Tour Groups, Weather and an ER trip can't spoil a Birthday Trip!
About This Page: This is a discussion on Tour Groups, Weather and an ER trip can't spoil a Birthday Trip! within the Sharing the Adventure: Disney World Trip Reports, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Originally Posted by Cam22
Thank you! We're still in awe that we managed to keep the secret for ...
Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.
To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
Just dropping in, will have to go back and read the PTR when I have some time. Your title caught my attention as we always seem to have a million tour groups, horrendous rain and a trip to the ER in every trip.
Day #1 – Departure and Travel.
We’d put the boys to bed around 8 and Coach followed at 8:45. I had to finish my graduate school work – everything was due at 11:00. I was also waiting for the dryer to finish with our last load so I didn’t have to come home to find a ton of dirty clothes. I finally headed to bed around 10:45, but I couldn’t sleep. I was lying awake; worried that Cullen’s lip would break open again.
Our baby monitor also choose this exact night to finally stop working. After having it on every night for the past seven years, it was weird trying to sleep without hearing the tick tock of their old fashioned alarm clock we kept near their monitor in their room. I was also worried that my papers didn’t get accepted on time…and just in general worrying about the drive. I think I finally drifted off around 11:30 and Coach’s alarm went off at midnight. He got up to shower and I got myself up, checked the status of my graduate school papers – phew, they’d been accepted and were on time! I packed up the computer, the Kindle and our cell phones, and set the address on the GPS. When coach finished his shower, I took a quick one.
We put the electronics into the van and then began the process of carrying the boys out to the van. Nolan popped right up in bed, climbed down and ran to the bathroom. He then grabbed his bubby (lovey blanket), his Woody and his car blanket and headed for the van. I woke Cullen up just enough to put a fresh diaper on him and then carried him to the van with his Donald Duck and his “baby bear” and blanket. Coach got Patrick up, to the bathroom and out to the van. We were on our way at 1:15, a bit later than we’d planned. The boys and I were all back asleep before we reached northern Cincinnati around 2:15. Coach woke me at 5:15 – we were near the Kentucky/Tennessee border and needed gas. We made a quick stop – have to say I LOVE Tennessee gas prices. We’d paid $3.59 at home, in Tennessee it was…$2.97! Forty-three dollars of gas even, and a LARGE coffee for me, we switched so I could drive for a bit. The boys drifted back to sleep, and Coach was able to catch some sleep too.
I made a quick, twenty minute stop at 7:00 to change Cullen’s diaper and dig his Rice Milk out of the cooler. He was thankfully content to munch on cheerios with his Rice Milk. He’s a creature of habit and usually will only eat a slice of toast for breakfast. We stopped for breakfast just before I crossed into Georgia. It was now a bit after 8:00. I’d packed dairy-free doughnuts for Patrick and Cullen. They had those along with some of the fruit we’d brought. I gave Nolan the choice of a breakfast sandwich from McD’s, a bowl of cereal or a pop tart. He chose to split a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit with me.
Our breakfast stop – 2 sausage McMuffins (Coach), 1 bacon egg cheese biscuit (I split with Nolan), and 3 hash browns cost $7.50 I still think the girl at the counter added something wrong, because I came up with a total closer to $11.00. When I mentioned this to her, she just shrugged her shoulders. Coach had dug out milk for the boys and a Gatorade for himself. I had water. The playground wasn’t open yet, and the restaurant wouldn’t open it despite the fact that four other families requested it. One family had a soccer ball with them and invited us to bring the boys outside to play in the grassy area. We took them up on their offer and let the boys play with their two boys for about 30 minutes.
Bellies full, bathroom breaks and a diaper change completed, we hit the road again. Coach took over driving and I set about getting a DVD player hooked up for Nolan – he wanted to watch Dinosaur. Patrick requested his Spiderman coloring book and crayons, and Cullen was playing with his cars. I snoozed a bit, woke up and helped Cullen put his cars away in favor of coloring. I went back to snoozing. Coach woke me around 10:45 stating he was going to stop for gas soon. We decided to make it our lunch stop so we found a gas station, and luckily it was attached to a Days Inn. The hotel had a nice grassy area out front and covered picnic tables. We set about making a picnic lunch – PB & J for Nolan, home-made “Nuttella” spread for Cullen (crushed hazel nuts with dairy free chocolate and a bit of vegetable oil to make it into a paste) on bread, and salami slices for Patrick. The boys also had apple slices and water. I wasn’t terribly hungry, so I simply had a slice of bread with a bit of peanut butter, and Coach made a salami sandwich.
