Not Quite London., but was once ruled by England… - UPDATED 7/26 - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |   follow us on


Forums Closed
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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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!

Best wishes for a wonderful and magical new year!

Go Back   PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums > PassPorter Universe: General Trip Planning and Discussion > Globetrotting: General Trip Reports
Register


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.

If you think you've already joined, log in below now. If you don't remember your member name or password, please visit our Member Name and Password Recovery page. You are also welcome to contact us.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-12-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
Fortissimo
Recovering VMK Addict!
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Explorer
 
Fortissimo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Thornton, CO
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 13,087

Post Thanks / Like
Not Quite London., but was once ruled by England… - UPDATED 7/26

It began long, long ago on a safari far, far away. We had just escaped a harrowing encounter with a lion when our safari guide ditched us along side a road. We had no idea where we were, but could see a mountain off in the distance. As we walked toward the mountain on a well-beaten path, I turned around to find my husband was no longer walking with me. I panicked as I back-tracked through the throngs of animals to find my husband had become side-tracked by a man selling villas found in the surrounding villages. I became very frightened by this scene as I never thought I would live to see this day.

In reality, the year was 2006 and the place was Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Being the mature person I am, I picked WDW as the place to celebrate my 40th birthday. If I would have ever gotten around to finishing that trip report, you all would have discovered that Greg frightened me when he stopped at the DVC booth as we walked from the Kilimanjaro Safaris to Everest. For so long I had been taking about looking into the DVC, but each time I was met with an eye roll. I about passed out when Greg signed us up for a DVC tour for the next day.

I was going to tell you about this in my trip report, but I kind of got side-tracked by my addiction for a game called VMK. So, I never finished that report.

We didn’t buy into the DVC that day. Instead, while the DVC salesman left the room, we called my sister who had purchased the Marriott Vacation Club a few years ago. My heart sank as Greg and I both decided that the Marriott VC had more to offer us than the DVC, and at a way better price. So, when we got home from our WDW trip, we joined the Marriott VC.

Our first Marriott VC experience was last year as we used points to visit Hawaii for our 10th Anniversary. We stayed at the beautiful Waikiki Marriott on Oahu and the out-of-this world Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Big Island.

I would have written a trip report about this vacation as well, but VMK got in the way of that report as well.

(Oh, VMK also prevented me from telling you about my semi-solo trip to WDW last summer as well. I went to watch my niece, Kada (aka Stinky) in her last national dance championship in Daytona Beach. I also spent a week at WDW all by myself. If I would have finished that report, you would have learned that Kada took first over-all for her jazz solo, making her the National Champion. But, since VMK was over-powering my mind, I didn't write that report either.)

On our way back from Hawaii, we talked about our options for this year’s vacation. We both decided it would be London. So, as soon as our booking window opened, we asked to be put on the list for the London Marriott site. Then we waited.

And we waited.

And we waited even more.

As we waited even more for that phone call to tell us we had gotten our week in London, Marriott kept sending us emails for other locations we could use our week. I really liked the looks of the Williamsburg VA Marriott time share so we discussed that as being a back-up if London didn’t become available. Then, one day in February as we drove to work, we heard on the news that the exchange rate for the American dollar to the U.K. pound was now 2-1. Ouch! We looked at each other and both said, “Williamsburg it is!”

So, that night we called our MVC rep and asked if we could change our request to Williamsburg. Or I should say, Greg called our rep because I hate the phone. We were immediately given a date for June 27-July 4 for a two-bedroom suite. Sweet! Greg also asked if my mom might want to go, so we called her. She said she would think about it and get back to us. She was afraid that her dogs would be upset if she left them with my step-dad. (I inherited this from my mom – I totally panic about having to leave my pets.)

While we waited for my mom to decide, we looked into air fare. Scary! Both Greg and I had enough miles for United, so we looked at those flights. We couldn’t get seats on flights to Norfolk or Richmond, but we could get seats on flights into Dulles. Hmmm….our minds reeled as we thought about our options:

A: Spend at least $550 on flights into Norfolk for our dates on SW, or

B. Spend $5 on a flight into Dulles using miles on United.

Tough decision it wasn’t.

