All You Need is Love: an offsite, non-Disney PTR (counting down to May 2018)

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. I-4Bound

    I-4Bound Mouseketeer

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    Sorry to hear you have been under the weather! I works for pulmonologists and can attests to the attest to the fact that respiratory crud is EVERYWHERE right now.

    Bummer about your friends backing out on the trip! We have tried several times to vacation with friends and family members, and it's always a sticky wicket. It's usually either the best of times or the worst! We tried to get my BIL and SIL and family to join us last year, but our vacation/touring strategies are so vastly different, I knew it wouldn't work out. My MIL has joined us for the last few years, but she is very easygoing and likes pretty much all the same restaurants/activities we do (plus she splits the cost of the rental house - score!).

    I hope next week is a better one for all the Bo-Binas! :flower1:
     
  2. Monykalyn

    Monykalyn DIS Veteran

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    Hope the meds work quickly and you do feel better soon.

    I agree on the "pick your park". It's too hard to do most parks in just a day or two and feel like you have really experienced it. Not to mention expensive! We may be tacking Universal on to June trip, but Disney already paid for, and the second week would be in our timeshare, so the expense will be in the ticket.

    Great price for the gatorland tickets. I'm going to keep looking for a groupon for the zip line good for when we go.
     
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  4. got4boys

    got4boys Mouseketeer

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    Just found this pre-trip report. Welcome back Gina! I love your trip reports. Hope you feel better.
     
  5. disney ny

    disney ny Mouseketeer

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    I haven't been on in so long so I was so excited to return to the boards the other day and look for a trip report from you. It was the first thing I did and I thought to myself how strange it is that I've been reading about this person's life for so many years now and are this excited to see what they are up to lol. I feel like a mama all proud of what a great boy your Jake has turned into since I feel like we've got to see him grow up and I was so heart broken to read your last few posts. This mom will have no sympathy if some girl ever breaks my little man's heart and I'm sure you are hurting too. It's hard not to lose your faith in people in general sometimes.
    Anyway I also wanted you to know I thought of you and your trip reports several times when we were in Orlando this summer. I thought to myself how proud you would be that we ventured off Disney property to Legoland and saw some of that other side of Orlando! I may have even mentioned you and my other Disboards trip report "friends" a few times on the trip. The family thinks it is hilarious I call these strangers I read about "friends" but for crying out loud I have a lot of hours invested in my "friends" and I'm pretty sure I know them and their families very well! I'm pretty sure you would all be just as amazing in "real life" too. I can't wait to read about your adventures this time and I'm so glad you are settling into life on this side of the border. I hope you are getting to eat at all of those American favorites!
     
  6. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    I will definitely have to check out the trip report you did! Do you have a link that you wouldn't mind sharing here? I am sure some of my readers would also like to check it out, too :thumbsup2.

    And isn't Discovery Cove just amazing? :cloud9: I absolutely cannot WAIT to go back in May. I am glad you had a wonderful experience there!

    Sometimes I need to double check myself, because I've been known to apply "Orlando Math" (where I can 'justify' any expense for an attraction I really want to visit :o ). But those SeaWorld AP's can really be a good savings vessel, too!

    It's never too soon to plan another trip ;). Our first visit to DC in 2012 was supposed to be a "once in a lifetime" experience.....and now we are readying for our 6th time there!! :blush:

    Hey, we can plan together then!! :cool1: Come on, May!
    And a big :welcome: aboard, too! Glad to have you along :goodvibes.

    My mom has a million of those sayings. Every time one pops out of my mouth, I'm like.....whoa :eek:. That's my momma talking, right there.

    So when do you leave for your fun-in-the-sun trip? If the suitcases are out, and the packing has started, it has to be soon. I'm jealous ::yes::. I'm so done with this cold weather.

    You'll be at the resort the EXACT same time as us?!?!? Well, we will absolutely have to at least meet up to say hello ::yes::.

    Definitely use the Diamond Lane form (available online) to submit your special requests for room needs about 2 weeks prior to your arrival. Be sure to request either a ground floor villa, or one in Cascades or Lakes (both those sections have elevators). I'm partial to Fountains, but that's where we own. That side of the resort tends to be quieter and feels a lot more "tranquil" to us, which holds a great appeal when we're on vacation. We also like the Fountains pool best of any pool at SVR.

