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About jenseib

  • Birthday 02/14/1969

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  1. My thoughts on this trip! Well…First off it was MUCH busier than I expected. I did expect it to be busy but it was just insane at WDW. I did do quite a bit of complaining about the crowds, but we still had a good time and did some new things or different things than we normally do. I however will probably avoid going that close to Easter in the future. I was not a fan of the magic band or the My Disney Experience. It does seem to be getting much better now a year later and hopefully Disney will continue to tweak it but it does seem like every step forward leads to 2 backwards before they fix things. The biggest issue is not everyone has a smart phone or even uses a computer so it can be really hard for some people. …My brother in law is contemplating going in a few weeks…and he has neither and is not tech savvy. If he does go I am going to have to give him step by step instructions for everything and I will have to set him up an account and pray he can understand the FP’s, etc. Even though the trip was fairly long, it still seemed way too short and I still didn’t do all I had wanted to or wished to do. I have heard people say they are ready to go home after a trip, but I never have that feeling. I really think I could spend a month easily there and still not really want to go home. I have learned that my body just can’t go go go like it used to and I could use a nap each day. I really did feel tired more often this trip than I have in years past. That didn’t stop me though, but if I stayed longer I could get more rest without feeling like I was missing out on something. The cruise was great. I really think Skip enjoyed it too. We have begun some talks of an upcoming family cruise like we did in 2012 and Skip actually seems like he wants to go. When I mentioned it recently to him he said if it’s planned for this year then that would be the vacation we go on verses Disneyland, which I keep trying to get him to commit too, but it sounds like now it may be 2016. Until DCL releases the dates and itineraries we can’t make a solid plan on that, but ideally we all seem to want to have a longer cruise…5-7 days. I know most of the family does not want to do WDW along with it but if I can work it out I would like to either throw in the Halloween party and or the Christmas party. We had a good time at Sea World and just an OK time at Legoland. I probably will skip a few years before going back to Sea World again and not sure if I ever will go back to Legoland. Distance is a factor there too; it is not close and for us, just not worth it. Maybe when Gracie gets older I will change my mind on that and rethink it. A year ago I was on the Magic (We boarded Mar. 28) and I am really feeling the itch to get away. It’s been a blah winter and I just need some sunshine. Spring hasn't been much better. I was very fortunate to travel 4 different times last year and I don’t see it happening again this year. I made some great memories with my family, earned a certification and got some extra relaxation last year! Thanks so much for reading a long and sharing our experiences. I am taking a slower break from the boards now. I Am setting some weight loss goals this year and I really need to focus on that rather than play on the computer in my free time. I will most likely write a TR for my next trip, but I am probably not going to start it right away so that I can get it pretty much close to ready and completed before I start posting….that way I don’t feel the pressure of posting on a regular basis. Thanks again!
  2. After everyone had a full belly we decided we better get in line for Despicable Me so we worked our way there. A Dora spotting…at the time my niece was still really into Dora…I think now at the mature age of 5 she is growing out of her a bit. Transformers was back up and running but we just didn’t have time for it now. We got in line, which I believe was over an hour wait if I remember right. Once you get inside there are still a few more waiting rooms. This was supposed to be their house. From this room we went to another room and then into our loading area. The ride, which is like a simulator but all in one room, was fun. We enjoyed it a lot…however I don’t think I would wait in a long line for it again. After our fun with the Minions we did a bit of shopping. We were in there for quite some time trying to find the perfect shirt for me and something for Claire. I also bought a magnet. Skip sat outside and waited for us. Sadly it was time to go. We had to fill the car up with gas yet too. We made our way to our car and started out to the airport. I said something about getting gas in the area and Skip said no, let’s just wait till we get closer. DUMB idea!!!!! The crying now began. Claire did not want to go home…neither did I, but I told her we would do something again and be back. But then she cried because her dad doesn’t always go with us and he needs to do a long trip with us. He told her he would do more trips, but it wasn’t helping. She was very over tired and just worn out from a long trip. We saw no signs for gas stations along the way and the next thing you know we are pulling into the airport. We turn around and look for one down the road….the cost of gas was about $8 a gallon…I kid you not! Skip said get it and I said no and he said get it and I made him pump and pay. I was so disgusted that this place can get away with charging so much for gas. With the tank full of gas that was more valuable than gold we headed off to return the rental car. We were a little behind schedule but if security went ok we should be ok. When we returned the car a porter asked if we needed help with our bags. I was surprised when Skip said yes. I was also happy. The guy was really nice and asked how our car was and we told him how crappy it was. He said “Well you had a Versa or a …..