As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
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Mom's suggestion got Abby's attention and she was all for trying to lose weight to get to Storyland, whether I liked it or not. I didn't but being the adult I am, I kept my opinion from Abby and really hoped that would be the key to getting Abby to try. If she did try and actually lose weight then she would deserve the trip. Another thing I would hope would help is we were doing this as a family - well me, Lenny and Abby. I told Abby we would all be watching what we were eating, we would all be exercising (Lenny at the time still needed to get walking without the crutches so he would go too) and I would be careful with what I was bringing into the house to eat. It would be a family effort and she would have lots of support. I also told her I could start a thread here on the boards so she could see it's not just a struggle for her but for lots of people out there. She liked the idea of that so I did that as well. For Abby's attempt at losing weight, she has far more support than I ever had.
About a week after we started trying to lose weight and when I was at work at the station, I started looking into hotel options near Storyland. In the past we had stayed at a Comfort Inn that had a mini golf course nearby, It has been 12 years since our last trip and things do change but I was happy to see the hotel was still there. I looked into the rates and for the weekend I picked - June 8th and 9th - I found a good rate so I clicked on book the room. I then called home and told mom I had gotten a room for Storyland. She of course asked why and I told her the truth. "Mom, it makes it too long of a day to drive up, do the park and then drive home. If we're going to take Abby to Storyland, I want to be able to enjoy it so we'll go up Friday night and then come home Saturday night since the park closes at 5." Mom of course didn't like this "I'm not taking any time off of work" and "I suppose that means Lenny is going too?" I told mom that yes, I made the plans with the thought of Lenny being able to go "unless you want him to stay home and take care of the animals but I don't think you want him to." She agreed that no, she didn't want him to. I then went on to point out it's not fair to the dogs - two golden retrievers to be exact - to shove them in the back of a Ford Escape for 3 ½ hours, then shove them in a kennel for whatever length of time, then shove them back in the car for another 3 ½ hours to go home. I said the rabbits would be fine - give them extra greens, hay and pellets and they would last the day - but that's too much IMO on the dogs. Then I said my famous last words. "Besides, if Abby stops trying to lose weight, I'm not out anything. I just reserved a room. I can cancel it at any time."
After I got off the phone with her though, I went into my email where I saw my hotel confirmation and the words "room cannot be canceled or modified." My jaw dropped as I didn't know why it said that. Somehow or other, I ended up with a pre paid booking that not only would I not be able to cancel it but I would also actually have to pay for it when I booked it. Lenny was still out on disability and Abby had only started losing weight - I didn't know if she would continue to try - and I was not happy with myself at all. That was a big time mistake on my part. Then when I got home and told mom about it, she made the situation worse. She gave me crap about booking the room and not being able to cancel it and she also said "so you made the decision for me that I'm not going." I told her that no, I didn't, she was still free to go but that was how I wanted to work it and I was thinking realistically - we had to think about the dogs as well and be fair to them. Then I pointed out "what does it matter if I have a room? Even if Lenny stayed home you still wouldn't stay in the room with us so whether I booked something or not, it doesn't affect you." After some more conversation, she still sounded mad about it but she finally agreed she wouldn't be staying in the same room if she did go and that someone had to stay home to take care of the dogs and it might as well be her.
About a month after we started watching what we ate as a family Abby had lost 11 pounds and I lost about 4. I'm not sure what if anything Lenny lost as he never got on the scale. Abby had some weeks that were tougher than others with what she ate but she was still trying and still losing so it was looking like she would be getting this trip to Storyland. Since that was the case, just out of curiosity, I looked into the hotel again. That prepay room I had booked only three weeks earlier was now up by about $40 so it looks like the mistake I had made was turning out to be a good thing. In the meantime however, the more "immediate" reward for March was a trip to the indoor glow in the dark mini golf course that Abby likes. It's kind of cute - not too scary - but I was surprised by how expensive it was. Abby was doing her part in trying hard to lose weight so it was worth the money IMO.
