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Laurie Johnson -- June 2001 -- Walt Disney World (VBR, VWL)


June 3 - 14 2001

I am very late posting this, but since I am planning a trip for March I thought I better get a move on.

This will be our first family DVC vacation. The players are. Laurie: Mom, loves Disney, lurks on RADP every day but rarely posts. 6th trip Rick: DH. Barely tolerates Disney. But excited for his kids to go there. 3rd trip Clayton: 7 YO. Very smart. Loves WDW and sports. 3rd trip. Allan and Garrett: 5 YO identical twins. Very active, all boy. Loves sports and can't wait for their first trip to WDW.

We started planning about 11 months in advance. We thought airfare would be a fortune so I called Delta just to see. They told me about an internet special so we ended up with tickets for $129.00 each. It took us awhile to decide on dates. DH wanted middle of August so the kids would have all summer to get excited. I wanted early June because it would be cooler, less crowded, my birthday and I figured the kids would have 11 months to get excited and they didn't need all summer also. I won!

I made ressies at OKW for the 11 nights. When the 7 month window came open I changed the first 3 nights to Vero Beach. My kids have never seen the ocean. Then I changed the rest of the nights to WLVillas. We love the WL and I figured when they are sold out it would be harder to get rooms there. All of our rooms will be 2 bedrooms.

I had planned on renting a car to drive to Vero Beach then returning it after we were at WDW and take Tiffany Towncars back to the airport. But renting a car for the whole trip was only about $90.00 more so convenience ruled.

DH thinks I plan too much so I didn't make any PS except for Hoop De Doo.

Sue Holland was very nice and mailed each one of my kids postcards from a character each month. My oldest, who is very smart, decided I was having someone do it. I showed him the FL postmarks but I'm not sure if it swayed him but he didn't mention it again. Allan got one from Captain Hook that said he would be looking for him. I didn't realize how that postcard affected him until later on in our trip.

While we were in WDW I mailed postcards to some friends kids that were planning a trip. All the kids loved getting cards from Mickey. And were totally sold that Mickey himself sent them. Mickey said that my kids had told him they were coming and he couldn't wait to meet them.

Baseball season ended June 2nd and we left June 3rd. We returned June 14. I planned the dates just right. All three boys made the Little League All Star teams and missed some practices but the coaches were understanding. The Twins team of 5 - 6 YOs came in second place beating out over 20 teams. They lost 11 to 10. I am still sick about it. They recovered quickly once they got a huge second place trophy, but I digress.

Soooo, on with the show.

June 3, 2001

The big day has finally arrived. Woke the kids up at 5:30 AM. They popped right up, A friend took us to the airport. Our plane trip was uneventful except Garrett was a little nervous about the whole experience. He hasn't flown since he was 11 months. Once his nausea passed he was fine.

We landed at MCO and got our rental from the Emerald aisle at National. We were on our way to Vero Beach.

We arrived at VB at 2:30. Earlier than I had expected. We were told our room would be ready in about an hour. So we decided to just explore. The place was beautiful and we were very excited to get to our room, change and hit the pool. While we were waiting I signed the kids up for the Unbirthday Party for the next day. I thought the kids would have fun since the next day was my birthday and they could celebrate both. I didn't have a room number yet so the young man told me to come back and tell him the number when I had it.

We called around 3:30 and was told our room was being worked on at the time and it would be 15 more minutes. The kids and I bought refillable mugs and waited. It was getting pretty warm and we were getting restless. Especially DH. At 4:00 we called again and were told our room would be ready in an hour. What? They said they were running behind and lots of other people were having to wait. I told them that those other people didn't have to deal with my husband! He doesn't have a lot of patience.

Well, DH went to the front desk to talk to them about being told so many different times They bought us a drink and we just chilled in the Green Cabin Room. In hindsight I wished I had packed a separate bag with swim suits and we would have had lots more fun waiting for the room. We finally got in to our room a little after 5:00

The room was beautiful and very roomy. The twins have never stayed in a hotel before. I am afraid they are now spoiled for life. How do I break it to them that most hotel rooms are not like this! We decided to unpack and go swimming. As we were unpacking a huge thunderstorm came in. Great. No swimming for us. We decided to just eat dinner at Shutters. I called for a PS. They asked if we had a special occasion. I told them it was my birthday tomorrow. They asked if we would be eating there tomorrow and I said no.

