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Old 01-03-2013, 09:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The "Okay-Let's-Get-This-Thing-Done-Before-The-Next-Trip-Starts-TR"

To say this trip started out unlike any other Disney trip we’ve ever taken before is an understatement. Like everyone here in New Jersey, we had been watching the weather and the news of Sandy’s approach to our area with anxiety. And like most we never could have imagined how it would turn out. First let me say that we were one of the lucky ones here in NJ. We lost a LOT of shingles and a tree and were without power for 4 days. I am thankful for the little damage we sustained and my prayers are still going out to those that lost much more than we did. But, it did make the lead up to the trip a bit nerve wracking and interesting.

First, I had a lot to get done on the computer so I figured I would have to get it all done Sunday and early Monday before the storm really hit. And by 5:30 when power went out for the last and final time that night, I was glad I had gotten it done because I had a surprise for the boys and some other fun things planned. It also made packing a bit interesting. (Because of course I didn’t pack anything until 4 days before we were leaving ). We had to get everything done before about 5:30 because at that point it just got too dark to do anything and candles and a couple of flashlights didn’t do enough. At night, after packing for the day, we would go out to the other side of town, or the town next to us with power to get out of the house for a bit and get a bite to eat. We actually found a little part of town that had power and only one way to get to it through a townhome development that was pretty empty and had a nail salon that was open, a pizza place and a gas station with about 5 cars on line. Because if you didn’t know how to get through the townhomes, you couldn’t get to that part of town. So Thursday, the day before we left, I managed to get a mani-pedi and see the TV for the first time since Monday evening. I was devastated by what I saw and felt quite guilty sitting in a salon before a trip to Disney. The guilt about travelling was also something I’d never dealt with before. But, I spoke to friends and family and they made me feel better about it and realize how lucky we were and Craig and I decided that this trip we were really going to relax a bit more and enjoy our family and be thankful for what we had.

Watching the airlines became another ritual after the storm hit. JFK was closed afterward and we didn’t know if we would get out. So, Craig and I decided we would drive down and fly home if we had to so I booked us a rental mini-van just in case. Jenn (JKnott17) was flying out the day before us from JFK as well and we were watching other flights together and keeping our fingers crossed. They had decided they would also drive if need be. I think both Craig and Chris (Jenn’s DH) decided they’d better get us out of NJ by hook or by crook or live with the consequences! When Jenn was texting me on her way to JFK, boarding the plane and ready take off, I felt much better. It looked like we’d be flying after all. We also couldn’t get in touch with the parking lot we’ve used for our last three trips and figured we’d have to park at the airport and shuttle train it over, which we hadn’t done before.

One other strange aspect of our pre-trip was that we usually are finishing up a day of work or school and excited to be “on vacation” as soon as we walk out the door. (Because that is when vacation starts for me ). This time, we had been home with each other for four days prior to our departure day. Just adding another not normal feeling to this trip.

All said and done, we got packed, prepared and ready to leave on our trip.

Next Up: Leaving the darkness behind

(Just a note: I didn’t want to spend too much time rehashing Sandy because of what everyone went through, but it had such an impact on the beginning of our trip that I felt I needed to introduce the trip this way…Now…onto the fun!! )
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm glad you started it. That was certainly and apprehensive beginning. Thank goodness you were safe!
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Friday 11/2

When our alarm went off Friday morning, I was never so happy to jump out of bed early. Craig and I got up, lit some candles, took quick showers and donned our baseball caps over our wet heads. We woke the boys up and they were also ready to get out of the dark. They had been sleeping in our sitting room next to us since the storm with glow sticks I bought because they didn’t want to sleep in their rooms. They put on their “warm fuzzys” (sweat pants for the rest of us) and got their carry on backpacks ready. It was strange finalizing the packing and checklist by flashlight and candle. Craig warmed up the car and we were soon packed up and ready to go. It was still dark out (I think we left the house around 6:30) and our flight wasn’t until 11:00am but we still didn’t know what we were going to have to do about parking and figured we may as well wait where there’s heat and light instead of in the cold, dark house.