By the middle of April, Abby was still losing weight. Now she was up to 16 pounds lost even though there was one week that she didn't lose anything at all. I know Abby was bummed about it as she was trying hard and quite a few days came in under her allowed points. I was bummed for her too but I was happy there wasn't a gain. I told her that and also reminded her that weeks like that will happen and weeks where "it's that time of the month" also affect weight. The next week was a different matter however as she once again lost 4 pounds and was up to a grand total of 20 pounds lost!! What makes that week so impressive? It was school vacation week and she was home all day - some of it by herself - with access to food the entire time. She did incredible if I do say so myself with really being very careful with what and how much she ate and it showed. Her reward for April was a trip to the local "Family Funway" where there is a go cart course, mini golf, bumper boats, batting cages and a bungee/trampoline thing. It was only open for school vacation week so it was the perfect time to go. Abby wanted the bumper boats but it was still too cold for it and they weren't open anyway. They won't open until June but we did the go karts and mini golf. I even enjoyed the day and told Abby we can go back again as a reward once it opens for the season in mid-June and we could do it as a just for fun day. It was reasonably priced too IMO. For $19 per person you could do any three things you wanted (they have other deals too but 3 was a good number that day). We did two times with the go carts and one round of mini golf. After we used the three tickets, I realized I didn't get any of the promised pictures and videos for mom and Lenny (she just didn't want to go and he had to work) so I bought Abby another ticket to go around again. It was getting late at that time and no one else was there so she raced against one of the employees.
April gave way to May and on May 4th - Abby's birthday - I finally told her about the hotel room and she was all smiles about it. She was still trying hard at losing weight but she had kind of hit a plateau though. The very last week in April she once again had a week where she didn't lose and then Saturday May 5th when she got on the scale, she had lost only 1 pound. A pounds a pound, it's still a loss but I told Abby we were going to try something new. She wasn't in the habit of drinking a lot of water through the day and supposedly there are times when you feel hungry that you're actually thirsty. I told Abby this (and with the warm weather coming), she should be drinking more water. I mentioned how if she started drinking more water, it should help her to eat less which will help her to continue losing weight. She agreed she would try.
With the extra consumption of water and continuing to try hard at watching what she ate, Abby then had another week with a 4 pound loss so by May 12th, Abby was up to 25 pounds lost. I cannot convey how proud of her I was. She was definitely deserving of this trip for her effort and success. The week ending May 19th was another no loss week but that was not a surprise to me.
Friday May 18th was the last day of classes for the seniors but for those lucky few, it was the last day of school period. Nowadays, our schools have this "rule" (I don't know what else you'd call it - it wasn't in place when I went to school) where if you miss 2 or more days of school in the last term, you have to do 2 days of community service after classes are over. If you haven't missed any days - like Abby - you don't have to go to school those two days. After those two days are the three days of final exams. If you are getting a B- or better in all of your classes, you don't have to take finals. Abby was getting a B- or better in all but one class but that class doesn't give finals. That meant Abby was exempt from taking her finals too (lucky kid - this too didn't exist when I went to school). So my point of all of this? Friday May 18th was the last day of school for seniors so any parties where seniors would be involved were held that week. For Abby that meant two different ice cream parties. I wasn't going to tell Abby she couldn't go nor was I going to tell her to go and not eat anything - that wouldn't be any fun. All I could do was remind her to watch what she ate and hope she could stick with it. She didn't. She did admit to me what she had. The first party she had a bowl of ice cream with mini marshmallows, gummy bears, chocolate jimmies, rainbow sprinkles. She also ate four cookies. The second party she had three different ice cream novelties - an ice cream sandwich, a cookie ice cream sandwich, and a fudgecicle. Upon hearing everything she had, I wasn't thrilled, I had hoped she'd have a little more self control but she did realize she went a little over board and opted both days to only have a salad for dinner. Saturday, her weigh in day, I dreaded what the scale would tell me. Abby had been working so hard I didn't want to see her gain something and possibly lose confidence that she could do this. When she did finally get on the scale, it told me the same thing it did the week before and I was quite happy. There was no gain and Abby was happy too. She was afraid she had gained as well.