What a disaster dinner was. We were seated and gave our drink order. I am not kidding when I say 20 minutes later we still did not have drinks. We got another waitress to get our drinks. Finally our waitress came and took our order. I didn't write down what we had but it was good but not worth what we had to go thru.

Our dinner arrived about 45 minutes later. Everyone kept telling us that they had just gotten a new computer system and it was fouling everyone up. Hello!!! Does it take a computer system to bring a drink to your table? We never did get a refill. We finished eating and Rick took the boys to see the ocean while I waited for the check. All together we were there 2 1/2 hours. And not once did anyone acknowledge my birthday. After I payed the bill I decided to talk to the manager. I was told about the computer system once more. I can see how that can affect getting your bill in a timely manner but the rest was inexcusable. I also asked why they bother asking about special occasions if they are not going to acknowledge them. She apologized and asked if we were going to eat at Shutters again. I said there was no way. She asked for a second chance and offered to buy us breakfast the next day. Well, okay I guess there is a way..

I met up with the guys and we put on our swim suits and went swimming for a little bit. The boys love the pool and the slide. I got eaten up by the no see ums.

Finally went in and went to bed. We couldn't wait to play in the ocean the next day.

Mon June 4, 2001

The boys were up early and ready to swim. I forgot to mention that our 2 bedroom at Vero looked out over the ocean from the balcony. I guess it is one of the very few 2 bedrooms that have an ocean view.

We got ready for our breakfast at Shutters. We were seated right away and our waitress was very attentive. The boys had the Mickey waffles and loved them. Rick took the 3 boys to the restroom. The waitress came over in a panic thinking they had left. I assured her they hadn't but wondered why she cared. When everyone was back the waitress brought out a piece of birthday cake for me and they all sang. They remembered. What a difference a day makes. Disney picked up the tab and the tip we were told but our waitress was so wonderful compared to last night that we tipped her again. Amazing that there were no computer problems this morning.

We went to the beach and rented beach chairs for the day and boogie boards. It was a lot of fun. I know the beach isn't as pretty as the Gulf Coast side but since the boys had never seen the ocean they loved it. They are not strong swimmers so they just stayed on the edge.

We went to the pool next and had a blast with the slide. The twins were just tall enough to be able to touch bottom when they landed.

I went to Eb and Flo's rentals to tell them our room number for the Unbirthday Party. I was told they were full. I explained that I had signed the boys up yesterday but didn't know my room number. They explained to me that you can only sign up the day of the Party and my boys were not on the list. They looked thru their notebook and found a paper tucked into the back with my boys names on it. Turns out the person who signed them up was new and didn't know about the rules. They said they would work them in.

When the boys went to the party I started to explain to the CM that was checking off names what happened. He said "You must be the Johnson boys." Great. Between all the problems from yesterday and today we were getting well known LOL.

The boys enjoyed the party but Clayton, at 7 YO was probably a little old for it. The twins, at 5 YO, enjoyed it more.

Rick rented a wave runner later in the day and had a ball taking the kids around on it. It took some convincing to the boys that it would not be scary. They loved it when the rode it and were not scared at all. The lifeguard offered to sit with the boys on the beach so I could go out with DH. I ended up terrified on the thing LOL. I'm not sure why. I made Rick take me back to shore.

About 4:00 we went to the room and while everyone rested I went to Publix to get a few supplies. They were selling boogie boards there for less than the rental price at the hotel so next time I will definitely buy them.

We had dinner at Ocean side Pizza. I wasn't very hungry but I had a bite and it was the best pizza. I had to have a slice after that.

We went to the Campfire and enjoyed the songs and stories. The boys roasted their marshmallows and then threw them away and just ate the chocolate!.

We walked along the beach. Clayton and I were getting eaten alive out there. We were the only ones bothered by the no see ums. Our bites lasted the whole next week at WDW and didn't clear up until we got home.