    Have you checked out @bankr63 's awesome thread on SVR? It's a GREAT resource on all things Vistana. Definitely let me know if you need the link to find it, because its chock full of everything you need to know before you arrive.

    March 2019 sounds like a great idea ::yes::. Maybe the perfect time to give Discovery Cove (and the SeaWorld parks) a try? :scratchin

    Hopefully the weather will be a little less frosty when your Universal trip rolls around in a few weeks. I hear it's been awfully chilly in the Sunshine State as of late!!

    :welcome: Come back and join in anytime you are free!

    Thank you all :grouphug:. Jake is doing pretty well, all things considered. He has the most incredible circle of friends, and they've reached out to him in droves this week and surrounded him in love......which has just warmed my heart so incredibly much, you can't even imagine. He and Steve and I have talked a million times this week, and he's picking up the pieces quite effectively. He's quite an awesome young man, that boy. I am so unbelievably proud of him.

    His birthday was Thursday. What a difference 22 years makes.

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    Okay, so this time we absolutely MUST make a Dismeet work....even if its just for a drink somewhere!! Which parks are on the itinerary for you guys for May? Disney, Universal or both?

    Fingers crossed that this year's weather is equally as wonderful as last's. Sunshine and warm temps for both of us :sunny: .

    I hope Jake finally gets some answers from her at some point, too. He deserves that, at the very least.
     
  7. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. I appreciate all your kind words.

    I am so glad you enjoyed Sweet Tomatoes!! It is so nice to have a fresh, healthy meal (that's still crazy delicious) in the midst of the vacation indulgences. I so wish we had that chain here in Michigan....I'd be there every week.

    We have two Disney meals planned for our May trip, and honestly, I'm trying to determine if I should keep the ADR's or just find better value options offsite. They're two meals we have never done before......Boma (for breakfast) and Ohana (for dinner). A great experience can justify the price tag, but a mediocre one will have us regretting the money spent. Good thing I have a few months to decide :cool:.

    Yep, it royally stinks. Took all my strength not to just hop on the first train from Windsor. But, we hope to both venture home in a few weeks to spend a couple of days with him.

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    Thank you all :grouphug:.

    I guess being a healthy, effective communicator isn't everyone's gifting......though I have to wonder why schools don't teach those skills right alongside math, science and art. I agree that sooner rather than later is better if the relationship wasn't on the right track (at least for her), but I still firmly believe you can do things in such a way that minimizes the hurt to the other person. But, I'm also the momma bear and that's my little cub that had his heart broken. My bias is definitely showing.

    Thank you, my friend, for your input regarding our ticket purchases :hug:. I always welcome and value your feedback. And I hope you'll have some time to join us for dinner again one night while we're in town.

    Gatorland has been at the Vistana on every single one of our trips, but would you know, we've never seen their show there yet??? For whatever reason, its always on a day that we're at one of the theme parks. Another reason we need a "resort only" trip this fall ::yes:: ..... we really need to enjoy all the great things that SVR offers to its guests.

    Steve would LOVE to do the zipline, but alas.....he (*cough cough*) exceeds the weight limit by a pound or two :rolleyes1. And when the line goes over the gator swamp, I suppose fudging the numbers a little probably isn't a good idea :p.

    That surprises me!! I never pegged you to be a Gatorland girl!

    Oh man, I've been sleepless all week....don't tell me that these pills will make my current state of insomnia even worse :crazy2:. I already have bags under my eyes big enough to pack my groceries in!! :scared1:
     
  8. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Steve said the same thing.....it might actually be a blessing in disguise that Robin and Wayne decided to take a pass. It's a very "easy" trip when its just the two of us, and easy is awfully appealing right now. I suppose if we couldn't even agree on the planning details, the actual trip may not have gone much more smoothly, either!!

    That was the other thing I tried to warn Robin about.....a major theme park a day, every day, for their entire trip would have them totally exhausted (especially if its hot and humid) by the time they went home. I know they have NO idea just how large the theme parks are, and how much that Florida weather can just suck the life out of a person when combined with the miles and miles of walking, the vacation excitement, and all the unhealthy crap you eat while you're there. But, I guess we all need to make those mistakes ourselves on the first trip, don't we? We certainly did it all wrong the first few times. Experience is the best teacher.

