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The "Last Minute (...No, I MEAN Last Minute) Trip" (Nov 5-12, 2012) Updated 1/1/13 post #2
The Pre-Trip Confusion
Ahhh... so you want an explanation?! But first... The Characters: Me: Kenny. Officially OLD at 60, but still a kid at heart! Disney dreaming since I was at least 3 when I received a Pluto plush while in the hospital having a hernia repaired. This would be my 4th trip to the World. DW: Brenda. 50 something. Keeps me stable, while still just as much a kid as me(...Shhhh! Don't tell anybody!) This will be her 4th trip staying on property, though she has many more day trips in earlier years. She brought out THE DISNEY in me that had been hidden deep inside for my whole childhood. DS: Scott. 30. A good "kid." Works hard at his job as an IT tech for an internet service provider. Enjoys the company conventions every year, which this time is at Coronado Springs Resort at WDW! We must have raised him pretty good because he invited his loving Mother and Dad to share their trip to Disney! Never stayed on property, but has been a few times many years ago. DS'sGF: Elizabeth. 30. (AKA: Beth which I will be using more often because I'm lazy!) I don't know her Disney history at all. She is a very nice girl and keeps Scott from getting too far out on a limb.
Once upon a time there were a couple of humans, Kenny and his Devoted Wife, Brenda, who lived in Never Never Land. This was NOT the Never Never Land you know and love from your childhood memories, but the land you never want to be stuck in... the land of REALITY!
In this day and age of $4 gas, paycuts, and $60 baggage fees, not to mention huge cell phone bills! (Yes, we now have "Smart Phones" that we just can't seem to live without.), we have found it difficult, at best, to be able to afford a Disney vacation this year. I finally had to tell my favorite Travel Planner, Amanda, that we would not be able to go this year.
Then, about a month ago, our DS, Scott, told us his company would be having their annual convention at WDW November 6th through the 9th, at Coronado Springs Resort, and wouldn't it be nice if we could go down and spend some time with him and his DGF, Beth, in the "World". Uh, well, yes! They live in Charlotte, NC, so we don't get to see them very often. But, we just got back from 2 weeks in New England and were not sure we could afford the trip, but we would see.
Brenda began going over the bills and projected income. I notified Amanda what we were considering, and Scott was working with his company's travel department to see how we could fit it all together. Things did not look good. We just couldn't justify the expense. I finally had to tell Amanda, again, we would not be able to work it out.
Then about a week and a half before the convention, Scott told us we would be able to stay in the room with him and Beth for just the extra person charge ($15 p/day + tax each). They were staying an extra day and would be leaving Sunday, 11/11. Brenda looked over the finances again and said we may just be able to squeeze it all in, if we just did one day in the parks. So, exactly one week before leaving, I checked with my boss and, although it was very short notice, was able to get a week and a days vacation. Brenda just had to see if she could get into the dialysis clinic in Celebration, FL for that week... (she did, but not till the Friday before we would go! ).
Still, though, the money was just too tight. Then, that Thursday, I was checking my truck out for one more trip before vacation when I lost my footing and fell off the truck , flat on my back from a height of about 3 feet! I thought I was hurt bad! But, I was able to get up and run my trip, just a little more sore than normal. ...and still, we were just not comfortable with the money.
On Friday night Brenda called me (I was still on the road) and said she had come up with some extra money she had not been aware of, and, if we watched our expenses really close, she was confident that we could make the trip! I messaged Amanda, apologizing for not using her services because Scott's company was making all the arrangements, we were just tagging along. We did receive a pin code for next year, though, that we intend to take advantage of!
So... we had a plan... sort of. We would drive down because it was too short notice to get FF tickets and flying is too difficult now with an oxygen machine and we would need a car to get to Celebration anyway. As I am a truck driver, driving is no problem. Brenda was able to get her Monday dialysis session moved up to 6am, so we would be able to leave about 9:30-10:00. I was hoping to get to about Orangeburg, SC which would be about 490 miles, which would leave 400 to go on Tuesday. We would probably be arriving at Coronado Springs Tuesday evening for a late dinner, then. So, the plan:
Mon, Nov 5, 2012: Brenda has an early treatment. I will take our big dog, Katie to the kennel, then do some last minute things and pick up Brenda about 9:30. We would take our Chihuahua to my Mom's as we leave. We would drive to Orangeburg, SC to our hotel, arriving about 7pm. Tue, Nov 6, 2012: Leave the motel and Orangeburg about 9am. Drive to WDW arriving between 4 and 5pm, hopefully. Meet up with DS, Scott and Elizabeth and get checked in, then find something to eat. That will most likely be it for the day. Wed, Nov 7, 2012:We have to get up in the wee hours today. Brenda has to be in Celebration at 5:45am! After her treatment, 9:30ish, we will look for something to eat near the clinic since we will not have had anything yet. Go back and check out the Resort, maybe go to DTD for dinner. Thu, Nov 8, 2012: Another "Just hang around the Resort" day. Scott will be in meetings all day anyway, so we won't be missing any time with him. Maybe see if we can arrange a meeting with our friend Amy and her Mom who live here. Fri, Nov 9, 2012: Brenda's brother arrives home from meetings and classes in California. They live in Longwood, on the other side of Orlando. We may go up there and see them today. Sat, Nov10, 2012: Scott will have no meetings, so we will do our one park day with him and Beth. We will make suggestions, but the attack plan will be theirs. Sun, Nov11, 2012: Ugh!!! Leave for home. We will hope to get to Columbia again, or Charlotte, NC, if possible. Mon, Nov12, 2012: Finally home. hopefully not too late, I have to go back to work on Tuesday.
Such is the plan... of course, you can't always follow a plan! Sometimes, life just gets in the way of the best laid plans of man.
Up Next: Will we get out of town on time??? ...or not!?