Traffic was pretty non-existent and there were pockets of power and then darkness all the way to the airport, but we got to the JFK area quickly. Once we got near the airport parking I noticed we were only around the block from the parking lot we had reserved. We still hadn’t reached them on the phone, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to drive by and see what was up. When we got close we saw they were open and running. I was so glad because we’ve used them three times already and they are very reliable. I checked us in and the girl at the desk gave me an alternate number to try if they still didn’t have phone service when we got back. There was a shuttle ready, so we hopped on and rode to the airport. We got there three hours early and had plenty of time to check in and relax. Security was not too bad, until I had to remove my ball cap. Really, I need to take off the ball cap that I put on my wet head this morning because I had no power to dry it…in front of everyone? Talk about hat head. Craig was pulled into the x-ray machine and the boys and I walked through the old fashioned machine. Right around the corner from security was the gate area where we found light, heat and charging stations!!



They had these iPads at the stations too and the boys played a bit with them while we tried to download a movie for them and charge our electronics.



(Jessie from our last trip looking a little worse for wear, but she goes everywhere with us)

I grabbed a pumpkin spice latte for my pre-flight drink and relaxed and waited for our flight. When the time came, I went to check us in at the desk so I could let them know about the boys allergies. Delta now has adopted the same policy that Jet Blue has had for years. If there is anyone on the flight with a nut allergy, they don’t serve nuts at all. Prior to this year it had been that they wouldn’t serve nuts three rows before and three rows after. I like this much better. And they were able to move us into the bulkhead again behind First Class. Well three of us anyway…Craig was behind us.



Now, the boys and I had made goody bags for the flight attendants like Cam and Stef always did. I was all excited for the boys to give them out. But, when we got on the flight, the pilots said they couldn’t accept any food from passengers. So, we tried to give them to the flight attendants and she explained the pilots couldn’t take the food, which I guess I understand. So, we got to our seats and took the food out and left all of the little goodies in them. (Mickey stampers, Cars crayons, Mickey stickers, Halloween rings, and pumpkin erasers). She took them and then came back and gave them back to us. She said, “Thanks for the bags, but none of us have kids so we won’t use them. Why don’t you give them out to the kids on the plane?” REALLY??!! Even if you’re NEVER going to use them and just toss them in the trash when we get off the plane, take them!! My kids made these bags for them! UGH!! Delta is definitely NOT Disney’s airline anymore. And seriously?? I’m supposed to give out the 8 goody bags I made to the 30 kids on this flight going to Disney. They ain’t loaves and fishes lady!! It was too early in the flight to go all Jersey on anyone so I bit my lip and
other than the weirdly rude flight attendants, the flight was fine and we were soon landing at sunny MCO!

We didn’t DME the luggage this time because we just wanted all of our stuff with us as soon as possible so we could get ready and head to a park. I got my vacation Frappucino on the way to the MCO monorail and then we picked up our luggage which was very quick to come off the belt and all together. We checked in and waited just a bit for the DME bus. I like the new buses. Ours was the second stop after what the bus driver kept calling the “Broad”walk. Craig said he didn’t realize they had that kind of entertainment at Disney. I told him it was part of the new “Fantasy”land. (Okay…enough ).

We pulled into the drive at BC and had to wait for two buses…oh we were soooo close!! And then finally, it was our turn to pull up to our home away from home. (cue the choir of angels here ). We were so happy to be here. One of the greeters came over and asked if we were some family, I said no and she asked who we were and walked us to the desk. Then she said “Oh, well your upstairs so I’ll walk you up”. Yay!! She called up to CL and said we were on our way up. Chip was our CM at the desk (I thought that was a great start ) and he was so nice and friendly. I sat and got us checked in while Craig took the boys to get a drink in the lounge. (Meaning, get those stir crazy kids out of the CMs sight before they change their minds) Chip got us done pretty quickly, after I told him I couldn’t wait for a hot shower and a blow dryer, and walked us to our room. We texted family and friends that we had arrived and took hot showers and got ready to head out for the rest of the day.

