Disney 2008 Journal

Saturday July 19

     Here's the deal.  You have six people flying standby.  So where are you two hours before your flight?  The airport?  Nooooo.  Near the airport?  Nooooo.  Getting on I-80 from I-65?  Yup.

     Laura, Daphne, Erin, Jimmy, Josie and I left my house at 3:40 a.m.  And of course we made our 6:05 flight to Orlando.

From Laura:

     We arrived in enough time for Jimmy and Laura to get breakfast at Potbelly's before the flight!

     Josie ran into Val's daughter Amanda who was flying to California!

     I slept off and on all the way to Florida.  The girls slept too.

     We packed up the rental van (A very blue Dodge Caravan Stow 'n Go Becky (by phone) named the Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue).  It was nice and very roomy.

     Jim called and Josie told him that she already had to bitch slap me twice!

     We drove to our hotel:  Howard Johnson in Maingate.  It was only 11 a.m. and our room wasn't ready yet so Josie took us to lunch at Denny's.  Very nice.

     Then we went grocery shopping at Publix.  We got a styrofoam cooler, ice, cheese, Diet Pepsi, crackers and fruit.  And I bought the girls two Clippy's.  More on Clippy later.

     Our rooms were ready by then so we unloaded the van.  Our room was adjoined to Josie's and Jimmy's room.  It was a pretty nice room.  And an excellent room for the price ($32.00 a night).  We ordered a refrigerator for the room for the week at $10 a night.  The girls and I napped while Laura read by the pool.

     I gave Josie a shirt with Grammy Jo on the back to match mine which says Grandma Kathy.  We plan to wear them at the breakfast in the castle.

     We swam and had dinner by the pool.  It was very good.  I had ribs, Josie had sausage and Jimmy had hamburgers.  The girls had hamburgers and ate pretty well.

     We headed to the Magic Kingdom.  I rode Cinderella's Golden Carrousel with Daphne and Erin.  We all went on It's A Small World where the girls were entranced.  Then Jimmy and Josie rode Dumbo with the girls while Laura and I bought a few souvenirs.

This signifies a Dream Come True     At 5 minutes to 9, we were behind the castle and decided to go check out the parade.  We walked by a few floats until a "Cast Member" shoved us under the rope in the middle of Main Street where we had a great view.  Erin:  "This is the place that dreams come true.  All my dreams have come true."

     Back at the hotel we got ready for bed.  Laura and I read for a while.  Erin slept with Laura and Daphne slept with Jimmy.  Sometime during the night, Daphne moved to my bed.

Sunday July 20

     The girls and I were up pretty early and I made oatmeal for breakfast.  They liked it.

     Jimmy and I took the girls to the pool and Laura joined us.  Josie was meandering (Jimmy's word) in her room.  Jimmy showed me my website on his BlackBerry.  It was so cute because it showed one icon at a time.

     As four boys were getting in the pool, Daphne said, "Here comes the monsters."

     I said to the girls, "Ok, get out of the pool.  We're going to Disney!"  Daphne replied, "We already went!"

     Josie was leaving to spend the day with her Mother so she dropped us off at Animal Kingdom a little after 11.  We headed to the Kilimanjaro Safari and we got right on.  The animals were great; we especially liked the baby giraffe and it's mother.

     We had a couple of photographers take our pictures.  We pre-ordered a CD from Disney that will contain all the photos the Disney photographers take of us.

This signifies a Dream Come True    Our next stop was The Lion King Show.  We waited twenty minutes to be seated in the third row.  It was a marvelous show and we all enjoyed it.  After the show, Erin was kinda upset.  Laura asked her what was wrong and she said she wanted to be in the show.  Laura thought she meant she wanted to be one of the kids chosen to dance with some cast members.  Erin said, "No, I wanted to be a tricker (one of the people who did "tricks" in the show)!

     Daphne ran a fever on and off almost all day.  Laura got her some ibuprofen at the First Aid Station and we kept her hydrated and cooled down.

     Laura and Jimmy took Daphne and Erin on the Kali River Rapids.  They all got soaked and they all had a blast.

     During lunch, the girls noticed some birds nearby.  Daphne took pictures of them.  Erin turned to me and said, "Those birds aren't afraid of monsters."  I wondered how she knew.  I then determined that she made monster faces at the birds and they didn't fly away!

     Twice during the day we let the girls play in water fountains.  They liked that a lot and got drenched both times.

     Our last treat was "It's Tough to be A Bug".  Josie said the girls would love it.  Uhmmmmm, they didn't.  We had to take Daphne crying and Erin shrieking (Laura's word) from the theater.  Oh well, they were fine in a little while.

     We met Josie in the parking lot and went back to the hotel.  We headed to the pool to swim.