    Thank you! :goodvibes

    Thank you SO much :goodvibes. What a wonderfully kind post. It makes my heart swell to have such great support from all of you here on the boards.

    I know EXACTLY what you mean about considering people here on the Dis as 'friends'. I feel the exact same way! And you know, I've been blessed to meet up with many of the great folks that post here, and every single one of them was even more wonderful in person than I expected they would be....and that's saying something, because I all thought they were pretty awesome in their posts! I think you have to be here to 'get it'. Outside of Steve and Jake, most of my other friends and family think I'm nuts to spend so much time on an online message board.

    I am beyond thrilled to hear that I inspired you to check out some of the "Other Side' of Orlando!! And you've done something that I haven't even experienced yet......no Legoland to date for this girl (though I will surely take a grandbaby there some day, I'm sure). It's such a fun city, with so many fun attractions outside of the major theme park families. I hope your fun day at Legoland has inspired you to seek out more non-Disney, non-Universal adventures on your next trip to Orlando, too!

    We are definitely enjoying all the awesome American chains here in SE Michigan ::yes::. It is still such a novelty to have Olive Garden, Chili's, Red Robin, Steak & Shake, and a bucket-load of other US favorites all within five or ten minutes from our front door. I'm not sure that will ever feel "normal" to me!!
     
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  9. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Countdown update: 111 days to go :hourglass
     
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  10. Monykalyn

    Monykalyn DIS Veteran

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    You'd think some of us would learn right?:rotfl: Actually-the 2014 trip was our learning curve-too much, too little time left me wanting more. Which is why I immediately booked for 2015. Then took the next 6 months to convince my DH it was HIS idea to go back, then convince him 2 weeks were optimal...and why AP to Disney made sense for us this past year -->well-we have til August before those big boys expire...and I have a trip booked in June...and I just looked for our timeshare for second week and Sheraton Vistana Villages is available:rolleyes1. I did put in request for my "unicorn" of Marriott Lakeshore Reserve though. And it was DH idea for Universal annual passes...reminds me I need to look at the different levels and put budget together!

    I've been going to Steak n Shake for years, but I have a new appreciation now after your trip reports!

    Wow your countdown is getting close to double digits!

    And I think the steroids helping the breathing/energy will out weigh any less sleep you may get. Although I am always ravenously hungry when on steroids! The downside to being able to breathe:D:P
     
  11. I-4Bound

    I-4Bound Mouseketeer

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    We have been to Obama 2 or 3 times for dinner and loved it each time! It is way too expensive, but we were celebrating our anniversary, so it was a nice splurge. I want to go back in June if we can get a reservation.
     
  12. Mrs Doubtfire

    Mrs Doubtfire DIS Veteran

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    I hope you're feeling better Gina and wrapping your head around the 'new' trip for2. You and steve will have a great time together. Hopefully your run of luck is now set to improve :goodvibes

    Have you had 3? totally not the same but before Christmas we had the microwave, washer and dishwasher break. The new year has seen a leaking tap, broken shower and a cracked window. The Florida holiday seems like a dream at the minute so it's great to be following your plans.
     
  13. dancin Disney style

    dancin Disney style <font color=blue>I found one to share with some fa

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    Ok...so way too much to quote/delete

    The vacay is only 21 days away. To say I'm excited is probably an understatement. I don't think it's the weather making me feel that way....it might if I had been having to go out to work everyday. It's the fact that I found a brand new, luxury resort and because it's so new (opened Dec.1) the prices were rather low. check it out.....https://www.hotelxcaret.com/en/ I'm pretty sure that I will never be able to afford this place again. The price is rapidly climbing on a daily basis and now approaching double what I paid.

    On the work front....I'm still off and we are going into week 4. I've gotten past the lost revenue(it's gone, can't get it back) and now stressing about getting the work caught up before I go away. If I have to go away leaving a back log I will not feel good at all. At this point the best I can hope for is getting back to work on the 19th but it is literally a day to day thing.

    Philosophising...that's a good one. I'm not at all the person with wisdom. Wish I was. Could really use some right now too....I'm dealing with a nephew who is in a world of trouble at the moment. I get to have my first experience in bail court tomorrow....first experience in court period.