(something else). Yep we had the Versa! He took us to a different checkin counter for Southwest. He said it was busy upstairs and not many people know about this location. It had just a few people in line and before we knew it we had tickets in hand and off to head through security. I don’t remember much about it, so it must’ve not been too bad. It’s always busy, but it seems like I didn’t complain much about it. With that done we hopped on the monorail. We decided we better eat something since we will be getting in pretty late to Detroit and settled for McDonalds. At some point we lost Skip. I forget why he left us but it took him awhile to come back and we both were getting annoyed at him wandering off. He did this a lot on the trip and I was sick of staying put to have him find us or just wondering where he went. We finally headed to our gate. There was another flight before us there still and looking at the monitor it was scheduled to fly out just 5 minutes before ours. I questioned it and was responded by grumbles. Why am I worrying about that? Just go to the gate. Well I am not stupid…2 planes cannot load at the same time and our plane can’t pull up and load in 5 minutes. We chatted with some people sitting in the area who were waiting on the first flight. Evidently their plane had technical issues and another plane was being brought in for them. As time grew closer (Not long really) they were getting ready to board but no word for us yet. I went to the desk to question it and they told us that we would be boarding after….ok, sounds good. Then the talk started around the area that our plane was being used for this group and we were now delayed. Then word got out it would be a couple of hours and we were to go to another gate. Finally it was announced (and my email notification came). I was pretty annoyed by this. I know it happens, but I just wish they could’ve figured it out earlier and sent the emails out so we could’ve stayed another 2 hours at Universal. It was crowded but we found a seat with plugs and Claire and I plugged in and she played on her kindle while I worked on editing pictures from my Disneyland trip. Skip was sitting in a different area and just dozed off. Finally we were ready to board. The flight crew was annoyed as well as they were kept in the dark till the last minute as well. We boarded and soon were in the air. Claire was at the window and I was at the aisle, with Skip in between us. Drinks and snacks were served and then it went completely downhill from there. Claire had her drink on her tray and I have no idea why but Skip whipped his hand around and Claire’s drink went flying. It completely spilt all over. All over her lap, some on his and somehow even some on mine. I passed the napkin over and caught the flight attendant’s attention and she brought us some paper towels. Claire started crying because she was soaking wet. Skip was not taking blame at all. He just kept saying it was an accident and he was wet too, but you could tell by the way he was acting that he felt it was her fault when she did nothing wrong but have her drink on her tray. We cleaned up the best we could…nothing like sitting almost the whole flight wet with sticky pop and we heard the people behind us ask for towels too as it spilled on them as well. It was like this cup had gallons of liquid in it. Well hearing that the people behind us got wet put Skip in a mood. What I call acting like a baby. He sat and pouted the rest of the flight and refused to talk to either of us. Seriously??? It was an accident and Claire was over tired…give her some slack. Evidently he was over tired too. When we landed he didn’t say a word but got off the plane and just took off. Claire and I had to go to the bathroom so we bee-lined to one down the hall only to find it closed…so we went further down and were only about 20 steps away and a guy tells us it was closer to go to the one around the corner. I told him we didn’t care, she really had to go and we were fine, but he insisted that we not go to this one. Good grief. So we go around the corner…and it’s closed! So we head down to baggage claim and Claire is about to pee her pants she has to go so badly, but we beat the crowd and were fine. When we came out the line was stretching out the door. We have lost Skip, but I assumed he went outside to smoke. I call my dad to tell him we are waiting on bags. We look outside and don’t find Skip but come back in to find him and the bags. He is still grumpy and quiet. He takes off outside and we keep waiting for dad and Skip keeps yelling to tell him we will walk to him. Oh and it’s snowing, and freaking cold! Claire and I have sweatshirts on but Skip is just in short sleeves. I call my dad and he tells me he is waiting but no one is around and no one is coming out. What? Then he tells me he is at the Delta terminal….NO!!!! We are at Southwest…a completely different building, which I think is a few miles away. So Dad makes his way towards us and Skip starts walking. Claire and I follow….both of us whimpering about the cold and snow. The sidewalk ends and Skip still keeps walking. What the heck is he doing???? Then he stops when he can’t go any further and waits and starts to complain he is cold. Well duh. Dad finally comes around and we load in the car and Skip pouts a bit on the way home, but he does warm up and talk to dad after a bit. It’s about an hour or so to get home but with the snow it took a bit longer. When we arrived Skip and Dad brought bags in and then Skip went directly to bed. It was late and much later than we had planned to be home, but that is just the way it goes with flying. The next day Skip was fine and I started the laundry and putting everything away. I enjoy traveling with him but coming home usually annoys me as he is always in such a hurry to get home and back to work. He has stated several times last year that he wanted to go to California this year, but now that this year is here he has not committed to anything. A lot is going on here right now, so I understand why he can’t totally commit yet, but as of yesterday we are no longer going to be in the dairy farming business. Milking cows are being sold. He and his brother just are too tired of all the work involved and getting older and their bodies are not young anymore so they have decided to just raise cows …but not milk anymore. He won’t commit till after that sale is over and things have calmed down…..but I still think he could give us an estimated timeline. All I got was sometime in April, May, or June….and then he said summer another time….Yeah, that doesn’t help with the planning at all. And that is the Tale of the Grow Walk……. I will add some final thoughts later…..
