Disneyland – August/September 2017

So, a little background on the trip first. Several years ago, in 2013, I decided that I was going to sign up for a ½ marathon at Disneyland. I think it may have been the Tinkerbell race, sometime in the spring of 2014? The details are fuzzy now. But, before registration opened, we decided to make a trip to Florida around the same time. It made a lot more sense to add on a quick visit to Disney World instead, so I gave up on my running plans. Ever since then, it’s kind of been nagging me in the back of my brain that I really wanted to do a runDisney event at some point. But, the scheduling is so hard- they tend to have all the races at times we can’t easily travel.

Back last spring, as DH and I were training for the BolderBoulder, a large 10K event here in town, he mentioned that we should do a longer race sometime, and I reminded him that I still wanted to do a Disney ½ marathon at some point, so I decided to look at the dates again, and see if there was any way one of the weekends would work out. The only one that was even a remote possibility was the Disneyland ½ marathon, over Labor Day weekend. It would involve the kids missing a couple days of school, but nothing else was standing in the way at that time of year. When I casually suggested it a couple of days later, we decided to go ahead and do it this summer!  I immediately jumped on the computer and got us registered.

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Disney & Florida – Christmas 2016

Chapter 1. Getting to the Airport with our Ridiculous Pile of luggage

So.. yeah. The theme of the day was pretty much…luggage. You may have seen my FB post Friday morning with the massive pile of suitcases in our living room. Here it is again, at the bus stop 🙂

I had been warning Brian for months that it was going to be like this, and I don’t think he believed me until he saw it. The 5 largest suitcases were filled with camping equipment – tents, air mattresses, pillows, bedding, headlamps, etc. Two more were filled with Christmas presents, because we would be going directly to Naples after our Disney vacation to celebrate Christmas with my family. Most of our clothes and miscellaneous items ended up in carry-ons because we maxed out our checked luggage limit of 8. And we each had a backpack, so 16 total pieces of luggage to pack, and keep track of.

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Universal Orlando Resort – July 2016

Full Photo Album

Before the Vacation, and Getting There

We actually combined two trips into one. We flew from Denver into Ft. Myers on Sat, July 2 to spend a few days there with my family. We spent a few fun days lounging in Grandma and Grandpa’s pool, playing with the cousins, and Lily and Owen even organized a 4th of July party! But, more details about that trip in another post.

On Tuesday morning, it was time to make the drive to Orlando. We are not very good road-trippers, so I knew the 3 hour estimate on Google maps was highly optimistic. Especially since we would need to make a grocery and lunch stop on the way. We took the back roads instead of the interstate, and got to see the more natural, rural side of Florida along the way.

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Disneyland & Winterfest Water Polo – February 2016

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Day 1 – Thur 2/11

One of the advantages of our move is that we are a lot closer to the Denver airport – only about a 30 minute drive instead of 90. So we only had to get up a little earlier than normal to catch our 8:30am flight. I had originally booked a flight two hours earlier, then quickly thought better of it. Not much good would come of making rope-drop if we did so completely sleep deprived and grumpy.

We always park at an off site lot because it’s usually easier and faster, but we ran into a strange little traffic jam on the road leading up to the lot, and then the shuttle bus was slower than normal getting on its way. So we were cutting it a little closer than I would have liked by the time we got there.

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Disney World & Florida – December 2014

Pre-trip details and Introductions:

(You probably know all of us by now, but some updates anyway!)

Who:

Me (Jaime) – former middle school teacher, currently stay-at-home-mom. It’s no secret that I’m a little Disney-obsessed! For a long time, I tried to be okay with the one-big-tripevery-few-years routine, but finally lost patience and decided to start making use of the fact that my whole family lives in Florida (and we fly down there at least twice/year to visit) So I declared that we would begin adding short Disney trips to our family visits! I have come to really love these “mini-trips”, and enjoy always having some sort of trip in the works.

Brian (DH) – software engineer at Adobe. It has actually been a tough year for him. He got a nasty case of pneumonia last spring, and is still not fully recovered. It doesn’t affect him too much now for normal daily activities, but he is very into active things like mountaineering, snow climbing, skiing, etc. And it has been a constant source of frustration and stress for him that he can’t do those things at the level he was a year ago. But he does seem to be making progress at least. He “likes” Disney, but doesn’t love it the way I do. And actually complains now that we “go too often”, though without fail, once we are there he is always loving it, and never wants to leave.

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Disney World & Florida – October 2014

Chapter 0. Pre-trip Tediousness

Just in case I get carried away and don’t explain well as I’m going…

The Cast: 

Me (Jaime) – stay-at-home mom and master Disney planner 🙂
Brian (DH) – didn’t come on this trip, but I think I mention him a time or two
Lily (DD, 11 yo) – recently started middle school, and deep in the throws of adolescence. Enough said, lol!
Owen (DS, 4yo) – impatient, active, often an emotional basket-case, and generally scared of everything

My Mom
My Dad

Cassie & Cam – usually refer to them as “the cousins” collectively, (my brothers kids, 14 and 12 years old), they live in Naples with the rest of my family and came to Orlando with my parents

The idea: 

We needed to get away somewhere for a long weekend while Brian was off canyoneering in Utah, (because it didn’t seem fair for us to stay home, ha!) and visiting my family in FL made the most sense. After all, I had a brand new niece to meet! And what good is a trip to FL if we can’t sneak in a little Disney first??