I told her it was a new day so she could just move forward and try hard watching what she ate and continue to exercise, which she did and by the following Saturday, the 26th, Abby once again had a loss. This time it was 3 pounds. Her grand total of weight loss was now 28 pounds!!! Never did I think Abby would actually stick with her "diet" (by this time she was actually calling it a diet instead of just "watching what we ate) let alone lose that much weight. Not only was I in disbelief over it but I was also ecstatic for Abby. 28 pounds is huge. Abby's clothes seemed to be fitting better (although she was still clearly overweight) and she said she was feeling better, especially in her legs and feet. Who wouldn't be happy about her progress and happy for her? I know I certainly was.
Wow. I am just now catching up with this. First, it is amazing to me, even though fraught with other issues, that it was your mom who thought of something that got Abby motivated. Who'd have thought that would happen ?!
It's so great she's been successful. Way to go, Abby The water consumption gets easier when it becomes habit, just like everything else. I now rarely drink anything else, and I used to drink soda from wake to sleep every day.
We didn't get to skip finals either, no matter what
Don't let your heart be filled with sorrow, for all you know, tomorrow, the dream that you wish will come true.
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So that brings us today (at least it was "today" when I typed this) - Monday May 28th, Memorial day - and less than two weeks to Storyland. A trip Abby is very deserving of for all her effort and success. Thankfully it is only a one night trip and didn't involve a lot of planning. At some point in time (I forget when) I did make an "itinerary" for Storyland just like I do for Disney but it was less an itinerary and more a to do list. The park is small and only has about 20 shows/rides - and Abby doesn't do everything - so in the past we were always able to do the whole park in one day. I can't see this year as being any different and other than the one show that is a must do (Farm Follies), everything else on the "itinerary" is more a "Lenny and Abby to do this, Lenny and Abby to do that" all before mom gets home from work (I'm not taking the day off from my day job but I did take the night off from the station to go). I did feel "pressure" though in getting the packing done. I wanted to get it done this weekend as it was the perfect weekend to do it IMO. I had the holiday off from both jobs and the days in between now and June 8th (a total of 11 of them) will be busy. Three of the days I will be working both jobs, one night will be Abby's Senior Recognition night, Saturday the 2nd will be a regular errand day but just longer with a few extra things I have to do. Sunday the 3rd will be Abby's graduation day.
Unfortunately with everything else I got involved with today, including updating this PTR, it's now almost 6 PM and dinner time. That means once that's done, I'm going to have no ambition left to do much else today. I know sometime in the 4 days I have "open" to pack, I will get it done. It is only one night after all but I still want to get it done. I'll try to update this one last time before we go with Abby's latest loss but whether she loses something or not, we're going. 28 pounds lost is definitely deserving of this trip. I think Abby agreed to have this as her May reward since it's so early in June and then we'll do something later in the month for June too but whatever that will end up being, I'll probably put into the other thread I have going.
Before I end though, I will tell you quickly what the plans are:
Thursday the 7th - finish packing, charging up devices, make whatever things we want to take with us for Friday, maybe hit the grocery store, whatever else I feel needs to be done.
Friday the 8th - I'll go to work while Lenny and Abby finish up anything I haven't done. I only work until noon anyway so once I get home and have some lunch, hopefully we can just get in the truck and go. We'll arrive in North Conway at whatever time (it'll depend upon how early we leave and the traffic), we'll decide on someplace to eat (there's plenty of choices) and play a round of mini golf. Lenny and Abby will probably go swimming too.
Saturday the 9th - we'll have breakfast at the hotel, put our stuff back in the truck and go to Storyland for 9:30 when they open. We'll do whatever but we'll make sure to see the first Farm Follies show so we don't miss it. The park closes at 5 so we'll leave and possibly get something quick for dinner before driving home for the night. We'll get home at whatever time and for me at least, it'll be time for bed as I have to work at the station the next morning.
See what I mean though by not needing a lot of plans?
This may not be my usual PTR/TR but Abby has had so much support from those on the boards that she wanted me to write this. She was going to write her own but she liked what I wrote better so she just let me finish. Since it's only one night, it shouldn't take me long to write up the actual TR - I'll work on it Sunday when I'm at work after we get home. I'm also going to use Google Photos which will take less time for the photos than Photobucket so I won't have that holding me up either. Stay tuned though as I obviously don't know when exactly I'll get it done (but it will be before Disney - I do promise that).