  3. We also really like the Men in Black ride so we made a dash over there. I put my bag in the locker. We rode it and had a blast. There is a certain time where they tell you to press the red button and if you are the first one to do so you earn a lot of bonus points. I was the only one who remembered this and waited for the right moment and hit it and won the points. This brought on tears from Claire. It was no fair and she should’ve been reminded to win. We exited with the baby, who was pouting and headed off to the bathrooms and had a seat for a few minutes. I was now getting hungry. That breakfast was long gone, but Claire was still pouting so we agreed to go on one more time. And then Skip hit the red button. WHY on earth would he do that when the whole reason we went back on was to let Claire win. She was tired and at her last straw from this trip and I was trying to make her pleasant so she wasn’t crying on the whole flight back. UGH! Men! So we get off with her crying once again and she wants to ride again and I tell them they have to go as I need food. Skip says he doesn’t want to go and argues about it. I got to the point that I said he could deal with her crying but I am getting food and he then decided to take her back one more time. I went off in search of something to get rid of my headache. Of course I took pictures as I went. I caught a glimpse of Krusty! And Sideshow Bob! These guys cracked me up. Yes I was looking for food. I thought about stopping and getting a Flaming Moe, but I didn’t….wish I would have now. Inside there are several options of food places to order from. And the lines were massive for all of them. It actually was into another room to get started. I just couldn’t wait that long. I believe this was Luigi’s only before the refurbishment. I headed outside to see if something out there would be faster….I really debated on donuts. I settle for here! The line wasn’t too long…it wasn’t fast, but it was better than inside at least. While in line I saw my favorite Movie props. I made my order and waited for it to be done and then found a seat. It really hit the spot and I was back to being nice again. As I waited for Skip and Claire I took some more Back to the Future pictures. It seemed to take forever for them to come over to find me. (I had Skip’s phone by the way…ugh). I guess the line had gotten much longer this time around so it took them longer to get through it, but at least the tears were gone. But they were hungry too. They didn’t want tacos so we moved on to find them something different. Skip got Claire some nuggets and I sat with her at the table while he went to find something for himself. We spotted Doc off to the side talking to people. How exciting. I don’t think I have ever seen him here before. I took this picture with my phone and posted it on facebook. My friend Cass replied “Great Scott! Someone needs to empty the trash can”! LOL.
  4. We drove over to Universal and they have a choice of regular parking or a preferred parking lot which costs a little more but you are closer to the parks. Since we were on a time limit Skip said to park in the preferred. Well let’s just say I think we were in the furthest spot away from the gates in the preferred parking that you can get. But nothing we could do about that. Had I known this is what we would do today I would’ve tried to get here at opening. As we walked through City Walk I took a few pictures. We bought our tickets and headed in. It was nice to be back at Universal. We last were here in 2012. Shaggy and Scoobie. Claire wanted to go ride Despicable Me right away but the line was long so we thought we would try that later before we left. The funny thing is, Skip said this was his favorite park in Florida and then started asking the way to this ride and that….each time he named a ride I would say….that’s at Disney World. LOL! Transformers was new since we had been here last so we headed that way. It was closed for repairs at the moment but they did have one out for a meet and greet. This guy was huge. We kept moving. Claire wanted to stop here, but Skip said no. This was one of Claire’s favorites last time, but Skip hated it. And then I saw it….It was behind walls yet and no one knew at the time when it would actually open but it was predicted to be early summer….Diagon Alley. I got all giddy and excited to see peeks of it. At this time I had no clue that in about 4 ½ months I would be back in Florida and spending a day here. It really looked good! We had a goal and were going the long way around for some reason….there it is across the lake. More of Diagon Alley. It looked like it was going to be fabulous and I couldn’t wait to see it when it was finished. I was so happy that I did get that chance in August. They did a wonderful job. On we went. Oh, …and we all wore pants today since we were heading back to cold Ohio…..and it was quite warm here and I regretted wearing them pretty quickly. The wait was not long at all. In fact much shorter than it was our last trip. Universal was much less crowded than Disney had been and I was glad for that. We LOVE the Simpsons ride and it was a top must do while we were here. We love the warped sense of humor with the jokes. We had a blast as usual on the ride…I think we only rode it once, but we might have gone right back on again…I just can’t remember. The Simpson area had been built up too since we had last been here so it was neat to see all the new things.
