an email about some good deals. He came home from work and talked about it very casually since his Jet Blue points would cover the majority of our flights and we both had many days left on our 10-day no expiration tickets. It would really only be the cost of the resort. We initially thought about staying at Art of Animation, but I contacted Jennifer (Jennifer48) here on DIS to look into prices for us for that and Pop Century. We had never used a travel agent before, but I figured it'd be beneficial for her to book it for us and I'm all about helping out Disney friends! We emailed back and forth about it, and before we knew it, we ended up booking for Pop!


Enjoying the TTA during a hot summer trip in June 2013

We really couldn't believe that we were going to go, and we have tons of stories, pictures, and videos to share! Let's get started! I hope you guys are here for the long haul!

Oh, and MeMom, you can keep those quarters in that piggy bank for a bit longer because if possible, we'd still like to have another "one last trip"!

Table of Contents

Pre-Trip
Be Prepared!

Saturday, January 25 - Travel Day
Travel with My Version of "Magic" Bands
SNACKS on a Plane
Enjoying an MCO Chik-fil-A Picnic
The Most Magical Bus Ride in ALL the Land!
It Doesn't Matter 'Bout the Car I Drive or the Ice Around My Neck
Art of Animation Tour: Cars (continued) (continued)
Art of Animation Tour: Lion King
Art of Animation Tour: The Little Mermaid (continued)
Returning "Home"
Going to the Polynesian
Reporting for Eating Duty, Captain Cook!
Enjoying the Poly Before Journeying Home (continued)
A Magic Kingdom Morning

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Always the Weird to my Ninja

Weird and Ninja Shout Out to You (Jan '15 TR in progress) // Mr. and Mrs. Weak Sauce Go the Distance (May '12 Disneymoon TR) // Delicious Indeed! (Feb '11 TR) // Saving Dole Whip Float Money (Feb '11 PTR) // Weird and Ninja’s Pre-Disneymoon (April '10 TR) // It's Better Than Stuffed Mezzaluna with Sausage! (April '10 PTR) // A DISer's Trip of Firsts! (Feb '08 TR) // The Flat Adventures of Weird and Ninja! (Living the Life Outside of VMK)

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Last edited by RachelNinja; 10-17-2014 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
Jennifer48
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Oh man your TR intro made me giggle! I don't think I've read another one that started off with "No, I am not pregnant."

So glad you are writing another TR! Since DH & I have had our last 'pre-kids' trip, I'm looking forward to reading yours. I am excited to bring our future Prince Charming to WDW for his first trip though!
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:32 AM   #3
RachelNinja
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Be Prepared!

A few weeks leading up to our vacation, I slowly began to prepare for our vacation with some trips to the supermarket. I wanted to purchase a few food items on sale with coupons, of course. Howard and I had decided not to do a Garden Grocer order like we had on our previous two trips staying on property, so that meant we wouldn't have milk for cereal or breakfast sandwiches in the morning. Instead of what we've normally done, I purchased Special K Pastry Crisps in Strawberry, Special K Cereal Bars in "Chocolatey Pretzel," and Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits in both Blueberry and Honey.

Twitter: Gotta save some money so I purchased cereal bars and granola bars for our breakfasts.



This was a good move because it helped us save money since we didn't have to buy food at the resort for breakfast AND it helped us save time. In the past, we had to eat the cereal in the room, of course, but this time, we were able to grab our breakfast and eat it while waiting for the bus. We prefer eating lunch really early, so it was just enough to get us going in the morning. Plus, I would highly recommend each of the items we had. They were very good and much better than regular granola bars that can be difficult to eat because they can be so crunchy and a little dry. I'd definitely do it this way again.

We had our breakfast, but we still needed drinks! That was the main reason for using Garden Grocer in the past, but I asked for help on a Disney Facebook page, and I instead decided to switch to ordering from Staples! A case of 24 bottles of water was only $5.99, so we chose to "splurge" on the drinks by getting a case of 12 bottles of Honest Tea for $22.99. I found a code for $5 off $25 breakroom purchase and Staples offers free shipping for orders over $20! What? Score! It only cost $23.98 for drinks for the entire week. It made more sense than getting refillable mugs, which is something we considered for a few days. It really helps to just have an order sent to the resort to save some cash. Yeah, it would've been cheaper buying it on sale and with coupons here at home, but in comparison to having to purchase drinks at each meal, it was definitely a bargain. I also liked that Staples sends your order in one business day, so I didn't have to place the order so early and worry about it getting there on time or Pop having to hold it for too long.