    Gatorland....I went as a kid on our very first trip to FL. I was five and it is one of those things that stuck in my memory. I didn't go again until about 4 years ago. I had been wanting to go for years just to see if it was the way I remembered it. We had a great time but unfortunately it started pouring rain so we only saw half the park. I find gators fascinating and loved the ponds at the front where there are dozens of them.
     
  14. momof2gr8kids

    momof2gr8kids DIS Veteran

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    Aww Gina, I was so excited for your family, catching up on this trip report, then sad to read about Jake. I'm glad he's got a great support system and happy you have your upcoming trip to plan to help you keep your mind off of it!

    As someone else mentioned, you also inspired me to see the other side of Orlando. Not sure when our next trip will be, but will definitely have to give Discovery Cove a second look. My daughter wants to save the environment and animals and is planning on some kind of education and career in that field, so something with the Manatees is on my list as well. She's going to Sri Lanka this summer for her grade 12 biology credit, visiting an elephant orphanage and experiencing some national park safaris, so I have a feeling Orlando theme parks will be at the bottom of her travel list once she experiences that! Lol
     
  15. JenLanDisney

    JenLanDisney Mouseketeer

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    Wow, momof2gr8kids, what an amazing opportunity for her!
     
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  16. Lisa0620

    Lisa0620 Mouseketeer

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    Hi Gina,
    I don't usually post, but always enjoy your reports. I started reading and was so surprised that you are now fellow Michiganders! Welcome to MI! My first thought was - but we won't get to hear your crazy park-n-fly stories anymore! As the mom of two boys I read your first posts with excitement and the last with great sadness and empathy. I think you were terribly gracious, considering. Whatever consolation it is I really think women near college age haven't figured out yet that a kind man is a catch. My DH was always in the friend zone with women he knew in college which I've always been really grateful for, since he was miraculously still single when I met him at 28! I think somewhere out there is a better match who will truly appreciate your sweet son... :grouphug:
     
  17. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    I finally found the PTR!!

    I will say- hopefully you are feeling better, and I'm really sorry to hear about Jake
     
  18. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

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    I just read your latest update. What a terrible week this has been for you. I do hope you are feeling better now. As someone else mentioned , the steroids can be a necessary evil. They make me sleepless and anxious but they will help you heal quicker. I hope this week turns out to be much better. Happy Belated Birthday to Jake.:)
     
  19. bobbie68

    bobbie68 DIS Veteran

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    https://www.disboards.com/threads/awesome-day-at-dc-trip-report-with-pics.3646195/

    Hi Gina I hope my link worked!

    I just caught up with your posts. I am so sorry to hear about your son and his break-up. I agree it is horrible as a parent to see your child going through so much pain and you can't help but just being there for him in any way.
    I agree it's better it happened now but she absolutely should have given him some kind of reason to why. There is no reason to do that to him. I make sure I teach my DD 16 about how to treat someone with respect, morals and values. I always tell her to treat people as you want to be treated. She needs to think about other peoples feelings. You are absolutely entitled to feel the way a mamma bear should feel about her cub. I know I would:thumbsup2
    I hope he gets an answer at some point. It will be easier for him to move on at some point. I will keep you in my thoughts:goodvibes

    I am sorry you have to make all those changes but glad you are making the best of it. I understand about your friends and I agree with you about doing one park family at a time. I did Universal and Disney back in 2012 and it was way to expensive to do both. I also learned my lesson this summer by not taking advantage of the 14 day ticket with Discovery Cove. Gator land sounds cool I will have to look into that sometime.

    Hope you are feeling better and I will keep checking in!:)
     
  20. Heluvsme

    Heluvsme DIS Veteran

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    Gina I've said this before, but it deserves repeating--- your enthusiasm and positivity, even in the face of life disappointments and cancellations by dear friends, is why I love your reports!

    Hope the meds have you feeling better, and I hope you and the hubby enjoy a nice, EASY trip just the two of you!