  5. Those are cypress knees. Nobody really knows what they do either, but they are part of the tree...and that's kinda neat. Love the report, I've taken bits out of my day to catch up on your report. I feel like I'm living vicariously through you! Someone else told me that too...they are really neat looking...but odd.
  6. Not me...Part of the fun for me is pictures. I love taking them and I love to edit and look at them after the trip. It's part of my vacation experience. hehe. . I think you would make me CRAZY if we were traveling together, cause although I take pics too (like you, with a real camera, not my phone) I hate stopping so often to snap pics. but I'd be totally lying if I said I didn't like seeing your trip reports. Heck, I eagerly look forward to them, and LOVE that you take so many pics. keep on snapping, Jenseib! I have become really good at taking them while walking....I am usually ahead of my family. LOL. Some times they do go ahead of me but I don't let that stop me.
  7. April 1st, Tuesday, Day 12 As usual, I was awake pretty early. Since we had more of a lazy day I just let those 2 sleep in and I went off on my own. I decided to take the bus up to the main building and check out the gift shop. I browsed around, but they did not have the 2015 jacket….darn it! I did buy a magnet though. I moved on outside to take some more pictures. And then over to the check in side to get pictures of that area. Back outside to take some more pictures while wandering around. I was surprised at how small the quick service counter was. Bikes for rent. I debated on checking out the pool now or to wait till later when we brought Claire….I figured I would get some shots now while it was empty. I thought this was a cool shot and it was taken on my phone. Hello dolphin. Hidden Mickey. Boy oh boy…..this hot tub looks fabulous to me right now after the long winter. I thought this area was really cute. Let’s check out the laundry room. I also checked out the restrooms since we would probably need to change in them later. Looks like the will work just fine. I was getting a bit hungry. I decided maybe I should get a bite to eat now. I didn’t need anything big, but just something to keep me going. I got some biscuits and gravy. They were just ok. I probably wouldn’t get them again, but they did fill the hole. I only ate half and saved the other half for Skip. I then went to the bus stop to wait for the internal bus. I waited quite a long time before the internal bus came. I headed back to the room and Skip was up. He tells me that Mousekeeping has already arrived trying to clean the room. Why do they come so early on check out day. We have till 11! He said, don’t worry, they won’t be back till we’re gone because I answered the door in my underwear! LOL He then asks what we are going to do today…I guess he didn’t listen to me the 10 other times I told him….We are going to let Claire swim, just hang out, maybe shop or resort hop. Well he didn’t want to. He wanted to do something different. Ok, that’s fine. He said maybe he would do the Richard Petty ride along experience again. He did it a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Sure, that would be great. Claire and I could just do our own thing and he could come back later, or meet up with us somewhere. So I quickly get online to look that up for him…..and he says so you are going to swim and shop…yep, sounds good to me. He still thinks that sounds boring, but I tell him I am fine with it. He says maybe we should go to a park. I tell him that it would be really pricey to buy us all 1 day tickets for a few hours. Ok, let’s go to Universal. Again, it’s going to be pricey to do that for just a few hours. He told me to compare the price of the ride along verses the Universal tickets and I gave him a rough estimate. He said if I shopped I would probably spend more than that, so let’s go to Universal. LOL! Oh shoot! Had I known this earlier I would’ve rearranged the bags and packed everything up and took a shower. I just puttered around for the last few hours and now I had to rush. I quickly showered, got Claire up and ready and got the bags packed and weighed and we got the car loaded up. It was pure crazy. I was fine with going to Universal but it was so spur of the moment. Claire was a little iffy. She had wanted to swim and she was a little upset about it. She was pretty tired today too and it was the last day of the trip and tears seemed to come more frequently today. She had some favorite rides at Universal though and she was excited to ride the Simpsons once again.
  8. Not me...Part of the fun for me is pictures. I love taking them and I love to edit and look at them after the trip. It's part of my vacation experience.