We returned to our rooms and got ready for bed. It was a wonderful bithday . We had a great day and couldn't wait for tomorrow. It would be our last full day at Vero Beach.

Tues, June 5, 2001

Today was a pretty relaxing non-eventful day. We had breakfast in the room and spent the rest of the day alternating between the beach and the pool.

The boys played Goofy Bingo at 4:00. Garrett won a chocolate bar and Clayton and Allan won free rounds of miniature golf. When bingo was over the boys went golfing then we spent a little more time in the pool. We left to get ready for dinner.

We had dinner at Mr. Manatee's. It was pretty crowded but we got a seat fairly fast. We could see out a window that looked out over a harbour. It was good food and a nice atmosphere.

Back at the hotel we all took a final walk on the beach. It was a beautiful night with a full moon. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful stay at VB. Even if there were some things that went wrong we had a great time. We went back to the room to do laundry and get to bed early so we could leave fairly early for WDW and hit the parks. That was our plan but things were about to turn out very differently.

Wed. June 6, 2001

At about 2:00 AM I woke to hear some whimpering coming from the other bedroom. I went in to see what was going on. Clayton was sleeping on the hideaway bed and Allan and Garrett were sharing the bed. Allan was half awake with blood all over him. I figured he had a bloody nose and got some kleenex but there was no blood coming from his nose so I figured it had stopped.

I tried to reassure him it had stopped but he kept whimpering. I put my hand under his chin and when I pulled it away it was covered in blood. Allan had a big gash on his chin. I got a bandage and covered it up and put him in our bed. I called the front desk to see if there was a place to take him for stitches if needed and they told me to call back if I decided to take him and they would bring the directions to the room.

I went to check on Allan and he was already sound asleep. I went into his room to see what had happened and saw at the end of the bed a huge puddle of blood all over the blankets and sheets. There was a small spot of blood on the floor near the end of the bed. I figure he got turned around in bed, fell out, gashed his chin and then laid back in bed with his head at the foot of the bed. By the time I found him he had turned himself around.

In the morning we checked his chin and the gash was much larger than we realized. I took Allan to the front desk to get directions to the clinic. A wonderful CM named Anne helped me. She told me she had some steri-strips,etc. and I could just patch him up if I wanted. I decided to take him to the clinic.

We arrived at the clinic at 8:30 but the Dr. wasn't due until 9:00. There were already 3 patients in front of us waiting for physicals, etc. Of course, I did not have our insurance cards with me and they did not take American Express. The only credit card on me. I decided that we would drive to Orlando and have Allan seen at Centra Care where they were probably more used to kids.

On the way back to the hotel I stopped for a doughnut for Allan. He took one bite and said it hurt too much to chew. I figured his jaw probably hurt from the fall.

I went back to the main desk with Allan and took CM Anne up on her offer of steri strips. As we were talking Allan kept complaining about his tooth. I looked in his mouth and that is when I discovered he had shattered a molar. Well, I just lost it. I was crying, I felt so bad for Allan and I felt helpless.

Anne took us to a back room and had sterile gloves, antiseptic,etc. Everything we needed to fix up his chin. Turns out her husband was a paramedic. She sent us back to our room to pack and said she would take care of Allan's tooth.

We went back to the room and finished packing our things. Anne came to our room and had made an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Orlando that was on the way to WDW. Turns out she used to work for a dentist in Orlando so she knew some names and was able to get us right in. Before checking out I called housekeeping to tell them what happened so they wouldn't think someone had been murdered in the room.

As much as we liked VB the best thing about the place was CM Anne. She was such a lifesaver. I will never forget her kindness. Every time I think of her I get tears in my eyes. I wrote a letter to the Manager at VB. I never got a response so I hope they got it.

We drove to Orlando and made our 2:30 dentist appointment with Dr.Marfori. The office staff was wonderful and so was the dentist. He had to give Allan laughing gas and remove his tooth. It was in a million pieces so it took a while for him to finish. Allan came out to the waiting room quite groggy.

Remember Allan is an identical twin. The Dentist came out and saw Garrett and said "Well you've bounced back fast." We all laughed when he realized he was talking to the wrong kid. The Dr. also looked at Allan's chin and said we should have it looked at by a Dr.

