A Trip Less Ordinary Updated and Completed 6/5
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So as many of you know my name is Maria. ...
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A Trip Less Ordinary Our Half Business/ Half Pleasure Trip
So as many of you know my name is Maria. I am 26 and married to Benjamin my loving husband. We both love Disney and have taken 3 trips together since we started dating in 2003. We have also both went on many trips to the world before meeting each other.
this is Ben and I at the Wilderness Lodge for our honeymoon
Ben and I were at a turning point of our lives about a year and a half ago and he decided that he wanted to go to Law School. Well he took the LSAT and did pretty good but before he could start the application process his mom got really sick…she was diagnosed with Leukemia and our world was turned upside down Ben took a leave of absence from work and we pretty much lived the hospital for 6 months.
We received really good news in August…Bens mom was in remission and starting to feel better everyday. After she was back home Ben returned to work and life got pretty much back to normal. We took a decompress Walt Disney World trip in October with my little sister Mallory and my niece Kaia.
Ben began to think about Law School again and decided to take the LSAT again to try to improve his score. He did improve by a couple of points and he was ready to start the application process.
He applied to 15 different schools across the United States. From Seattle to Rhode Island…From New Orleans to New Mexico….well when the letters started rolling in he was admitted to three schools and wait listed on three. Well one of the school he was admitted to was in Orlando (I tried to stay calm b/c I wanted him to look at all of his options…but I was almost jumping up and down). In the end the school in Orlando was the best fit because the offered him a nice size scholarship and he liked the small campus.
So we had decided on Orlando for law school and I was going to attend the Community College there. We packed all of our things and put it in storage in Louisiana and headed to Asheville were we are living for the summer . I am being the nanny for my nephew Max (he made an apperance on my last TR)
We decided that we would go to Orlando May 18-22 to look for apartments, tour our schools and I had an orientation to attend. My little sister Mallory decided to fly to Orlando on the 21 so she could ride back with us to Asheville and spend the week at my brother’s house.
OK so enough back story…
So of course when we knew we were heading to Orlando we wanted to fit in some Disney time. But we had time and budget restraints. So in the end we decided to spend 2 days at a non-Disney hotel near the school and where we would need to be apartment hunting.
The last two nights we would spend at the Pop Century. We bought tickets to the P&P party for May 21 the day my little sister would be in town. We decided to forgo getting park tickets and enjoy touring the Disney hotels, DTD, and other things.
We had a wonderful half business/ half pleasure trip
With many firsts…including one of our favorite meals of all time at WDW.
More to come soon.
Last edited by Starla4436; 05-29-2008 at 08:57 AM..
We left Asheville at noon because my brother ran a 10 K on the Biltmore grounds in the morning and I had to do some nannying until he got back.
We arrived in Orlando at 8PM after 9 hour drive from Asheville…the drive was pretty easy and actually relaxing we stopped at Cracker Barrel and picked up a book on CD …they are $3.95 for a whole week and then you can drop them off at any Cracker Barrel in the country.
We arrived at our first hotel which was $30.00 a night…and I have one word to describe it SCARY. I didn’t want o be a snob or a baby about it so I played it cool.
Heres me looking a little worried
We checked in and made our plan for the next day we had a big day planned:
Bens google maps everything for the next day
-tour 3 apartments
-tour Ben’s law school
-my orientation at the Valencia campus in Kissimmee
I hardly slept the whole night…the hotel was just kind of icky…I refused to a shower there.
Monday May 19 2008
We were up and at em early. We first toured two apartments in East Orlando.
The first place was kind of in a not so great area and we were not a fan of the pushy staff.
The second place was really nice, the staff was friendly and it had great amenities .But it was a little out of our price range for a 1 bedroom.
We had a quick lunch in Downtown Orlando and walked around a bit.
It was weird to think we would be living here in 2 months.
After Downtown we headed over to Ben’s school for a tour…he was really impressed with the faculty and the intimacy of the school.
The school suggested we look at an apartment nearby where many of the students lived…so we drove over. The staff there was great and the apartment was beautiful…but it completely blew our budget…Ben laughed when we got back in the car and said “Im not a lawyer yet” .
After that we headed back to the creepy hotel....so I could get all my stuff for the orientation and change my shoes (why did I think I should wear heels to look at apartments?)
We were off again …my orientation was about 30 minutes away from the hotel we were staying at…of course there were many WDW exits I had to ignore. My orientation was great and we decided to stop by the Mall of the Millennia for dinner. It was our first time there and we were impresses as far as malls go it was pretty awesome. We ate at the California Pizza Kitchen which was really yummy.
We headed back to out hotel and realized that our hotel was pretty much across the street from a prison…can it get any worse …oh yes it can!
the view of the prison from our hotel
That night I was so tired I actually drifted to sleep until at 2 AM there was a huge fight in the hallways…yelling, screaming, doors slamming, crying…it was really crazy I had to put all the lights on and wake Ben up. He told me to try to get back to sleep but there was no way…thank goodness we were checking into the Pop Century tomorrow.
Tuesday May 20, 2008
The next morning I was a littlie grumpy from our lack of sleep but was actually excited to check out of this terrible horrible no good very bad hotel.
We had another apartment to look at this morning in Winter Park the area we really wanted to live in. The apartment was really nice and in our price range…it actually allowed for us to get a two bedroom which would be great for Ben to study.
After we saw it we pretty much knew this would be our pick…but we decided to discuss it over a Dunkin Donut breakfast…all great decisions should be made over DD’s.
The conversation went pretty much like this..
Maria: let’s get it…
So after driving around the cute winter park area we were sold and went in and put a deposit down for an apartment for August.
After all the business was taken care of it was time for the leisure part of our trip….
heres a hitchiker in the car...must know we re going to WDW!!
Last edited by Starla4436; 05-29-2008 at 09:00 AM..
I was so excited that we had got everything done and now we could head to WDW with no stress. We left our new apartment and drove towards WDW 30 minutes latter we were pulling through the Welcome gates…(I can’t believe I will be living that close to WDW…ahhhh).
So we pulled into the Pop parking lot and headed into the lobby. as soon as we walked through the doors Ben and both said at the same time ..
“it smells like Disney”
Ben and I love the Pop Century we stayed here on our first trip together …and we think it’s a fun place to stay. I headed over to the front desk and had a little bit of pickle to take car of…
I had originally booked 1 night and then added another night but they were two separate reservations so I asked the cast member if she could link them up so we wouldn’t have to change rooms. .
She worked on it and told us she could upgrade us to a preferred room for one night but then we would have to move the next day or she could put us in a standard room for our entire stay…although this was the first upgrade offered we ever received at WDW it seemed like more of a hassle so we told her we would stick with the standard room.
She told us we were all set the next morning we just had to pick up new keys at the front desk.
We headed to our room which was in the 70’s building by the Big Wheel…our room was a corner room and had a wonderful view of hour glass lake.
Our new view “look ma no prison”
I was so excited to be in a nice hotel room without a funky smell. Ben and I changed into our swimsuits and went get a quick lunch at the food court. I had a cup of veggie soup and a side salad and Ben had a cheeseburger.
After our meal we went lay out by the pool for awhile and broke all the rules and swam right after eating.
After a nice leisurely swim we laid back on our lounge chairs and discussed what we wanted to do for the night.
We first thought about going to the AKL for a drink and then heading to DTD to eat and celebrate our new apartment and new life.
But then I decided that we should do the monorail drinking tour…I had never been to the Grand Floridian and really wanted to check it out.
Last edited by Starla4436; 05-29-2008 at 09:02 AM..