  9. The meteor shower went off a few times. I really love this place. I must’ve gotten up and took some pictures…perhaps taking Claire to the bathroom. A few weeks before our trip the aquarium here had broke. I had wondered if it would be fixed by the time we arrived….Nope, they had a fake overlay though. At one point Skip asked how long we had known each other. For some reason Skip thought we had known each other for ages…long before him….nope. I told him I had only been on Passporters for about 3 or 4 years at the time and that’s where we met. It was almost like he was jealous that we were chatting away. Poor guy. LOL. This aquarium was still intact. I love the ice bar here. At one point Michael asked me how my older 2 kids were doing. I looked at Skip and we smiled. My son is famous for going from job to job. For some reason he thinks he should have some manager position at every place he works and he has no experience. I think he was between jobs at this point in time….though he may have started a new one by then. (He quits before he has a new one lined up….He doesn’t use his head to much at times). And my daughter Paige…..I had to stumble over that one. Paige was expecting …Gracie….at the time, but only a handful of people knew it. Claire did not yet, nor had she told my parents yet. I just kind of said fine and left it at that. LOL. Our meal had come to an end. I had thought going in I would get dessert but I couldn’t even eat my whole appetizer so I didn’t even attempt dessert. I thought it was excellent. Skip wasn’t impressed….but his opinion doesn’t count. He is famous for not liking places I like….I think he does it just for spite. We said our goodbyes and headed out. I was planning on shopping and Skip did not want to. He wanted to know how to get back to OKW so I gave him his options. Skip then tells me he has never seen me smile so much as when I was talking to Michael and my face must hurt. LOL! I guess he is used to me scowling at him over his dumb jokes! Hahaha. We chatted a bit then parted ways and Claire and I headed towards the Lego Store. I think Claire made a purchase here and then we headed to World of Disney. I was in the search for the 2015 zip up sweatshirt. And I could not find it anywhere in the store. I had seen it in the parks every single day and decided to wait till we came back to buy it. I gave up after a while and asked a CM who told me they were sold out. She said she could see which parks still had them in stock, but that wouldn’t do me good as I was done with the parks. I figured I would check out the OKW shop and hope to find one there……spoiler…I did not…but luckily I went back in August and I was able to pick one up then. We also ran into Judy and Michael again while shopping and chatted a bit. We shopped around and I found a shirt I really liked but not in my size. I had them look to see if one was in stock but the only place that had it in stock was in a park and again, we weren’t going to any. I did get this one I believe. I thought this shirt was so cute. I now wish I had bought it. With purchases in hand….and I can’t remember what we bought, we headed back outside. I think we may have popped in a few more stores and then headed to the bus stop. DTD was pretty busy and quite a mess to navigate with all the walls. We arrived back at OKW and got off at our stop. I am going to take a short minute to talk about OKW. It’s a very nice resort, but if you don’t have a car I think getting around can be hard. I don’t like driving around at WDW. I prefer the buses…I know that’s not for everyone, but I just rather have the driving done for me. At OKW, in order to get to other areas of the resort it takes a long time, so it’s better to drive…..but I was always worried about finding a parking spot up front too. I might have missed another lot and didn’t realize it, but the lot I saw was fairly small. The resort was so big too. If you want to get something to eat or fill your mug, it could take quite some time to get up to the main building by bus. The resort is very nice though and the rooms are very spacious. We made our way back to our room and Skip was there….glad he found his way back! We asked if he had any problems and he said no. He said he had actually walked around DTD a bit and watched some entertainment and I think had a beer too. He took the boat back and on the boat he “made a friend too”, which we giggled about since Claire had made a friend on the cruise and talked about her nonstop. We asked his name and Skip didn’t know, but we named him Amando since Claire’s friend had been named Amanda. He said that Amando and him talked the whole way back and he had his truck parked up at the main building and gave Skip a ride back to our building so he got back much faster than taking the bus. Of course we teased him about his new found friend and asked if they had plans to meet up the next day. We all hit the sack. Tomorrow we would be going home, but we still had half of a day to enjoy the last bits of our vacation. The plan was to let Claire swim as much as she wanted and just laze around. We had to be out of our room by 11 but we figured we would just get lunch and if the mood struck us we could go resort hopping as well till it was time to leave for the airport. Well you know how plans and my husband go….the day ended up being totally different……
