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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Saturday 2 May – part four: the view from the top….
We headed to the upstairs of Oxburgh Hall…
…. and the first room you get to is the north bedroom, which was actually used by the Bedingfield family until 1985. I guess it was never open to the public until after they stopped using it.
Opposite is what was Lady Betty’s sitting room, but it’s now home to a display of some of the wallpaper used in Oxburgh, as a lot of it dates from the Victorian era. It was fascinating to see this stuff, knowing how old it was.
We then headed in to see the house’s greatest treasures, the Marian Hangings. These 16th century embroideries were worked on by Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick. They came to Oxburgh as part of Mary Browne’s dowry when she married the fourth Baronet in 1761.
You then head into the King’s Room, which hasn’t changed much since it was built in 1482. It was named because King Henry VII visited Oxburgh in 1487.
From here, you can visit the priest hole, a secret chamber created in the 16th century when Catholic priests were forced to hide from persecution.
We then made our way up the stairs to the Queen’s Room first…
… and then the rooftop, where you got some wonderful views across the land that makes up part of the Oxburgh Hall estate today.
We were also able to see some sheep, also known (to me of course ) as fluffy furballs, and lambs, which are of course mini fluffy furballs!
We made our way back down to ground level, and headed straight over to the tea room. They have quite a neat system, where you order what you want when you arrive, then they escort you to a table, so you don’t have the hassle of not being sure whether or not you’re going to get a table once you’ve got your food.
I had the lemon drizzle cake, which was very night – light and moist…
… while Mark went for the Curly Wurly cake, which the woman who served us did warn him was very sweet, but he seemed to like it.
The tea room is in the old kitchens, and it was fascinating to sit there and admire the old items they had in there.
When we were done eating and drinking, we headed over to the shop, where we got our fridge magnet, and I also got a bottle of local rose wine. Well, afterwards, we wouldn’t be driving for the next three nights, so why not? And before you say that we’d be driving a boat, well heck, if you could see how many people are piloting boats on the Norfolk Broads with either a bottle of beer or a glass of wine in their hands, you’d realise that’s something that most people don’t bother about.
We headed back to the car, getting a few final shots on the way…
I got a few shots as we left the village…
… then a couple of miles away, look what we found! Mark kindly stopped, so that I could get out, say hello and snap a couple of shots!
That gift membership you have to the Trust has to be the most generous and thoughtful gifts ever! You've made wonderful use of it and it's also nice to feel you're a part of saving these treasures.
Oh it was. I am so eternally grateful to Maureen for getting for us. We were trying to work out how long ago she bought it and I think it was maybe 2009 or 2010. Considering joint membership annually for two adults is now £104 and I think, when she bought us the membership, it was about £1,500 for the two of us (I'm going from memory here), we have a bit longer to make it pay properly. However, having said that, I always work on the theory of it we visit National Trust properties that cost more than £100 in a year than we've made very good use of it, if that makes sense?
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We made our way over to Brundall, where we’d be picking up our boat from. Now having said that we’d be there between midday and 1:00pm, when we set off from Oxburgh Hall, the GPS announced that we wouldn’t get there until 1:35pm. We both thought it was wrong, as it was saying that to do 40 miles would take an hour and 20 minutes, and sure enough, we were there at around 1:10pm, which wasn’t too bad.
Passing over the River Yare, which we’d be doing much of our boating on
When we got to Brundall, we found the road that our boat hire place was on, but my goodness, it was absolutely massive. We honestly drove for about a mile, before we found our place.
When we did, the place was absolutely packed. There were two groups in front of me checking in for their boats, one of which had arranged for a Tesco grocery order to be delivered to the place, which was clever thinking. We were finally seen and I think it helped that I’d already called and spoken to the woman, as we were very quickly sorted out. All of us had to go and get fitted with our life jackets, and then we were told we could go and put our stuff on board our boat. The woman advised us to drive down there, but to be honest, it would’ve only gained us maybe 50 yards, as the boat was still quite a bit further up in its moorings, so we ended up doing a tag team, although Mark did most of the to and fro-ing, while I was unpacking everything on the boat.
So what was it like? Well, have a look for yourself….
Do you think it’s comfortable?
Yes, it flushes – no more hand pump flushing!
I will confess to letting out a huge squeal when I saw the bathroom – perfect!
I really liked the layout of it, as there was lots of space, although the only frustrating thing was finding places to put our cases, although eventually I was able to sort that little problem out…
There was a group next to us, and they ended up leaving first. I tell you what, I would not like to have been on their boat. It didn’t look that much bigger than ours and there were four adults and a baby and three dogs!
Once they were dispatched on their way, a guy came to do all the safety drill and the orientation with us, although luckily we were familiar with a lot of it from our last trip on the Broads in Easter 2014, so it was pretty much “plain sailing” (sorry I couldn’t resist! ) with us…
He turned the boat about for us, and told us to either go right for Norwich or left for Great Yarmouth. Now our original plan was to go to Norwich, and we mentioned that to him, but he told us that if we wanted a good night’s sleep, it wasn’t such a good plan, as apparently there are quite a few clubs around where the moorings are, and on a Saturday night, it could get a bit boisterous. We looked at each other, and immediately decided to change our plans. He told us to go to Norwich, but during the day, maybe Monday, and then moor up somewhere else for a quieter night. Good plan! So, when we left the marina, we turned left…