We checked into the WL Villas. They did not start our LOS passes until the next day since there was no way we would be going any where today. The CM that checked us in was very helpful. She gave me the pamphlets on Centa Care. I was happy that they pick you up so I did not have to drive..

I called Centra Care and they came and picked me and Allan up. There were a couple of CM's in the waiting room. One was from Millionaire and the other was a safari driver from AK. We talked to the safari driver guy for awhile and he said he would be working the day we were going to AK so to look for him.

The Dr. saw Allan and said we should have had stitches but it was too late to do it now. Funny thing is, Allan has had stiches on his forehead and this scar on his chin is much less noticable than the one on his forehead. He cleaned it up, put more steri-strips on it and said Allan could not go swimming for 5 days. Great. There goes all my planning right out the window. We were going to do water parks every other day but that would have to wait.

The people at Centra Care were wonderful and they did take American Express. All total, with the spacer the dentist here put in, Allan's little fall out of bed cost us $600:00.

We made it back to the room. Had dinner at Roaring Forks and hit the beds early after such a stressful day. We did make sure we lined Allan's side of the bed with pillows. <g>

Thur, June 7, 2001

We all woke up feeling refreshed. Allan had a really good nights sleep after taking the tylenol with codeine the Dentist gave him. He didn't need any thing else the rest of the vacation. DH slept in, which he insisted on doing every day, much to the annoyance of the rest of us. We managed to finally get Rick out of bed. We had breakfast in the room.

Speaking of rooms. Our 2 bedroom at WL villas was wonderful. We were on the top floor at the very end of the hall. I didn't like the end of the hall thing at first but being there made our room very quiet. I also figured I wouldn't have to worry quite as much about any possible noise the 3 boys might make. Sue Holland had me a little nervous about that aspect. <g> But they ended up being very quiet. In fact, the boys were better behaved the entire time we were on vacation than they ever are at home <g>

I thought the 2 bdrms at WLV were 1 bdrm with a studio but ours was not. The only complaint I had was I never did get the hang of the light switches. I kept forgetting which one went to what light. The bathroom area to the second bedroom was huge. I thought it was an awful lot of wasted space.

We headed off for MGM studios. First thing we did was get a fastpass to TOT. We then rode Star Tours which we all enjoyed then the saw the Muppets show. I think I enjoyed it the most. We did check out the key under the mat.

It was now time for TOT. I have always refused to ride it as I get very motion sick on planes and such. I figured the 5 YO twins would surely chicken out if not their 7 YO brother. So I went into the ride knowing I could take the chicken exit with the kids. We got to the elevators and no one wanted to chicken out with me. So I told the kids not to blame me if I threw up on it and decided to ride. I LOVED it. I couldn't believe how much fun it was. I never got that "losing your stomach" feel that I thought for sure would happen. I wanted to buy the picture but Rick didn't want to so we left.

Had lunch at the 50"s Prime Time. Our waitress was fun but I was so disappointed that they no longer have Aunt Selma's Chicken Salad. It was always my favorite. I ended up having a kids meal along with the kids.

We played around MGM some more then I took my oldest on RnRC. I knew he would love it but he started chickening out when he saw the limo's take off. I told him it was too late to leave so we rode it and I was right, he loved it. The twins were very sad they were not tall enough but they understood and didn't complain.

We went to WWTBAM and really enjoyed it. We didn't make the board ever. Oh well, next time. We did see the CM that we met at Centra Care but he was too far over to talk to.

The whole time at the Studios Allan got lots of attention from CM's, Characters and guests because of his chin. He had a huge bandage and it was starting to bruise and was a little swollen. Allan never did wake up all the way when he fell out of bed so he kept insisting he did NOT fall out of bed. You can imagine the looks from people as I would explain he fell out of bed and Allan would be insisting he did not. Yeah, right, lady, Fell out of bed, sure!!! Oh well.

Back to the hotel for dinner then we caught the boat to MK. As soon as we got there a huge thunderstorm started. Of course when we were eating dinner earlier I took out the ponchos to make my back pack lighter. I carried those ponchos the rest of the week and we never needed them. Go figure. We ducked into Buzz Lightyear and had a blast. We ran over to the people mover and enjoyed the trip around. It was raining so hard that we decided to just go home and go to bed. So thats what we did.