Our dates collided perfectly with MNSSHP, so that seemed like a good excuse to get in some park time. Usually in these mini-trips with my parents, we stick to DTD and the resorts, so I was a little nervous about how this would go.

They really wanted to bring the cousins along, and talked their parents into letting them miss a couple days of school for it. (Lily was missing 3, oops!) I figured she would enjoy having some buddies her own age along, especially since they were old enough to go park-storming on their own.

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Spring Break 2014

Day 1. Friday, March 21, 2014

Chapter1. Falling in Love with AKL, and the First of Many Meltdowns

Most of our traveling was uneventful, so just a quick recap. We got up, only a little earlier than normal (around 5am) and drove to Denver. We had to make one unplanned stop when we were only about 20 minutes away because Owen had to go potty and didn’t think he could wait. While we were stopped, I picked up some children’s Tylenol because I realized while packing that we were out, and I don’t like to travel without it, just in case.

We always park at an offsite lot a couple of miles from the airport. It’s cheaper and actually more convenient since they pick you up right your car, and drop you off right in front of the doors to the airport. Owen was being especially chatty on the shuttle bus ride, and in a cute 3-year old way. Telling everyone that “Mommy doesn’t let us go to Disney World every day”, and worrying that the bus was going to get in trouble for going too fast. I think he was quite the entertainment for the other passengers on board!

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Disney World – April 2013

Disney World – April 2013
Full Photo Album

Prologue
So as you may have noticed, we have a tradition of taking one “BIG” vacation every year, in addition to our many smaller trips. We take turns picking the destination for this, though we’ve tended to rotate between beach, national parks, and Disney World. (Stay tuned for something very different next year though!) This year it was time to head back to Florida to see the Mouse!!

This would be our 3rd Disney World Vacation as a family, though we’ve snuck in a few mini-trips on visits to my family as well. And it would be Owen’s very first Disney World trip!

There was much debate and decision-making on when to go and where to stay, but we finally settled on late-April (hoping for warm but dry weather, and lower crowds than we were used to in the summer), and staying at the Yacht Club (thinking it would be convenient to be close to Epcot, and that the kids would love the Stormalong-the-Bay pool)

Much research and planning began, and slowly the countdown of months creeped into weeks, and then finally days. It was almost time to go to Disney World!!!
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Mini Disney Getaway & Family Visit – March 2012

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Chapter 1. Let’s Find Some Magic!!!

As many times as we’ve done this whole flying thing, you’d think we’d be experts at it. At the ripe old age of 18 Months, this will already be Owen’s 5th flying vacation (about 16 take-offs and landings). And Lily ( 8 years old) has done at least 5 or 6 times that many. It’s just the natural result of having family that lives across the country. And liking to travel, I admit.
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Disney World – June 2010

Trip Report. Disney World – June 2010

Prologue. Some Basic Information.

Two years ago, the 3 of us spent a week at Disney World – we stayed in the Polynesian Resort and had an absolutely wonderful time. We originally planned to return in 3 years, but due to various reasons, bumped up the trip to this year instead of next. As we were starting to plan for it last summer, we thought it would be fun to bring along Brian’s family too. So we booked 3 rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and again did the Deluxe Dining Plan. We have been planning for most of the last year, and can’t wait to get back to the Most Magical Place on Earth!
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Summer Visit to Florida – June 2009

We flew into Ft. Myers late on Thursday night, and were ready to hit the road on Friday morning! In the trip at this point was: Grandma, Grandpa, Ashley, Jaime, Lily, Cassie, and Cam. We drove north, stopping in Tampa for a tour of the Ringling Museum. We went through their house, and saw lots of circus memorabilia in the museum.

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Disney & Sea World – Christmas 2008

**Click here to Plan Your Own Visit to Sea World!! (http://seaworldparks.com)

Our Holiday Adventure

Chapter 1. Welcoming Winter.
Saturday (12/20/08) was a busy day. We had to finish laundry pack, buy some last minute gifts, go to the grocery store, Target, pick up the Ham, pick up the pie, take Nala to the PetsHotel, Woozle to John and Julia’s house, and somehow after all this we had to be ready for our planned dinner with Brian’s dad and present opening, as well as our solstice ceremony. And Brian was working at Marion House Soup Kitchen most of the day so Lily and I were on our own to get everything accomplished. They day got very cold in the afternoon – a blustery wind came in and it was very unpleasant to be outside! Appropriate that we should be welcoming winter tonight, I suppose.

Disney World – June 2008

Disney World – June 2008 Trip Report
Chapter 1 – The Magic Begins                         (Day 1 – Sunday)
The alarm went off at 3:30am. Now we had all gotten to bed reasonably early the night before, but everyone knows that getting to bed and getting to sleep are two totally different things! Especially the night before a big vacation. But soon our excitement overcame the exhaustion and we got up and ready to go.