Erin on Clippy

     The girls had a blow-up lobster chair at home that they named Clippy.  Poor Clippy got a hole so he had to be thrown out.  At Publix I was able to buy 2 Clippys.  The girls were thrilled.  They played with them for a little while in the pool.  Then a little boy asked to use one and I said, "Of course!"  So Daphne talked to the boy for about 5 minutes.  I finally told Daphne to leave him alone so he could play.  A few minutes later, he called to a friend, "Hey, Scotty, do you want to play with Clippy?"  I lost it!

     We took a popcorn break from swimming.  When Daphne, Erin and I returned to the pool, Daphne started shivering.  Her fever was up again.  Laura got her fever down.

     I called Becky and she gave me emergency numbers for local clinics...and the number of a 24 hour pharmacy.  Laura saw me talking to Becky and asked me to get emergency phone numbers from her!

     Jimmy went to get some pizza and medicine while the girls played with some of the glowsticks Becky sent.  The girls were asleep by 9:30 and the rest of us by 11.

Monday July 21

     I got up at 7 and quietly puttered around.  The girls and I went to the pool and had left over pizza for breakfast.

     Laura called Dr. Leetsma's office and talked to Sharon.  Sharon had Daphne's medicine transferred to CVS out here.  We went to CVS and the Harley-Davidson store where Josie and Jimmy bought shirts.  Laura and Josie made a pact that Josie wouldn't chew gum if Laura wouldn't say anything negative to Jimmy.  Fun stuff.

     At CVS, I saw Laura was buying me a book light.  I told her to get one for Josie too because she said she should have brought hers along.  We told Josie we got her a surprise and she said she wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt.  Laura brought a bunch of small souvenirs from home for the girls.  Every day they had a fun Treasure Hunt for them.  That way, they didn't need any souvenirs from the Parks.  That worked real well!

     It was on this van ride to Epcot that it was determined that Josie and I should become "Granny Grifters."  I'm the sidekick.  I think it's because I don't have a very good sense of direction and I don't know a whole lot about grifting....yet.

     So we finally got to Epcot around 1 p.m.  Laura rented a double stroller for four days for $100.  It was sooooo worth it.

     We fast-passed Soarin and got 6:17 to 7:17!

     We had a great time at Epcot.  Jimmy took the girls on Nemo while Josie helped me find my picture (with Eileen) on the Legacy Wall.

     Josie dragged me on Spaceship Earth and we loved it.  It was so much better than it was before!  Josie went on Ellen's Energy Adventure while the rest of us headed to the World Showcase.  In Norway, we rode a fun Viking ship "Maelstrom".  The girls went to the "Kidcot Fun Stop" where they decorated masks--very cool.

     Josie caught up with us in China.  We hit the "Kidcot Fun Stop" again where the girls got a cardboard charm and a stamp added to their masks.  We did that one more time (in America) and then we were done with that nonsense.

     Erin tripped in America and two cast members ran to her with stickers!  They gave the same stickers to Daphne also (about 7 of them).

     In Japan we got great snow cones--mine was tangerine.

     Just as we were leaving France (where Josie had some pictures taken in front of the Eiffel Tower), the storm hit.  Jimmy forgot his poncho and Laura used hers to protect the girls masks in the stroller.  The rest of us were covered.  There were whitecaps on the lagoon and there was lightening and thunder.  And then there was a beautiful rainbow.  The storm was very windy and lasted about twenty minutes.

     We headed back to Soarin where we determined that, at 38 inches tall, Erin is too short to ride it.  So Laura and Jimmy took Daphne on the ride while Josie and I entertained Erin.  I bought her a Mickey shaped rice-krispie treat with chocolate covered ears and Josie bought Mickey shaped pretzels.  Erin was happy.

     When they returned, Daphne liked it so much she wanted to go on it again.  She used Erin's fast-pass and came on the ride with me and Josie.  Daphne and I loved the ride but Josie hated it.  She wasn't herself for about 2 hours after the ride.

     We went to Mexico for dinner--Jimmy treated.  We lingered over dinner.  Laura and Jimmy went to Spaceship Earth, at our suggestion, and they liked it too.  Then Josie took the girls on Maelstrom.

     We saw "Illuminations" and it was wonderful.  The girls thought it was pretty but too loud.

     Back at the hotel, Josie went on her Treasure Hunt for her book light.  She was really pleased with her treasure.

Tuesday July 22

     This was our day off from Disney.  We have 5-day Hopper Tickets and 6 days of vacation here.

     We all slept in 'til 8:30.  Jimmy took the girls to the pool while I made oatmeal for breakfast.  The girls ate almost all of their oatmeal and fruit at the pool.  All 6 of us went to the pool.

