A Whole New World
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If you know me at all, then you know that I love being warm and snuggly ...
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If you know me at all, then you know that I love being warm and snuggly in my own little comfort zone. I love order; I love schedules and I love being a creature of habit. Life, however, doesn’t always play out within the boundaries of my order driven little world. Never has this been truer than in the first month of 2012 when every day seemed to introduce chaos or some type of new experience.
The phrase “Rock my World” played over and over in my mind as I stumbled and tumbled through the month of January. So as not to completely bore you, I’ll only share those events (with some being much more serious than others) that played a part in this trip to Disney becoming a reality.
“Rockin’ my family world”- Although this particular event had been a long time coming, it finally culminated at the end of January. My mom’s health has been slowly going downhill over the past year and, by the end of the year, she became a virtual prisoner on the top floor of their three-story townhouse. Thom and I have all but begged them to move out for years as one or the other would have a health crisis, but they insisted on staying. The fact that my mom could no longer manage the stairs finally convinced them. The day after Christmas one of my brothers and I bit the bullet and put down a deposit on an apartment at a retirement home. We moved them exactly a month later and never has a day been more anticipated. With the packing, cleaning out and renting of their old place, it was a long stressful month for everyone, but we finally got them settled and we all could take a deep breath.
We love taking our girls to Disney for a long weekend in February, but with my parents moving that last weekend of January we decide to push back our trip by a week. That should give them enough time to settle into their new digs.
Thom had earned several free nights from Hilton during their fall promotion, so he used those to book the Hilton at Bonnet Creek. This Hilton did not have access to Extra magic hours like the Hilton at DTD, but upon checking the park hours, we felt like we would have plenty of Disney time with the regular hours. Once I booked our ADR’s and Thom booked our train travel, we were set . . . or so we thought . . .
"Rockin’ my travel world” - Near the end of last year, I received a summons for jury duty for one day in January. In my 46 years, I had never served on a jury and had only been summoned once before for a civil trial that was settled prior to going to court. This summons was for grand jury selection of which I knew little about (all of my legal knowledge comes from tv shows like Boston Legal or L.A. Law ).
I arrived at the county courthouse that morning and sat in the courtroom with about 60 or so of my fellow citizens. Apparently, they initially sent summons to 180 people and we were the ones left after the first pass. We sat for about an hour while the judge talked to us about the history and purpose of the grand jury and then began the exclusion process. He only excused a few people before the final selection process began. They literally put our names in a big hopper, turned the handle and began pulling out names.
I don’t know why, but I had this funny feeling that I was going to get selected. Sure enough, the clerk of court pulled out the 7th piece of paper, looked at it with a confused expression and paused before she spoke. Yep, that would be me and my hard-to-pronounce last name. And it was.
As soon as they had pulled the twelve jurors and four alternates, the clerk of court handed out the schedule for the next 6 months (yes, six months ). After a quick perusal of the dates, three immediately jumped out at me. Our three days of jury duty for the next six months had just clobbered our February Disney trip, my annual NYC trip in March and the last day of our cruise in June.
I allowed myself a moment of internal panic before I calmly realized that I could make this work. I knew that I couldn’t ask to be excused from three months, so I was going to have to pick the one that couldn’t be rescheduled - - the cruise in June. Since the cruise actually ended on the first day of jury duty, I was excused for that one day and told to report the next day. Now that will be rude awakening back to the real world!
As I walked back to my car, I called Thom and gave him my news. We decided to try and move our Disney trip up by a week since my parents were moving a few days earlier than expected and should be more settled in. I knew that I would have to skip NYC this year (and thankfully, I had yet to make any reservations) and I broke the news to my traveling buddies later that day.
After dinner that night, Thom hopped on the phone with Hilton Honors and spent a long time trying to move up our reservation by one week. When he finally came upstairs, his announcement lead to . . .
“Rockin’ my Disney world” - When the outlook for moving up our reservation a week at the Hilton Bonnet Creek didn’t look too good, Thom coyly asked about the Waldorf Astoria. Unfortunately, his free night certificates didn’t equal enough points for a Waldorf stay . . . that is, until the rep worked a little magic and we ended up with three nights at the Waldorf Astoria! Who knew that my husband was such a sweet talker? No wonder he’s such a good door salesman! Although this was very exciting news, I have to admit that I was a little leery about staying at such a swanky hotel. Fancy is definitely out of my comfort zone . . . but I was willing to give it a try.
After successfully rescheduling our reservation, we had equally good luck with our train and dining reservations. This trip - - that we all needed so much - - was going to happen!
A trip to remember . . .
Last edited by Jillybean; 02-23-2012 at 11:30 AM..
I was summoned for jury duty last summer and was hoping to get on a case (and oh yeah, enjoy a commute-free, bankers hours summer), but I was dismissed after 2 hours of sitting in a waiting room. I figured it out - you only get jury duty when you don't want it. Can't wait to hear all about the Waldorf!
Fun with friends! Read about it in my Trip Report. Final thoughts added 4/9. NOW COMPLETE!
What a month! I've served on a regular jury (case lasted 4 days), but never a grand jury. Two friends of mine served grand jury last year and ended up being committed to showing up on various days for 6 months! They're glad to have their lives back. Can't wait to hear about the posh hotel.
Looking forward to following along! Glad you were able to get it all worked out. I've been summoned to Jury Duty 3 times and had to serve once. The first time I was called we had a cruise booked and could not cancel. They let me out of that one. The next one I served and the last one the jury was released after being at the court house for 4 hours.
Wow, you certainly have had alot happening in your world.
So sorry to hear about your mom's health going downhill. We have been dealing with similar events with Charlie's mom since Thanksgiving so I can sympathize.
I have heard that serving on a Grand Jury can be very interesting and enlightening.
I am definately glad about the June cruise staying on this year's agenda ! I am sure it will be the perfect relaxation from your hectic real world filled with wine and FABs .
Kudos to Thom for scoring the Waldorf Astoria. I can't wait to hear about your experience because I am sure you fit right in being royalty and all...
This trip sounded like it is really needed after all that you have been going through. This must be the year of jury duty, I went last week and got called for a case, really thought they would dismiss me and they chose me instead...case starts on Monday.
Glad you were able to reschedule your February trip and that you were excused out of a day in June. Sorry about having to miss your annual NYC trip, at least now once you finish your comittment they don't call you for a few years. Six months is a long commitment for Grand Jury - here you go for a straight two weeks but then you are done.