Before booking the flights, we played around on the Marriott site, looking to see if we could use points for a hotel in D.C. or the surrounding area. While we were looking, my mom called. As soon as we told her that we were looking into adding a few days in D.C., she asked if the invitation was still open to join us. Silly mom, of course it was!

So, I booked a one bedroom suite at the Marriott Residence Inn in Rosslyn for half the points all the other D.C Marriotts were asking.

I began to worry, why was this Marriott so much cheaper than the others? Was it horrible? Did they have bed bugs or even worse, spiders? I looked on Trip Advisor for comments from people who had stayed here. Almost all of the comments said that the hotel was outstanding and wonderful. So why was it so cheap, I wondered? I discovered that it was so much cheaper because it wasn’t actually in D.C., but in Rosslyn.

Well, were in the heck is Rosslyn, VA and how far would we have to go before we actually got into D.C.? I discover Rosslyn is a blip in Arlington and the Metro subway station is a block away from our hotel.

I begin to worry more about why our hotel is so much cheaper than the others as we continue to plan our vacation. Greg and my mom would roll their eyes at me every time I mention this. They both start making up stories, like, “I read today that this Marriott had an infestation of spiders last year.” They also would tell me the reason the ratings were so good is because management got onto Trip Advisor and did their own reviews.

Meanies.


As our trip grew nearer and we did more research, we discovered that we could possibly get a White House tour and a Capitol tour if we contacted our congressman. I made Greg do that because of my hate for the phone. We were told that we would find out about our requests about two weeks before our vacation dates. None of us had any hopes of getting the tours because you are supposed to put the requests in 3 months in advance. We didn’t put the request in until 6 weeks before the trip. However, a week before our trip we learned that we had all passed the security back-ground checks and we were going to tour both the White House and the Capitol. Score!

As I end this incredibly windy pre-trip report, I promise you that I will finish this trip report. Disney decided to close the virtual doors of VMK, so I actually have time on my hands this summer. Ok, I had the time to write and finish the other trip reports, but my VMK addiction wouldn’t allow it.


Up next:

Stuck in an elevator with no food.
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsDLR 6/1976 & 3/1986. WDW offsite Sept. 1985, Jan. 1988, Dec/Jan 1990/91, July, 1999. Enough of the off-site stays! CBR June 2000; PO-R June 2002; POP, CBR and Daytona Beach June 2005; 40th b-day celebration PO-R & AKL, June 2006; POFQ, Daytona (to watch Stinky win Nationals!) and back to the Fish (Dolphin) 2007.

Last edited by Fortissimo; 07-27-2008 at 12:33 AM..
Fortissimo is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 07:18 PM   #2
Colexis Mom
RED SOX NATION!!
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank:
Legend VIP
 
Colexis Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Connecticut
Concierge Level: 9
Posts: 136,854

Post Thanks / Like
Great start Robin More please
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsAUG '16 - POFQ, APR '12 - POFQ, JUL '10 - DL, AUG '09 - DCL Western, AUG '08 - POFQ/BC, AUG '06 - AKL/BC/DisneyWonder/Poly, DEC '05 - AKL, APR '05 - AKL/BC, DEC '04 - AKL, MAY '04 - AKL/BC, MAY '03 - WL/BC, MAY '98 -offsite, MAY '94 - BC, AUG '85 - Poly, AUG '83 - Poly, AUG '81 - Poly, JUL '79 - World Inn, JUL '76 - World Inn
Colexis Mom is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 07:26 PM   #3
Tinkerbelly
Community Rank: Jetsetter
 
Tinkerbelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Waxahachie, Texas
Posts: 2,147

Post Thanks / Like
very good...can't wait for more.
__________________
Toni aka Tinkerbelly