     We saw a hotel worker named Popo trying to fish a case for glasses from the pool for a guest.  Since Jimmy had his suit on, Laura asked him to get it for him and he did.  He was quite the hero to Popo!

     After hours of swimming, I power-napped the girls.  I asked them what they wanted to dream about and Daphne said unicorns and Erin said poop.

This represents a Dream Come True     After nap I relaxed, wrote in my journal and called Terry, Jean and Becky.  Laura and Jimmy went to try to get tickets for tonight's showing of "Arabian Nights."  They were able to get the tickets.  Josie paid $140 and I kicked in $100 for VIP seats.

     The hot water was off in both rooms.  Jimmy took me grocery shopping.  Josie had me buy 2 noodles for the girls to play with in the pool.

     While we were in line for "Arabian Nights", I told the story about the time I saw The Cisco Kid and Poncho live and how thrilled I was when they rode in to the stadium.  Laura asked, "What was the Stadium?" and Jimmy replied, "The Parthenon"

     At "Arabian Nights", we saw a neat pre-show of a very nice looking guy performing on a rope.  We also had free drinks.  Laura brought water for the girls so she was able to use their drink tickets for beer and wine.  We also got special buttons and posters in our goody bag.

     Then we were escorted to the arena where there were four horses.  The girls had their picture taken on one of the horses and were allowed to pet the other three.  They really liked that!

     Our seats were front row center!  We had a great view of the show.  I don't know how Laura pulled that one off, she got the tickets less than 7 hours before the show.

     The show was fantastic!  Dinner was also very good.  I had New York Strip steak, salad, rolls, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and ice-cream.  When Daphne's ice-cream arrived, she ignored it.  And she never did finish it because she was too intent on the show.

     We asked Daphne what her favorite part of the show was and she said, "The End".  I was taken aback for a second until I realized she was talking about the Grand Finale where all the performers and horses came out for a final bow.

     The beer and wine flowed freely.  When we got in the van, Josie asked why I was driving.  I replied, "Because I'm the only one who isn't drunk."  She said, "Oh, that's right."  Jimmy rode shotgun because I've been riding shotgun for him.  As I was turning into our hotel, the guy in front of me was just sitting there at a green light so Jimmy honked the horn!  I hit him and yelled, "You damned Pistello!"  I yelled that because I once saw Josie honk the horn while Jim was driving.  I pulled into a parking space and Jimmy said, "Just take one."  I replied, "But that's my signature!"

     Our hot water worked fine.  We went to bed in preparation for our early day tomorrow.

Wednesday July 23

     When the alarm went off at 6, Laura said, "The girls can sleep 'til 6:30."  By the girls, she meant Daphne, Erin and herself.

     We left at 7 and checked in at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at 8:15.  Jimmy and I were taking a smoke break so Laura called me and said I had to hurry back with the registration number and my credit card.  I ran the last part of the way and Laura took my picture.

     The girls were very good while having their hair and make-up done.  The "Reveal", where the girls see themselves in the mirror for the first time, was adorable.  Daphne could not stop looking at herself and Erin was giggly.

     Laura, Jimmy, Josie, Daphne and Erin headed to the teacups where Jimmy didn't do too well.

Where Dreams Come True

     I hit the "Tinkerbell" store.  I was wearing my Never Land shirt and a worker asked me how Never Land was.  I told him it was a great place and I was returning soon.  He asked me to send him a postcard.

     I picked out a Tinkerbell antenna topper for my car and an ankle bracelet.  I got in line and the first worker came up to me and handed me a free "Exclusive Pixie Dust Pin" that says, "Where Dreams Come True". He then took me to his register and checked me out.  I was really thrilled!

Signifies a Dream Come True     We were on our way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, when Laura, Jimmy and Daphne decided to fast-pass Splash Mountain. Then a stranger gave them 2 current fast-passes so Jimmy and Daphne went on and had a great picture taken.  Daphne loved the ride.

     Jimmy, Josie and Daphne went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while Laura and Erin went to a playground.  I wandered around by myself eating a Mickey Mouse ice-cream bar and feeling happy.

     We decided to head to Hollywood Studios but on the way to Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue (the van), Jimmy pointed out that the girls needed a nap.  Josie decided to head to Hollywood Studios and the rest of us napped.

     We headed out to Hollywood Studios a little after 5 during a fierce thunderstorm.  The parking tram ride was kinda miserable because of the pelting rain and high winds.

     We met up with Josie and had dinner at the ABC commissary.

     We saw The Muppets 3D.  It's a really cute show but the girls hated it.  Daphne took off her 3D glasses and wouldn't put them back on.  Erin kept hers on but had her head turned from the screen and whimpered during the show.  The both cried a little.

     It rained a lot but the wind died down.  And it finally did stop raining.

     The girls enjoyed The Little Mermaid Show and we left the park a little after 9.