Another thing that had to be done in preparation for this trip was laundry. It required a few days since we have the tiniest drum ever with a broken dryer, so I have to hang everything up to dry. That was FUN laundry though because once it was dry, I started piling things into our luggage! But as we checked the weather over and over again, we noticed that the temperatures were dropping the week we were there. The week before and the week after, the temperatures were in the upper 70s and even in the 80s! We had much cooler temperatures with low 60s or so. The night before we left, we swapped the bulk of our t-shirts for long-sleeved waffles. I also decided to bring 3 "coat" layers: my thin fleece, my light gray Tinkerbell hoodie, and my HEAVY "guy" hoodie (why are guys' clothes warmer than girls' clothing?). After being freezing cold during our Christmas trip in 2012, I wanted to be prepared.

Twitter: Just washed our hoodies that we're taking to DISNEY WORLD in THREE DAYS!!!

With the cold, there would also be rain, so we decided to pack umbrellas this time instead of use ponchos. Once we had this trip planned, I actually thought about purchasing flat canvas sneakers from Payless to pair with my skinny jeans. Now that the trip is over, I'm super glad I didn't because (1) the canvas sneakers wouldn't have been comfortable for my feet for open to close park touring, (2) the sneakers would have gotten soaking wet in the rain, and (3) my skinny jeans would have left part of my ankles exposed to the cold! So this might not have been the most stylish of trips, but really, if you know, since when I am a fashionable girl?

I did, however, have BOWS for the trips! Howard bought 3 Disney-themed bows for me from abowtique shop on Etsy, and I purchased a few fabric ones from Little Blue Garden on Etsy. I was excited to accessorize in that way. If you read my blog, you already saw what I wore, and I'm already eager to wear them again in the future.

Once we finished packing all our items, I stood there in front of our two suitcases and asked Howard, "Are we missing anything?" We had SO much room left! It was actually a little nerve-wracking because I was convinced we were forgetting things, so I went through the list with a fine tooth comb MANY times, but we still had room! It was easier for us though since we were able to put all the Vinylmation and pins in there instead of keeping them in our carry-ons.

Speaking of our carry-ons, this was the first trip in a while where I was actually going to be using a backpack instead of my LL Bean tote bag. I also did not bring my Le Sportsac crossbody bag for the parks since I needed to be able to carry some drinks, my umbrella, and layers for the cold if I needed it. It was definitely so different having a lot more weight on my shoulders, but it was definitely needed. Being able to use the umbrellas that I held on the mesh bottle holder on the outside made the rain less bothersome. I also carried my scarf with me, and there were days that I really needed it! It was definitely different touring with such a large bag, but that's what you have to do when you go to Disney in January!

A big thing that we had to do in preparation was go through our Vinylmation and pins to decide which ones to bring to trade. I also wanted to take a quick inventory to know which pins I needed and what I already had. I'm probably not the only one who has excitedly traded for a pin that I later found out I had already! From the Toy Story Midway Mania prize pins, I only needed the armadillo to complete the set and from the Nerds pins, I needed Mickey and Chip.







The last part of a girl's preparation is doing her nails! If I didn't have time to do it, it wasn't that big of a deal. But I hadn't done my nails in so long, so I was hoping to get a chance. I couldn't sleep two nights before our departure day, so I painted them at 4 in the morning. I have a ton of colors to choose from, and these were just a few I was considering.

Twitter: Deciding what color to do my nails since I haven't been able to sleep for the past 2 hrs!!!



Twitter: Out of the colors I had to choose from this morning, I picked this because of the name! Getting ready for WDW!



I chose Wet 'n Wild's "On a Trip" because I just thought the name was very fitting. I also used Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer Polka Dots in Clearly Spotted on top. I loved the look especially with the addition of the tiny hexagons! I was hoping it'd last throughout the entire trip, but I did bring some more top coat with me to apply during the trip if necessary.

Okay, enough of the preparation talk. It's time to go!
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Weird and Ninja Shout Out to You (Jan '15 TR in progress) // Mr. and Mrs. Weak Sauce Go the Distance (May '12 Disneymoon TR) // Delicious Indeed! (Feb '11 TR) // Saving Dole Whip Float Money (Feb '11 PTR) // Weird and Ninja’s Pre-Disneymoon (April '10 TR) // It's Better Than Stuffed Mezzaluna with Sausage! (April '10 PTR) // A DISer's Trip of Firsts! (Feb '08 TR) // The Flat Adventures of Weird and Ninja! (Living the Life Outside of VMK)

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Old 06-04-2014, 11:35 AM   #4
RachelNinja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
Oh man your TR intro made me giggle! I don't think I've read another one that started off with "No, I am not pregnant."