My twin nieces, my loves...
My Previous TripsSo,so many times...
Tinkerbelly is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 11:44 PM   #4
rescuesk
Magic Happens!
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Legend
 
rescuesk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: E. Stroudsburg, PA
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 29,184

Post Thanks / Like
No more VMK = a Robin trip report! Can't wait!!!
__________________


http://www.passporter.com/images/lizardcop-memorial-ribbon.png




"Never have an ordinary day."
My Countdown Counting down to: Walking for a cure in Philly, year 7!
Because everyone deserves a lifetime!
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsVillas at Wilderness Lodge, October 2015. Awesome trip!!!
rescuesk is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 05:43 AM   #5
chezp
PassPorter Message Board Manager
PassPorter Guide Author

Community Rank:
Legend VIP
 
chezp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Maidstone, Kent, UK
Concierge Level: 3
Posts: 190,285

Post Thanks / Like
Great start Robin - I'm eagerly looking forward to hearing more.
__________________

Relaxing on board the Magic. The trip report for our back-to-back cruises on the Disney Magic has started!
My Countdown Counting down to: 2019
Happy New Year!
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous Trips21 trips to WDW, 6 to Disneyland in California, 9 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 13 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy
chezp is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008, 08:19 AM   #6
DrDolphin
Living Seas wannabe
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank:
Legend Extraordinaire
 
DrDolphin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 31,940

Post Thanks / Like
Can't wait to read all about it!!! We benefit from the lack of VMK!!
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous Trips60+ WDW trips - most recent January 2014 - SSR; 2 DL/DCA - most recent Feb 2007 - DLH; 9 DCL - most recent July 2014 - Disney Fantasy
DrDolphin is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2008, 08:22 PM   #7
JoanW
Community Rank: Navigator
 
JoanW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Davidsonville, MD
Posts: 6,563

Post Thanks / Like
I use PP Boards as my excuse for not finishing everything, TR's, housework, financial stuff, etc.
__________________


Weenie likes to snuggle.

My Countdown Counting down to: Boston Chocolate Buffet Girls Weekend!
Where are the chocolate martinis?
My Previous Trips1989 - My Very First Trip to the Mouse ~ 1997 - My First Trip to Disneyland ~ 2003 - My Very First Disney Cruise and Staying Onsite ~ 2005 - The Big Trip v2005 - A Second Cruise and a Third Trip to the Mouse~ 2008 - Mousefest and Turning 5-0, Tiaras v.1.0! 2009 - Sousefest, Tiaras v.2.0! 2010 - Food, FABs, Friends, Tiaras v3.0
JoanW is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
wdwlovers
Community Rank: Legend
 
wdwlovers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: WI
Posts: 17,126

Post Thanks / Like
More please!!!
__________________
Denise


Counting down to....
May 2017 - Poly (Grandma's 1st Trip to WDW)
Sept 2017 - DH's bday celebration
Aug 2018 - DCL Family cruise on the Dream
My Countdown Counting down to: Adults Only Winter Getaway
Wheeeee!
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsJune 1992-offsite, Sept 1998-Honeymoon at WL, Dec 2000 CBR, April 2001-offsite, Aug 2002-AS Sports, May 2004 Mother/Daughter trip w/ my mom AKL&CBR, Jan 2005-Graduation trip AKL&CBR, May 2008-POR, Aug 2008-AS Movies, Jan 2011-AS Sports, June 2012-SSR Treehouse Villa, Dec 2012-SSR Treehouse Villa, May 2013-SSR/AKV, Feb 2014-OKW, July 2014-POFQ, Feb 2015-BCV, Feb 2016-Poly & Disney Magic DCL, Sept 2016-Poly, Oct 2016-Poly
wdwlovers is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2008, 05:55 PM   #9
Diz
Community Rank: Explorer
 
Diz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: In the state of Disney Dreaming!
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 10,572

Post Thanks / Like
I miss vmk too.
But it will be fun reading your tr!