  10. Our next stop was at Old Key West. I was knocking off another hotel on my bucket list of trying to stay at all resorts at some point in time. We pulled in and it was hard to find a parking spot, but someone pulled out and I took it and then went in to check in. I was kind of tired and grumpy at that point, but the lady was pleasant. I totally forgot to request a first floor room…I always do, not sure why I forgot…but I asked if there was one available and she said no. I told her we had a lot of bags and it would be hard for us to carry up the stairs but she said we could put a call in for someone to do that. I had no desire to wait for someone to come and do that. I asked if she could check again for a first floor as it was kind of important to us and she said no, everyone else who got them today were for medical reasons…..if I had been thinking straight I would’ve brought up Skips THREE hip replacements…however I wasn’t thinking. I knew I would be carrying those bags up the steps and yet I wasn’t smart enough to tell her the reason why I was the one to carry them up. Yes, Skip can carry them too, but I knew he would pull the hip card. So then she points out our building and room. I think we were in one of the furthest buildings away from the main building….again not impressed and asked for something closer and she told me no, it was pretty full. Dang it. She handed me the parking pass and told me that parking had just gone up this week at the parks too. Wow! It had gone up while we had been cruising. So I join my family and we drive all the way back to our building. I parked and Skip said he wasn’t bothering with bags till later on. I told him to grab one now as I wanted to go through them and he said no. I was a little annoyed to say the least. We went in the room and Claire showed Skip how to use the bands to open the door, but then let him know that it was her job to do so and then they plopped on the beds and I went down to get the bags and I explored our area a little bit. The good thing was, we were pretty close to the bus stop. I was working up a nice sweat…and this was my family. A tour of our room. The room was VERY spacious. Now I have been told since I have come home that many of the buildings do have an elevator to use….I do not recall seeing one for ours, but I just might have never noticed it. If there was one though, I am annoyed that I wasn’t told about it. I freshened up a bit and got ready for our evening. I told Skip we were meeting some people before dinner. I really had not told him about this meet till this day because he thinks it’s weird to meet people sometimes. He didn’t seem to mind though, and even if he did….too bad! LOL. Our dinner was to be at 8:30 tonight at T-rex and we were going to meet Michael and his wife Judy from Passporters around 8 or 8:15 if I remember right. Michael and I communicated before the trip a bit and exchanged numbers. He ended up booking a T-rex around the same time too so we figured we would meet each other before dinner. All of a sudden Skip was in a rush to get to DTD. We headed to the bus stop as I knew DTD was a mess with parking at the time. We asked what bus to get on to get to the main building and some lovely people explained the bus system to us a bit. Basically we could get on any bus, but always double check that they were stopping up there. I had debated driving up there but with the small parking lot I just didn’t want to chance not finding a spot. We rode the bus up there and then headed to the boat dock. The boat was there and we got right on before it left and we started on our way. Even though I thought we had left with plenty of time to spare, it was soon apparent that we were running late. And Skip seemed to be extra worried about it, which surprised me. Come to find out he thought we were meeting Michael and Judy 15 minutes earlier than our planned meet. LOL. I did text Michael to let him know we were on our way, but the boat was pretty slow. They did do some trivia games as we sailed along and that passed the time. My phone rang and it was Michael telling me they were there. It was hard to hear as the boat was loud…but I shouted to him that we were running late but on our way. Soon we saw this lovely sight. As we excited the boat the balloon was coming down. DTD was busy, crowded and had construction walls all over the place. I led us the completely wrong way at first. Well it used to be the right way, but the construction wall had us come to a dead in so we had to turn around and go a different way. We found Judy and Michael fairly quickly and started chatting away. Skip kind of kept quiet. He was not super friendly the whole night really and I do apologize to Michael and Judy about that. He wasn’t mean or anything, just quiet. I think it’s because he just didn’t know them at all and I think he thought I knew them for years…even before I met him….not sure why he thought that. LOL. So after chatting a bit, Michael and Skip go to check us both in. I am not exactly sure how it happened but Skip said the guy at the podium asked if they knew each other and would it be fine to sit together and they agreed so now we were going to be sitting together for dinner…..which was a nice treat. And I believe we could be seated then if I remember right (and I might not be as it’s been almost a year ago. LOL). We all got seated with Claire, Skip and I one side of the table and Judy and Michael on the other. Claire was extremely shy and Judy did her best to try to talk to her but she just sat that and pretended like she didn’t hear or would look at me. I sat across from Michael and we chatted about Disney, cameras and our trips. Skip and Judy sat across from each other for the most part and talked a bit too. It was noisy in there so it was hard to hear those 2 from where I was sitting but we did our best. Judy got a little wild. Claire refused to wear it but Judy had no issues. LOL! I took a few pictures around the place too. I could hear Skip grumbling about the prices. I should’ve done the dining plan for this one day just to keep him happy. I always know when he has to pay out of pocket he grumbles. I think he went with a steak…maybe with ribs too…or was it chicken?...…No wonder he grumbled….he wanted one of the most expensive things on the menu. Claire went with steak as well and I went with the appetizer combo. It’s hard to get good pictures in here with all the strange lighting. There’s Michael in the background….I wasn’t on my game and we never did get a picture together. Claire’s steak. This food colored blue doesn’t look quite as appetizing. LOL.
