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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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This past week-end we had the pleasure of welcoming GoofyMom (Donna) and her DH (Dan) from the great white north (Winnipeg) to our house in east central IL. What a great time we had with them! They arrived Saturday evening after a long day traveling from Sioux Falls SD just in time for dinner. After they got settled we ate and relaxed a bit before we all headed for a good night's sleep.
On Sunday we wanted to take them to Clinton IL to see a true midwest fall festival, the Apple and Pork Festival. In it's 43rd year we had been to it many times. I had sent Donna a link to the festival's site and she told me it looked like fun so we planned on going.
I thought our plans would have to be changed after hearing it rain during the night on Saturday and waking to gray skies, fog and chilly temps. There is nothing worse than trekiing through the mud and freezing at an outdoor event. However, we put our faith in the weatherman and ventured out after having some breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised when we left the interstate as we neared Clinton that the sun came out and the temps went up. Just enough to be truly comfortable.
As we got to the town it was evident there was an event there somewhere. We drove into town and got right into the parking area where we usually park and just a short walk to the action. The lot is run by the local 4H club so it was a good use of $5.
After crossing the street we were met with these sights:
We decided to start to walk around the area around the historical house on the property. There were lots of food vendors and craftsman there.
One of the first things that caught our eye was a man making benches. Dan struck up a conversation with him on their construction and types of wood he used.
I think if it would have been possible Donna would have taken one home!
We wandered around some more. Bob got some Apple Fritters (sorry no picture) to eat. We all declines to share. But they did smell good.
We found one of our favorite artists was there and stopped by his booth. We have purchased many of his prints but today we bought an original.
Here are the previous prints (sorry about the glare):
You can see the ones we bought were all country barns. Most were winter scenes. Last year I ventured into some autumn scenes.
The latest and only original:
Here is the artist wrapping our latest purchase. We will probably also see him when we go to the Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana next month.
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We then ventured across the street to see what was there. We found a tent with lots of different things for sale.
The local bee keeper with their honey:
A brave girl watching the bees do their work.
These decoys could be used for hunting or just displayed as they were very well done and lifelike.
On this property is the DeWitt County Historical Society Museum. The food and craft venders are positioned around this old house. We did not go into the house for the tour this time. Here are some pictures of it and things around the building.
Being interviewed for local TV.
A funny sign near, what else, food! Got a picture of it and of Dan also taking one.
As we headed around the side of the museum we came upon DH's favorite festival food - ham and beans! So off he went in search of this tempting (to him) dish!
A very happy man!
Now on to see the other arts and crafts typical to a fall festival in the midwest.
First up is KETTLE KORN!!
No doubt we would be getting a fresh bag of the wonderful stuff!
Now on to find some treasures.
What Illinoisians do with their party bottles!
Now this guy was pretty cool. Take some loud music, some spray paint, some painting tools like cardboard and crumpled paper, and see what comes out!
So we headed back further into the sea of venders. There is so much it's hard to see it all. We got to the back and stopped for a snack and something to drink. It was warm in the sun but in the shade it was just right. Took a picture of the cars of people who didn't want to pay for parking. They were parked way up the road and over the hill.
After our snack we found a few (hundred) more booths. This one shows that fall is really here and pumpkins are ready. But really, who would want to carry one of these babies all around for the day??
It looked as if we were not going to spend any more money here today. But wait, what did Donna see?? But something that she could not leave without. So, after checking it out this is what she bought.
A very happy person.
We did find one other booth that DH was looking for. The one that sells tools made in China for really cheap. He got a new garden trowel and some other type of tool I don't remember. I also got some garden flags. $1 a piece is pretty good.
We thought we'd head on back. On our way we saw one of the ladies dressed in period costume for the event.
We also found someone to take our picture with all our treasures.
One last thing was to watch a local group of cloggers.
Stopped on the way to the car for another festival favorite, a lemon shake-up. Delish! On our way back to the house we had a little time to drive through the U of I campus. It is really big so driving was the best way to do it. We did manage to find a parking spot for a quick visit to the main part of campus, the Quad.
The Illini Student Union
Donna stopped to smell the roses
Dan and Bob looking at the Auditorium
My camera died so I took this with my phone. I think Dan has one of us all
We got back to our house and hunger had set in. We decided to get a Sunday night couples special at the Rib Eye in Champaign (two steaks, salad bar, potato or rice and WINE!!) Again, I think Dan has a picture of us at dinner. I should have had our server take one of us all.
Back home, relaxed, and headed to bed after some great fun and conversation.
Tomorrow the Canadians were on the road again and our week-end fun with them would end. But first - Breakfast. Stay tuned for the wrap up.
Well, to stay on schedule Donna and Dan had to leave on Monday. We have a nice place in Savoy, Le Peep, that has good breakfast items so we suggested that before they left.
Getting ready for the day and ultimately having to say good-bye
Some last minute suggestions and directions
Their car following us to the restaurant
Outside Le Peep
Fun times at breakfast, again, should have asked our server to take a picture of us all. Darn!
So, off they went and off I went to take DH to work. It was too quiet at my house when I got home but I spent some time going back over my pictures. Donna and Dan brought us each a special Tshirt, that is very dear to their and our hearts. Also, some pins from the recent Olympics hosted by the Canadians. What a really nice thing to do. I now have at least one pin from the LA, Atlanta, and Vancouver olympics. Guess I'll have to try and collect others from North American hosted olympics. (Sorry this last picture is so big)
So, the week-end went fast and it was great fun to spend time with both of them. In fact, a trip to Winnipeg is now moved up on our bucket list. Would love to see North Dakota and maybe Montana as these are the two states in that area we have yet to visit. Will keep you all posted when that adventure is in the planning stages.
Thanks for following along. Hope you had as much fun as we did!!
Sounds like a wonderful weekend, thanks for sharing! I saw some of Donna's photos on facebook. It looks like they are having a blast on their trip!
I am very thankful they put us on their travel agenda and very jealous of the amount of time they will be traveling and the things they will do and the people they will see. What a great trip this will be!