I do have to say though, I'm surprised you passed the security clearance! Did you bribe them with the promise of future Mbars?
__________________

Thanks Shadowryter! I love it!!
My Previous TripsWas home in June 2012
Diz is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2008, 12:07 AM   #10
Fortissimo
Recovering VMK Addict!
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Explorer
 
Fortissimo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Thornton, CO
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 13,087

Post Thanks / Like
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diz View Post
I miss vmk too.
But it will be fun reading your tr!

I do have to say though, I'm surprised you passed the security clearance! Did you bribe them with the promise of future Mbars?
I am surprised, too!

However, no way would I give up Mickey Bars just to pass a security clearance!


My next installment is on the way!
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsDLR 6/1976 & 3/1986. WDW offsite Sept. 1985, Jan. 1988, Dec/Jan 1990/91, July, 1999. Enough of the off-site stays! CBR June 2000; PO-R June 2002; POP, CBR and Daytona Beach June 2005; 40th b-day celebration PO-R & AKL, June 2006; POFQ, Daytona (to watch Stinky win Nationals!) and back to the Fish (Dolphin) 2007.
Fortissimo is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2008, 12:24 AM   #11
Fortissimo
Recovering VMK Addict!
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Explorer
 
Fortissimo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Thornton, CO
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 13,087

Post Thanks / Like
Stuck in an elevator with no food!

Stuck in an elevator with no food!

June 23 is finally here! My mom was so excited to be going on her first vacation since she went to WDW with me in 2002.

Before I continue, let me introduce you to the crew:

My mom, Pat, retired from the education world. She has two Airedale Terrors, I mean Terriers and is worried about them as she doesn’t think my step-dad will cook them chicken and rice every night. She actually cooks the dogs’ dinners before she leaves and freezes individually wrapped portions. Yes, this is the same mother who would hand me $5 and tell me “McDonalds is on the corner” when I would ask what was for dinner.

Greg, my husband, or house band for you VMK peeps. He loves the Colorado Avalanche and making fun of my hair color as well as my height. His favorite line is that maybe some day I will be tall enough to ride a Dumbo or even a roller coaster.

Robin, this would be me, the planner of all trips Disney. However, since this is not Disney, I am a co-conspirator. I am also the person who had many blond moments of the group.


When we first booked our flight in February, our plane was supposed to leave Denver at 10:45 a.m., but we all know how that goes. About ten e-mail alerts later our plane is now scheduled to leave at 11:30 a.m. My sister is our chauffeur to DIA, picking up mom first and then us. We arranged for our house sitter to be at our house at about 8 so she could meet the pirate puppy, aka Jack the Golden Receiver.

Our house sitter is the daughter of one of our colleagues. She just graduated from college and is looking for an internship in Spain. This is the third time she has sat for us and she is awesome. Keep the college-age kids of co-workers in mind when looking for house sitters. They always need extra money and they also like getting out of the house and away from the parents.

The sitter showed up on time, eager to meet the furry crew. She can’t believe Fortissimo is still alive. We tell her it is because he is too dumb to figure out how die (you have to know Fortissimo to really aprreciate this). Jack only stole one of her shoes so that was a great start. He did steal my socks though, and I have this thing about wearing wet socks, so I had to get clean socks.

Mom and Shannon arrive and we are off! It takes about 20 minutes to get to the airport, where Shannon throws us out of the car for curbside check-in and a little humor.

The lady in front of us has 6 bags she is trying to check for her and her husband. Plus she has two carry-ons just for her. You all know the cost of checking bags these days. I was adding up United profits in my head as she argued with the United agent. The agent weighs her largest bag. It is 54 lbs so she either has to move some stuff or pay the fees. She argues and she loses. Wait it gets better!

She opens her bag to move stuff around, as she does so, she turns around and tells us, “We are going for a week, how are we supposed to pack less?”

I tell her to move shoes because they weigh the most, but she has no shoes in that bag. She has literally thrown all her clothes in the bag without folding any of them. I spot crackers, cookies, cereal, and two big containers of Clorox Wipes.

Me: “The Clorox Wipes are 16 ounces each. Take those out, the bottle of water, and the cookies or crackers, and that will be four pounds.”