Up Next: Turkey and noodles??

(Sorry for the short minimal picture update. The next one will get into the fun. - I told you this trip was weird. )
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you've started! I can only imagine how badly you would want to get out of the cold, dark house for the warm airport! Weird flight attendants! Seriously, kids in my class give me food all of the time - I say thank you so much, then get rid if it later (unless it's sealed away from their cute, but germy hands!)
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Somebody needs to remind those flight attendants of what it was like to be a kid. Seriously!?! Very bad form on their parts! It might just be flukes, but the few times we have flown Delta we found their bedside manners to be the pits on the flights and also behind the counters at the airports. I have intentionally avoided them for a few years now and would only book one of their flights if the price was significantly better than the competition. We usually fly out of Syracuse NY since we live right on the Canada/US border, and Jet Blue can usually match or beat Delta's flights from there so we have been in luck. Nice of you to do the goody bags, and I hope the boys had most of it go over their heads. I can only imagine how nice your shower is going to feel. Sign me up for the TR!
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Excited to see this report from you! You definitely had a different lead-up to this trip than ever before. I'm glad your house had minimal damage. The devastation in other areas is heartbreaking. I can't believe the rude Delta crew! When someone gives you a present, you smile and say "thank you"!! I wonder if you'll ever stay in a regular room at BC anymore? Concierge every trip!
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow, that was certainly a different lead-up to your vacation. Thank goodness you weren't more badly hit by Sandy.

I can't believe how rude the Delta crew were.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Guess Courtesy doesn't exist in Delta. I thought that was a bit cheesy on their part; but anywho....looking forward to this TR Dawn, I have enjoyed your last few TRs, and thus far, this one seems to be taking off pretty good. I am sorry to hear about the devastating hurricane that hit ya'll. Back in '07 we were slammed by one down here in S. TX. I spent 6 days with no electricity. The heat was unbearable, and in the outskirts of the neighborhood, there were some reports of people trying to loot. My trusty sidekick; Springfield Armory .45, kept the neighbors safe though. Hope everything turns out better for ya'll up there. Stay safe, and nice start to the TR
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Great start Dawn! I bet that hot shower felt so good!
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yay Dawn started!! I remember being SO relieved when I heard you all were ok (plus a few others too ). And I was also happy to hear that you were able to escape to your happy place. I still can't believe how rude the flight crew was about the goodie bags! No flying Delta to Jersey, I'll stick with Southwest!
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It's strange that when we (meaning anyone) plans a vacation, we don't realize how much of a routine we all develop, even when it comes to pre-vacation rituals, probably because those aren't put on a piece of paper to remind us, because we simply just "know" it has to be done. Like, for us, our vacation doesn't "officially" begin until we've exited our neighborhood and gone to have breakfast somewhere, like a Golden Corral or Kiki's. And when we deviate from that routine, the whole vacation feels so different. I'm sorry yours had to deviate but it sounds like you all are going to make up for it. Can't wait to read more
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Great Start Dawn!!! Looking forward to hearing more and seeing lots of pics!!!

Can't believe how rude the flight attendants were - hopefully your boys handled it well despite their hard work.....
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Great start! Weird flight attendant, but the last time I flew Delta I had the rudest flight attendants and I swore never again!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great start.
I hate Delta, will never fly them again if I can help it. They separated me and the girls on our first trip flying without my DH on our connection in Atlanta. I think the old hag working the gate counter was mad because I kept trying to check us in and she kept telling me it was too early, but I told her I was traveling alone with a 5 & 6 year old and wanted to make sure we got seated together. Nope she put us all three in different seats! I waited until I got on the plane and spoke with the attendant on the plane and she fixed it quick. (Well maybe just I will never connect through Atlanta again.) But it put me off of Delta.
Not to high jack, but I am thinking of BC for my 40th. I know you guys love it, are there any cons you can think of?
I am so glad you guys still went on your trip!
Can't wait for more.
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