  11. Now there was one thing I knew I wanted to see at Legoland in the Cypress Garden Section and that was the Banyan tree. It is said it was Planted in a five-gallon bucket in 1939 and now stands like a cathedral of soaring limbs and aerial roots. A banyan tree is an East Indian fig tree, of the mulberry family, having branches that send out adventitious roots to the ground and sometimes cause the tree to spread over a wide area. I have to say it really did take “root” since 1939! I believe there is a type of Banyan tree at the Polynesian out near the Spirit of Aloha. Those 2 were done exploring the tree…I wanted to spend more time here. We did move on but they were faster than me. They can’t leave anyways…I have the car keys. I thought this was funny…as I had issues getting onto facebook at the park all day! Isn’t this just so pretty? Once we were done with the gardens we headed up towards the front. I knew we had not seen the whole park but we were kind of annoyed with the place and had no desire to stay any longer. We all agreed the Gardens was by far the best part of the park, but we also really enjoyed miniland. Of course we had promised shopping for Claire so we tackled the stores. Skip is not a shopper and he often follows you around…I think to hurry you up. It annoys the heck out of me….but Claire had him with her this time. I bought a magnet and Claire roamed and roamed. We found that the prices were not good. They were even a bit higher than prices at places like Target. We told her to limit what she got and she could get something at home for cheaper and then we wouldn’t have to worry about packing. This was not so exciting to her. It also didn’t help that she was picking out some of the most expensive things, which we vetoed. It was becoming more of buying something for the sake of buying it rather than something she actually wanted. After the shopping I think we made bathrooms stops and then worked our way out of the park. We headed back out to the car and then made our way back towards Disney for our last night. The ride was long and boring and I am pretty sure Claire took a snooze once again in the backseat. I think we stopped for soft drinks once again before getting on the main highway. Again, this is not a short drive to Disney. I would say at least an hour. I have heard people say it’s less and it could depend on traffic or how fast you drive, but I would not expect to get there in less than an hour.
  12. A few more in Miniland. I was now hungry. I had a raging headache from the flight school ride and hunger. I sat on a bench waiting for Claire and Skip. They had said they would meet me in this area at a certain time. I honestly had no clue if they could get on the ride fast enough or not and I just had to wait. Oh…and my husband left his phone in the car….on purpose too. I had told him when he made that decision that it wasn’t a wise one as we may get separated and will need to find each other but he had no desire to bring it in….and I was now cursing him. They were a bit late and I am pretty sure I wasn’t very pleasant to him when they did arrive. He knows how I am with needing food. LOL. We were going to just go to the pizza buffet. I piled up my plate. The food was just ok. Nothing fabulous but it did fill the need I had. Some of it was better than others. A view of a death trap out the window. We made a couple of trips and new pizza was brought out. It was better when it was fresh. We honestly were ready to leave now. We just were not impressed with Legoland at all. It was mainly due to the poor staff. They just really turned us off of the place. And the loading techniques were awful. What looks like a short line was actually long. We wanted to watch the waterski show and one was starting while we were eating. Skip tried to push off eating till later to go see it but I said no way. There was one later in the day and as much as we wanted to see it we weren’t sure we wanted to stay in the park much longer. Even Claire, who loves Legos was not impressed with the place. There was however one thing I had on my must do list before we left….the Gardens…so we worked our way towards them. A look at one of the death trap rides through the trees. (If you had followed my Disneyland TR, I explained all about death trap rides) We could hear that the waterski show was still going on, so we went to see if we could see anything. Sadly it was just getting over. I do think we would’ve enjoyed this show. So we kept moving towards the gardens. Here we are. I am so happy they kept some of the gardens intact. This was a highlight for us. Part of Cypress Gardens “thing” was they would have southern belles walking around the gardens. Legoland pays tribute to that. Claire was pretty sure this was Belle. We then entered the Gardens area. Kitty! Claire was pretty sure she found Cinderella too. I don’t know what these little stumpy things were but they were kind of odd.