So glad you are writing another TR! Since DH & I have had our last 'pre-kids' trip, I'm looking forward to reading yours. I am excited to bring our future Prince Charming to WDW for his first trip though!
Yay! My first reader! Haha, this got me so excited.

Yeah, I get two questions ALL the time these days.
#1: "Are you pregnant?" or "Are you going to have a baby?"
#2: "Are you coming back in September?" (I haven't actually told anyone that that's my plan)

I too am looking forward to seeing how your future trips change with your little one! I'll definitely experience it through your eyes first!
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Always the Weird to my Ninja

Weird and Ninja Shout Out to You (Jan '15 TR in progress) // Mr. and Mrs. Weak Sauce Go the Distance (May '12 Disneymoon TR) // Delicious Indeed! (Feb '11 TR) // Saving Dole Whip Float Money (Feb '11 PTR) // Weird and Ninja’s Pre-Disneymoon (April '10 TR) // It's Better Than Stuffed Mezzaluna with Sausage! (April '10 PTR) // A DISer's Trip of Firsts! (Feb '08 TR) // The Flat Adventures of Weird and Ninja! (Living the Life Outside of VMK)

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Old 06-04-2014, 11:43 AM   #5
wigdoutdismom
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Reading along, Rachel!!!
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:46 AM   #6
CarlaLovesDisney
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You guys are so adorable! Reading along
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:03 PM   #7
HappyHaunts999
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Looking forward to reading this TR. Things really do change as time and family change. My first trip was just Michael and I for one day at MK. Then when Sam was three and my last trip was solo. Still finding new things each trip.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelNinja View Post
Oh, and MeMom, you can keep those quarters in that piggy bank for a bit longer because if possible, we'd still like to have another "one last trip"!


Safely put away, but ready and waiting when the time is right. We'll be throwing quarters on July 16th for whoever needs them. That fountain grants other wishes - jobs, new houses, etc. - not just babies. Although the baby ones, when they come true, are the most exciting!
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Over the river and through the FUN! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post29060069
A Ten Day Ride on a Magic Camel www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1869591
Baby and the Tramp...and a Pop Half Century www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1470678


We've stayed at Pop Century, All Star Sports, All Star Movies, All Star Music, French Quarter, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation, Beach Club, Vero Beach, Kidani Village and Saratoga Springs - many trips, and many wonderful, magical memories made.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
klacey1
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Hey Rachel!! I'm glad I got in on this trip from the very beginning! Love the colors on your nails; can't wait to read more!
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:34 PM   #10
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I'm here!!! Love the "No I'm Not Pregnant!" I would so put that in mine too! It's funny because when I had gained all of that weight the past two year I got asked all the time if I was. Um no! I'm just fat! LOL. Can't wait to read more! And what a great idea about bringing the the breakfast bars! I might actually bring some for this trip since we are eating some later breakfasts in order to eat at some signature restaurants.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:44 PM   #11
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I'm here! Can't wait to hear everything. I was so sad that we just missed each other.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:46 PM   #12
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Hooray for a new TR!!

First, I LOVE your nails! That combo is so pretty!!

Second, I love your intro. Even though I read all your reports, it's nice to kind of "catch up" with the person writing the TR. My husband (37) and I (32) are not having children (and have told everyone this), but we still get the questions or that "Hopefully God has another plan for us". Which would be fine, but let that be God's decision and not your wishful thinking .

Looking forward to reading more! While I love our trips with my family, I absolutely adore trips with just me and my hubs!! They're just so much more relaxing and easy-going.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:37 PM   #13
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Ahh yes - my FB messenger was going off all day at work today, so thanks for the heads - up! Totally looking forward to your newest TR! I love how how you are still so much in love with Howard.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:50 PM   #14
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Happy to see another TR from you! I really like your nails - very cool! Hoping things work out for you going back to your school.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:56 PM   #15
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When I got married, my Paster told my husband and I that we were now a family-the family does not start when you have kids, it just grows!

Couple-only time is very important, even at Disney. A couple of months ago the two of us got to have a three day weekend at Disney. We ate where we wanted, road whatever we wanted (Thunder Mountain four times in a row!)

We love taking our daughter, but we also love having "us" time.

All this to say, I understand where the potential sadness is coming from.

Looking forward to the rest of your trip report!
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