Her: “That isn’t four pounds. The Clorox wipes are 16 ounce each, so that is only 30 ounces.”

Me: “Well, maybe if you take that 30 ounces out, it will be close enough that he will let you slide on the other two ounces.”



My mom, Greg, and the agent are dying at this point. The agent let her slide.

As her luggage tickets were being printed, she looks at our three bags and asks if we are only going for a few days. When we told her we would be gone 11 days the look on her face was priceless.

Then we got to listen to her argue about why she couldn’t check her husband in. Umm, lady, have you not listened to the news, read a paper, a magazine, or even the internet since 2001? Her husband arrives and they finally check in.

It took us five minutes tops to check in. And, the agent refused our tip because we made him laugh.

We entered the security line behind a lady drinking a Diet Coke. As the line progressed, she was told by two TSA agents she could not have the pop past the trash cans. Of course she ignored them. The TSA agent checking tickets and IDs would not look at hers until the pop was gone. So what does the lady do?

She drops it on the floor, right in front of us and the agent.

I about died. How rude is that? Being my snarky self, I picked up the bottle and said, “Here, let me get that for you. I wouldn’t want you to break a toenail walking three feet to the recycle bin.”

If looks could kill, I would not be writing this report.

At this point we were starving so we decided food would be a great idea. We all got breakfast wraps at a new restaurant and decided to take them to the gate since we were now running late for some reason.

After rushing to the gate with our food, we discovered the plane would be delayed about an hour because of weather in DC. Sweet! We had time to eat!

An hour later, we are finally told we can board, but if we can’t do it in 7 minutes, we will lose half of our flight attendants as they will be over their hours. It took 5 minutes for one mom to argue that her children’s stuffed animals shouldn’t be counted as a carry-on. Someone yelled, “Just put them in the backpacks!” so that is what they did.


As soon as we were all on, in 15 minutes, not 7, we were told that we that we would now have to wait for two new flight attendants. Glad we hurried to the gate to board the plane.

Did I mention it was over 90 outside? Or that they didn’t turn any of the air blower-thingies on for us? We sat for another hour.

We finally got our flight attendants and clearance to join the take-off queue! Are flight was great, with only a few pot-holes in the sky, leaving the front-range area of Colorado. We landed only about 1½ later than what we were supposed to, so that was great.

Now let’s talk Dulles International Airport.

After we landed and made the obligatory visit to the litter box, we found that you have to board these vehicles that take you to the baggage claim area. They reminded us of the tour busses used to view polar bears in Alaska. (this is a picture I found on Google)



As the last person boarded our expedition to view the polar bears, err, I mean to get our luggage, I recognized his voice. It was our State Senator, Ken Salazar! We had a nice little chat with him, and he offered to hook us up with a senate tour. Since we had already been granted a tour through our Congressman’s office, we politely declined. He told us to make sure our guide takes us on the Senate side of the capitol, because they are known to skip that side out of jealousy.

Waiting for luggage is always a grand time, so I scoped out the scenery. What did I spot? A counter restaurant that had huge apple fritters! These donuts were as large as a dinner plate! I am a huge fan of donuts, with chocolate donuts and apple fritters as my favorite, so I started walking towards the counter. Mom and Greg ran after me and told me that we could get donuts later, but not now, as the bags were arriving.

Meanies.

Grabbed the bags, hopped on the Avis shuttle to pick up our car so we could be on our way!

Note here: I booked our car through the Costco website after checking the prices on all websites and all car rental companies. Since we were going to be in DC and could use the Metro, I even looked at not renting the car until we drove to Williamsburg on June 27. It was actually $200 cheaper to rent a car for our entire trip as opposed to the week we would need it for Williamsburg. Add in the cost of transportation from Dulles to our hotel, and that would take the cost up at least another $100.