    Dawn
     
  21. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Well, I can tell you that the steroids have definitely not made me hungry :sick:. Just the opposite...they've done a terrible number on my stomach (though I have a tender tummy at the best of times....so I suppose I should not be surprised). But, on a happy note, they are definitely helping to dry up all the yuck that's been going on for the last 2 months, and I've hardly been coughing at all today. So, I declare it a win! :thumbsup2

    You guys should get some great mileage from Universal AP's ::yes::. We loved having ours for two years, and always found something new to do on each visit. You should definitely go to Volcano Bay at some point, too.....it's a gorgeous water park!!

    Being big Ohana fans for breakfast, Steve has always wanted to do dinner there.....but we could never seem to snag an ADR on a day that would work for us. I was flabbergasted when I got one for May. I hope we have as great an experience there as you have!! It seems people are either totally in love with it, or woefully disappointed. Of course, the internet is full of critics, so maybe I should just take all the negative with a grain of salt :rolleyes2.

    My mom always had that same saying, too ..... "bad luck comes in three's" . I think our two is enough, though, thank you very much :crazy2: :rotfl:. Let's say Jake's broken engagement was bad enough, it counted for double ;).

    I am so sorry you've had such a crappy string of frustrating issues!! One of my momma's other favourite sayings is "poor start, good ending". Hopefully that summarizes your 2018.....all the issues out of the way in the beginning, and the rest of the year will be smooth sailing :goodvibes.

    So sorry to hear about your nephew :sad1:. That sounds like it's got to be a tough one for your whole family. Sending you a big hug :hug:. I hope he made out okay in court, and that his parents (your sister? brother?) are doing alright under the circumstances.

    Sounds like you NEED that vacation badly, my friend. That, and a fruity margarita or two with little coloured umbrellas peeking out of them.

    What a cool opportunity for your daughter!! She must be SO excited! Does it make you a little nervous to know she's venturing so far from home?

    I wish I had considered a similar career path, back when I was young and had the energy to conquer the world :rolleyes:. I guess it just wasn't my destiny. Of course, my school didn't offer such amazing trips, either!!

    Thank you Lisa!! A big :welcome: to the thread!

    Which part of Michigan do you hail from? Maybe we're neighbors? ;)

    Thank the Lord, our wacky park and fly days are (hopefully) behind us :worship:. We don't even drive to the airport now.....we have a driver from Motor City Transportation pick us up in a town car and whisk us home after our trip, and its beyond marvelous (and not much pricier than parking at DTW for a week). I gotta say, I LOVE being this close to a major international airport. Now, if only Jetblue would offer nonstop flights to MCO from Detroit!!

    Thank you for the kind words for my Jake :hug:.

    Thanks Joanna. Happy to say, he's bouncing back quite well. I guess people learn they're stronger than they realize they are, when their strength is put to the test.
    A big :welcome: to the thread, by the way! So glad to have you joining in! :goodvibes

    Thanks pigletto. I must have an odd biochemical mix, because they haven't affected my sleep or energy level at all :confused:. The drug warnings said they would make me dizzy, but negative on that score as well. Just a horrible, upset, unhappy stomach.....so I guess I should count myself lucky, all things considered.

    I am definitely feeling much better this week. Jake is doing well, the meds are kicking in and the cough is finally subsiding, and I'm seeing the good in the world again :). Finally shaking my funk.

    Thanks for the link!! I will definitely check it out :thumbsup2. I thoroughly enjoy reading about other people's experiences at my favorite places. It's so fun to see things through other people's eyes :goodvibes.

    Thank you for the good wishes for Jake, they are much appreciated. I think every mom can relate in some way, can't we? We'd all love to keep our children safe inside a bubble for their whole lives, shielded from the hurt and injustices of the world, but alas....they seem bound and bent to lead their own independent lives :rolleyes:. Silly kids.

    Aw, thank you! :goodvibes To quote my mom (yes, again....it seems to be happening a lot today!! :rotfl:) : "It's never so bad that it can't be worse". I try to keep that in mind, even when things go sour. I have so, SO much to be grateful for :).

    And ya know, I'm starting to see the blessing of having a just-the-two-of-us trip, too. Much as it would have been awesome to have our boy join us, and wonderful to have our friends come along, we will savor the opportunity to enjoy 8 beautiful days together in our favorite vacation place in the world. What better way to mark our 25th anniversary. I'm getting excited again :hyper:.

    108 days to go!
     
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