     Jimmy dropped me, Laura and Josie off at a gift shop and took the girls for dinner.  He stopped at McDonald's for Daphne and Wendy's for Erin!  Laura was looking for wands for the girls and didn't find any.  We even went to another nearby gift shop to look for them.  She bought some colored lights for their nightly light show instead.

     Jimmy drove back to the hotel and I rode shotgun.  No Pistello is ever allowed to ride shotgun when normal people are in the vehicle.  Anyway, we re-enacted our drive home last night when I was driving.  Jimmy kept asking me where to turn and I had to tell him to turn at the light 3 times (like he did for me last night).  When we got to the spot where he honked my horn, he honked the horn.  I cracked up.

     Josie sent me on a Treasure Hunt in her room.  I discovered my Tinkerbell coloring book under her mattress.  Erin said she would help me color it.

Thursday July 24

Signifies a Dream Come True

     We got to the Magic Kingdom for our 10:10 reservation for Breakfast with the Princesses in the Castle.  The girls had their picture taken with Cinderella and Laura got a great picture of Erin hugging her.  Then each girl got a wand!  We got 2 free pictures of the girls and Cindy--Laura and Josie each got one.

     During the great breakfast, the girls had their picture taken with Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Belle.  They were thrilled and they actually ate pretty well.

     Laura took Jimmy and Josie to the airport and I played with the girls.  We went on the carrousel again.  When I asked the girls if they wanted to go on "It's A Small World" again, they were litterally jumping for joy.  We sat in the first row and the girls were very chatty.  They kept pointing out dolls and stuff.

     We went to a place where the girls could play in the water.  They really liked that and made up some game to play.

     In a gift shop (the only one the girls ever went in at Disney) I bought a neck thingy for my camera.  The girls wanted pretty much everything they saw.  They were very pleased when I bought them each a necklace and a bag of Goofy gummy things.  The gummy things eventually melted into one big glob and had to be thrown away!

     Then it was back to the water place.  I made the girls take frequent breaks to drink apple juice.  I noticed a sign for Ariels's Grotto.  I didn't know what it was so we got in line.  About thirty minutes later, the girls were chatting with Ariel.  Even Daphne chatted about her hair.  Erin was fascinated with her tail.  A "Photopass Photographer" took a lot of pictures for me.

     I put the girls in the stroller in the shade for about 1/2 hour while we waited for Laura to return from the airport.  When Laura walked into the Park, someone gave her two fast-passes for Buzz Lightyear.  Since they were already expired, Laura counted that as an "Anti-dream."

     Laura treated us to a very nice lunch at Liberty Square Market.  It was our first and only $$ restaurant.  (All the other restaurants we ate at were only one $).  Erin looked around and asked, "Is this a restaurant?"  It was a very good lunch!

     As we were leaving, there was a parade passing by and a couple of guys made sure Erin and Daphne were right up front.

     Laura took the girls through the Swiss Family Tree House and on Aladin's Flying Carpets.  And then we went on The Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.

     Daphne told me she wants me to make her 2 Pocahontas dresses.  One for the size she is now and one for the size she will be when she's older!

Signifies a Dream Come True     When we got back to the hotel around 6, we discovered that our air-conditioner didn't work.  Eventually we were given another room and we got to keep the old room so we didn't have to move all our stuff!  Also, they removed the charge for the refrigerator!  We were very pleased.

     I took a dip in the pool and Daphne and Erin did some serious playing in the pool while I caught up in my journal and Laura read.  The girls really liked the purple noodles from Grammy Jo.

     While I was talking to Terry on the phone, Daphne put a giant dead dragonfly down my back!

     Laura and I cleaned the old room and packed until about 11 p.m.  Then we moved most of our stuff to the van and the new room.  Finally, Laura moved the Sleeping Beauties to the new room.

Friday July 25

Signifies a Dream Come True     Sooooo, you have four people flying non-rev, you are a little over 1/2 hour from the airport, you have to return a rental van (and you are going to go to the wrong place to return it), where are you 2 hours before your flight?  If you answered sound asleep in bed, you are correct.

     We left the hotel at 6:35 for a 7:55 flight.  Laura looked for a gas station and didn't find one.  She said she had a little under a full tank of gas.  When we returned the van, she wasn't charged for not having a full tank.

     Because of the mistake in returning the van, we probably couldn't have caught the 7:55.  But of course it was delayed until 8:35 and we got to go in the employee security line.  We got on just fine and Laura had time to get us breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds.

     Erin sat with me and Daphne sat with Laura.  The flight was half empty.  Erin (as we were taxiing):  "Are we just driving now?"  Then:  "We're flying!  Wow!  Look, that's our village!"  Then she went to sleep!

     It was a wonderful vacation!

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