Also, in the past, I have found that the rental prices decrease as you get closer to your trips. Many I time have I booked a car 3 or 4 months out, and then rebooked right before our trips because I found a better deal. Not so in this case. This time the prices were rising each day. As a result, I was very happy with the $237 price I got for our mid-size car for 11 days. I was really hoping the price of the Prius Avis has would come down, but that rate went up to $750 for the 11 days.

Mom and I babysat our bags as Greg went into the Avis office. I told him to ask how much the upgrade to a Prius would cost. We decided if it was $200, we would upgrade.

Avis charged $70 for the upgrade to the Prius!

Now to find the hotel.

Do guys ever stop and ask for directions? Or listen to their wives? I’m being serious here.

The hotel directions said they were 25 miles from Dulles. About 20 miles in, Greg has decided we have missed the exit, so he decided to get off the highway and ask for directions. So we pull into a convenience store and he goes and asks for directions. That did a lot of good because he couldn’t really understand the clerk. Then he pulls out his Garmin GPS from his bag (glad he thought of this earlier). It only took him 30 minutes to calibrate the dumb thing. When it was finally calibrated, guess what it said? Yup, it gave the same directions that I had in my hand.

Soon we were checked in, Greg was parking the car, and my mom and I were getting onto the elevator with the luggage cart. The door closed as we pushed the floor number and nothing happened. We pushed it again and nothing. After the 5th time, I opened the door to go ask the clerk what one had to do in order to get the elevator to move.

She looked at me like I was an idiot.

Ok, maybe I am, but could you tell me how to get the elevator to move? Why use your room key of course! Now why didn’t I think of that?

I walked back to the elevator, but the door was closed and it was not opening. The elevator ate my mom!

Well, ok, it didn’t eat her, but someone from the floors above actually wanted to use the elevator, and since they knew how to get it to move, they won. My mom and the couple on the elevator were dying of laughter as those doors opened.

Guess what, if you put your key in a slot by the floor numbers, the elevator does really work. We won’t mention that there was a sign on the back wall of the elevator with directions on how to actually use the elevator.

Hey, the luggage cart was in the way and we couldn’t see the sign! (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

We booked a one-bedroom suite using points. It was on the 8th floor and with a gorgeous view of the building next door. But, like at WDW, would we really be in the room long enough to enjoy a view? The hotel offered complimentary breakfasts every morning and dinner Monday thru Wednesday. Thursdays were a dessert bar. :yum: Since we had taken the long way here, we had missed the free dinner, so we asked at the desk where the closest place to eat was.

Ruby Tuesdays was around the corner, and since they have a great salad bar, we headed there. As we were being seated, the hostess informed us that they had not gotten a delivery from one of their supplies so they were short on a few items. Our waitress came over to our table about 5 minutes after we were seated and proceeded to tell us that they were a few items short that night. She told us they were out of most chicken items and all beef.

No chicken or beef? Have you ever seen Ruby Tuesdays menu? It is almost all chicken and beef. Oh, and there was no more lettuce for the salad bar.

And who says one can’t diet during vacation?

I spied the plate of the young girl next to us. She had chicken strips and fries, obviously from the children’s menu. I asked if I could order chicken strips off the kids menu and our waitress said yes, but she wasn’t sure there were any more fries left. I told her that was ok as I could just steal the little girl’s fries. The girl’s eyes got really big and she moved her plate further away from me. Her parents laughed at her.

My mom ordered the same and Greg ordered the chicken wing appetizer with a side of fries, as they did have fries. They were out of iced tea, so I drank water as Mom and Greg had beer.

After our interesting meal, we headed off toward the Rosslyn Metro station for our very first subway ride ever!

But before we could get to the subway platform, we had to ride the escalator down below the ground. The Rosslyn escalator is the third longest escalator in the world, at about 206 feet, and almost 100 vertical feet below ground. The almost 3-minute ride was quite spooky at night, as the lights give off an eerie glow. The train was there within a few minutes and we were off!