We switched driving duties and headed back on the road. At this point, we realized we’d be arriving in Valdosta at 1:00 p.m. This was way too early to check into a hotel, and way too early to stop driving for the night. Of course, when I made our arrangements through Marla at AAA, she’d provided me with a tour book guide for Georgia because we felt we’d be stopping there for the night. The other tour book she gave us covered central Florida, so we had nothing between the Florida /Georgia border and Gainesville.
I have a smart phone, but a technologically challenged husband. There was no way he’d be able to use the phone to get on the internet, and I couldn’t do it while driving. So, we decided to stop at the official Florida welcome center to pick up information about the upcoming cities. The younger two fell asleep quickly after our lunch stop, and Nolan decided to play the Leapster. Driving was thankfully uneventful and it felt like we quickly crossed the border into Florida. We all had our free orange juice, and I grabbed some pamphlets about upcoming cities and started calling for hotel rooms. I started with Lake City, thinking that it would give us a short 2 hour drive the next morning. The first three hotels I called were booked solid. The fourth was a Holiday Inn and it had a room available…for $200 for one night!
We started getting worried that we wouldn’t be able to find a room for a night, and I started looking up hotels near Walt Disney World when Coach saw a billboard for a Days Inn off I-75 in Lake City. I dialed the number and the gentleman quoted us $60 for the night using our AAA discount. They would provide a rollaway for free, and had a continental breakfast. I quickly snatched that reservation and we arrived twenty minutes later.
It was 3:30 and we’d been on the road for 14 hours and 15 minutes, and had to make just four stops. The hotel was clean, and the rooms were basic – 2 dbl beds, and about the same size as a Value room at Disney. We did have a fridge, but it wasn’t working, but the manager provided us with a coupon for a free bag of ice from the BP station next door. The pool area was nice and we headed over there right away. The boys loved the pool, actually they love any pool. I appreciated the chance to let them run around and burn off energy.
About five minutes after I took this picture of Nolan jumping into the pool, the sky opened up and it poured. The rain actually felt a bit refreshing! It was closing in on 5:30, so we decided to head to the room and fix the boys dinner. Our original plan was to heat up some food in a microwave, but our room didn’t have one. After checking out the lobby, I discovered that there wasn’t one there either.
McDonald’s was across the street, so we decided to head over there and get the boys chicken nuggets. Thankfully, this Mc D’s had a dedicated allergy fryer so the food was safe for the younger two to eat. We ordered a 10 piece McNugget meal and I split the orange drink into three smaller water cups. The boys also had apple slices and grapes to munch on.
What is it with us and McD's play grounds? Our McD's was remodeled and they didn't put in a playground (our old one had one). The breakfast McD's wouldn't open their playground early, and this McD's playground was flooded after the rain. After they finished, we went back to the room, showered them up and got them into bed by 7:30. Coach and I used a coupon the manager gave us to order a Papa John’s thin crust pizza. We were all asleep by 10 p.m.
Totals for day #1: $43.00 (gas and a coffee)
$47.00 (gas and small bottle of mustard)
$7.50 (dinner for boys)
$11.00 (pizza for adults)
$65.00 (hotel room)
$173.50 for a full day of travel was not that bad - and way under our $250 we had budgeted. More importantly, we'd made it through the day without a bleeding child!
Would our room at The Beach Club be ready on arrival? Would we have our requests met?
What a great day travelling - everything went smoothly and you came in under budget. As for the breakfast you had a McD's, a lot of times they have specials on the breakfast sandwiches- 2 for $3.00 and it switches between the egg mcmuffins and the sausage mcmuffins so you probably hit it when the special was the sausage. And considering 1 sandwich is normally 3 something around my area, that most likely accounts for why you though it should have been around 11 and not 7.
Well you're off to a good start. Minus the fat lip! At least the travel day seemed uneventful and with three young children stuck in a car for that long I have to believe that uneventful is a great thing. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!