  13. Soon it was our turn. If I remember right this game was similar to Buzz Lightyear. I know we had to shoot at things in here, but I don’t remember much else about it. Surprisingly, Claire actually road with me. Whenever Skip is with us she always chooses to ride with him. Maybe I bribed her with something? Or maybe she was tired of hearing him say Hunh? We moved on looking for something else to do. We really had a hard time navigating around the park. It was so unfamiliar to us….and I think we missed at least 2 sections all together. We ended up needing a drink and a snack. I was starving and Skip was pushing lunch back. If you know me…I need to eat in the day or I become a bit grumpy. We ended up buying a ridiculously expensive small bucket of popcorn that was supposed to have cheap refills. In the end we never found other places to refill it and never did. Also the drinks seemed very high priced as well. Next we decided to ride Coastersaurus, which showed about a 20 minute wait, but the line didn’t seem too long at all. The lined seemed to be moving super slow. I was amazed at how slow it was…and about every 2 minutes we heard dinosaur noses that got real old fast! It was very much themed after Jurassic Park. We slowly made our way on….and we found out why it was so slow. They only have 1 train on the track. I am not sure if they have a 2nd one to run or not but this track easily could handle it. While one is loading one could be going. I was super annoyed. The team members here were friendly and I felt bad for them because they really were working their rear off. The ride was fun, but not fabulous. It is a very small coaster. We moved on to find something else to do. I was hungry but for some reason we were waiting to eat….I can’t remember why now…but I do know it was some reason Skip had. We next decided to ride the Flying School coaster. It showed a 15 minute wait and there wasn’t many people in line at all. This would move really fast! It was a hanging coaster and we like those. So we got in line and waited and waited and waited. We watched the team members goof off with each other the whole time., They never had people get in the individual queues till after the coaster came back and had emptied. Then they would have some people directed to line up and then after they got on they would let a few more till was full. These were kids running this. They worried more about the fun they were having than working. There was an older lady running the ride controls and she just zoned out and didn’t pay attention to the kids. She didn’t have the Disney look…to put it nicely. So we slowly work our way up there and we are all getting more and more mad each time. Again, only 1 train running…and I timed the ride…I believe it was a total of 29 seconds. We should’ve left but we didn’t. Frank was the main goof off. Totally a jerk. He flirted with Amanda and goofed off with a couple of other guys. This ride had more than enough staff to keep it running fine…if they actually worked. Skip started calling Frank….Frank the _ _ _ _...You fill in the blank but it wasn’t nice. So we started making up stories about Frank the _ _ _ _. I started to voice how annoyed I was within earshot….none of them heard because they were too busy fooling around. Then Amandas shift was over, but Frank and some other buddy stole her sunglasses right as we loaded on. So instead of loading the train they chased around playing keep away from Amanda. I was raging mad at this time as were other people and we started saying things rudely to them…but they once again never hear. So we took our 29 second ride and my head banged from side to side for all 29 seconds. WORST ride I have EVER been on. It was awful…and immediately I had a migraine. I was determined to go to guest services to complain on our way out…and I never did and I still kick myself for not doing it…but at the time I was tired and I just wanted out of the park. Now I was hungry and had a headache. Skip and Claire wanted to ride some death trap ride, so I was going to go find a snack to hold me over….I never did. I walked around and waited for them as we were going to eat a meal once they were done. I was so tempted to buy a snack but then I wouldn’t be hungry for the meal and I never found something small enough to tie me over. I believe this is the deathtrap that they were planning on riding. Where should I go next? Miniland of course! There is just so much here to see and the detail is amazing….you could spend hours here. If you are a Star Wars fan, there is a huge section. This had brought back memories of the recent Disneyland trip I had taken and my tour day of Hollywood! I am hoping to head there again this year.
  14. New York City! As you can see I was going back and forth between the different displays. There was so much to see and it was amazing the amount of work put into these. As you can tell this is the Lego Movie area. The Obama’s were hanging out in front of the White House. There were some cute rides there, but many were kind of babyish. We decided to head over to the Lost Kingdom Adventure ride. It had a bit of a line but it seemed to be moving fairly fast. One thing we learned very quickly is that Legoland is very slow at loading and unloading rides. They need to go take a Disney class on this.
  15. We put Claire to work. Here is the Mansion. I think this is the only picture I took. I can’t believe I didn’t take more of it. Since we are farmers, Skip loves to look at anything associated with farming. This cracked me up….the wife if pregnant. Reminds us of home. They had a little do it yourself play area, but there wasn’t much selection of legos to actually build with. It’s amazing the things they can make with legos. After the greenhouse we were ready to do something and we saw that a show was going to start soon. This was a 4-D type movie. They actually played 3 throughout the day at different times and I no longer even remember which we saw. We had a seat in a practically empty theatre. Claire and I started to feel a drip of wet. We later realized that they had some sort of sprinklers for the 4-D effect and it was leaking exactly where we sat. The movie itself was good but the effects were poor and the screen shape was just awful….think Soarin’…and that screen is perfect compared to this one. While in there we noticed that the families that were in there really had no manners and let their kids run wild; climbing over seats and talking loudly. When it was over we tried to brush that experience off and hope it was just one bad time. I took this picture because Claire loves Lego Friends. We debated on eating but decided to wait for now. Love the mossy trees. I remember my first adult trip to FL with my best friend….we drove down and I remember seeing all the mossy trees and it was just an amazing thing. Not something I had expected at all. Now when I see them they bring back the good memories of that trip. We headed over to Miniland next. This was one of the highlights of the whole day. You could spend hours here looking at all the details. Another beautiful tree in the area.
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