Not knowing where we were really headed, we got off the train at the Smithsonian station to walk towards the Mall. As we walked towards the Mall, we noticed there were a few workers attending to a metro escalator at the other end of the station. They asked if they could help us find something and we told them we were just exploring. We thought they were just being helpful, but as we learned the next day this wasn’t the case (you will have to wait until my next long-winded installment to find out what we discovered!).

Other than the workers we saw no one. The Mall was empty. We had expected to see people walking around, taking in the sights at night, but no one was around. And we thought the Rosslyn escalator was spooky!

After exploring for about an hour, we decided to head back to our room so we could get an early start the next morning.

Next up:

The Capitol and a secret Metro line!
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsDLR 6/1976 & 3/1986. WDW offsite Sept. 1985, Jan. 1988, Dec/Jan 1990/91, July, 1999. Enough of the off-site stays! CBR June 2000; PO-R June 2002; POP, CBR and Daytona Beach June 2005; 40th b-day celebration PO-R & AKL, June 2006; POFQ, Daytona (to watch Stinky win Nationals!) and back to the Fish (Dolphin) 2007.
Fortissimo is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2008, 03:39 AM   #12
chezp
PassPorter Message Board Manager
PassPorter Guide Author

Community Rank:
Legend VIP
 
chezp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Maidstone, Kent, UK
Concierge Level: 3
Posts: 190,285

Post Thanks / Like
What a great installment Robin! That woman at the airport with the six cases was a real classic - and as for Diet Coke woman... Thank goodness you finally made it to the hotel and retrieved your mom. And now I'm curious about the secret Metro line... hurry back with more!
__________________

Relaxing on board the Magic. The trip report for our back-to-back cruises on the Disney Magic has started!
My Countdown Counting down to: 2019
Happy New Year!
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous Trips21 trips to WDW, 6 to Disneyland in California, 9 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 13 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy
chezp is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2008, 08:58 AM   #13
lauren-roxy
Community Rank:
Legend Extraordinaire
 
lauren-roxy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ohio Football Hall Of Fame
Posts: 42,304

Post Thanks / Like
Great start and update!!
__________________
Lori
My Countdown Counting down to: Last day of school!!!
My oldest is off to the middle school!
My Previous TripsWe go to Disney every July for our Annual Trip
lauren-roxy is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2008, 09:19 AM   #14
Colexis Mom
RED SOX NATION!!
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank:
Legend VIP
 
Colexis Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Connecticut
Concierge Level: 9
Posts: 136,854

Post Thanks / Like
Wow Robin, that was quite the trip to get to the hotel (airplane, car, polar bear capsule thingy) Great update!! More please
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsAUG '16 - POFQ, APR '12 - POFQ, JUL '10 - DL, AUG '09 - DCL Western, AUG '08 - POFQ/BC, AUG '06 - AKL/BC/DisneyWonder/Poly, DEC '05 - AKL, APR '05 - AKL/BC, DEC '04 - AKL, MAY '04 - AKL/BC, MAY '03 - WL/BC, MAY '98 -offsite, MAY '94 - BC, AUG '85 - Poly, AUG '83 - Poly, AUG '81 - Poly, JUL '79 - World Inn, JUL '76 - World Inn
Colexis Mom is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 01:45 PM   #15
rescuesk
Magic Happens!
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Legend
 
rescuesk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: E. Stroudsburg, PA
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 29,184

Post Thanks / Like
OMG I am rolling picturing you at the airline check in! I saw those polar-bear thingies at Dulles, also. I actually thought they looked like they were made from sections of retired airplanes!

More please!
__________________


http://www.passporter.com/images/lizardcop-memorial-ribbon.png




"Never have an ordinary day."
My Countdown Counting down to: Walking for a cure in Philly, year 7!
Because everyone deserves a lifetime!
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsVillas at Wilderness Lodge, October 2015. Awesome trip!!!
rescuesk is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump














Please login or register to hide these ads -- it's free and easy!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:03 AM.

-->

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.4.0 Patch Level 1 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2023 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) 1998-2017 PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc.
Celebrating 19 Years of Making Dreams Come True
Ad Management plugin by RedTyger