Fri. June 8, 2001

While DH was sleeping in as usual, I went to the grocery store. I went to Publix and found it with no problems. I bought a few things but the most important purchase was Dr. Pepper for DH.

After the groceries were put away we all went to MK. On the way I stopped at Guest Services to get our Hoop De Doo tickets. We were going to the 7 o'clock show and still received the AmEx discount. I thought it was only good for the latest one. That was a nice surprise.

We always enjoy the boat ride to MK and today was no exception.. Everyone did Swiss Family Treehouse while I got fastpasses to Splash Mountain. We rode the Magic Carpets and loved it. Especially since there was no wait. It was fun trying to get the camel to spit on us.

We went to the Tiki birds. I enjoy the new version. Then on to Splash Mountain. The boys liked this one. Especially Allan. We had lunch at Pecos Bills. DH said the hamburger he had was the best. I loved the chicken salad. After lunch we rode BTMRR. The boys had fun trying to keep their hands up thru the whole ride.

Rick took the boys to AE. They are only 5 and 7 remember so I thought it was a mistake. But they didn't mind it too much. I kept reminding them it was pretend. There were no tears so I guess my 3 boys are pretty fearless where rides are concerned.

We enjoyed Buzz again. We finished our day at MK with the Jungle Cruise. Then took the boat back to WL to rest up for the Hoop De Doo Revue.

We took the boat to Fort Wilderness and arrived in plenty of time. We didn't have our picture taken because we knew we wouldn't buy them. The boys all bought necklaces with their own money while we were waiting. Of course Garrett left his at the table and it was never turned in to lost and found. We bought another one for him after we returned home for 1/4 the cost. <g>

Our seats were the best. Our table was right up front and a little to the left. Layden was playing Six Bits and kept doing silly things to the boys. They thought he was the best. I kept taking pictures of him so I could send them to Sue. She hadn't yet seen Layden here. I am sure he was wondering why this 40 something woman was so fascinated with him that she had to take a million pictures of him.<g> We loved the show and the food. The boys enjoyed the napkin twirling and doing the spoons on the washboard. We had to explain to them what a washboard was.

When they were asking for volunteers to come up stage they asked a little boy near us and he said no. I hear a familiar voice pipe up "I will." I turned to see Garrett, the most shy and nervous of my three volunteering. He played a Texas Ranger, which he loved since he is from Texas. I missed most of the story line since I was taking so many pictures but he did a great job. Layden was playing a bear and I got a great picture of Garrett on his back. He looked scared to death up on stage and he did say he was a little nervous. He got a certificate for being in the show and a polaroid picture with the cast.

We really enjoyed our time at Hoop de Doo and even DH, who complains most about the cost of food at WDW thought it was well worth it.

We took the boat to MK. We made our way into the park but it was very crowded due to people waiting for the parade. We rode Pirates and Aladdin's Carpets again, then left. It was too crowded for DH.

We took the boat home and went to bed. It was another great day.

Sat, June 9, 2001

We had breakfast in the room after Rick finally woke up and got moving. Went to Epcot and the boys went to Ice Station Cool while I went and got fastpasses to TT. I met up with them and we had some more samples before leaving. Each one of us had a different favorite. Mine will always be the watermelon.

We went on HISTA, with me covering the twins eyes at the snake and lion. Allan is kind of afraid of dogs so I covered his eyes when the dog was really big. It was the first time Clayton was tall enough to feel the mice and he got a big kick out of that. Next it was on to JIYI because, big surprise here, there was no wait. The kids kind of liked it but it was not that wonderful. We did have some fun in the area after the ride. We went into Living Seas briefly and looked around but the boys were too excited about TT to be bothered with any of it.

It was now our TT time so we hoofed it over there but the ride was down. The CM's said to come back anytime with our fastpasses. We had lunch at the Electric Umbrella. It was not bad and it was our cheapest meal of the week. The only rotten part was trying to explain to 2 5YO's why we were not on TT after they had been waiting for a year to ride it.

We went on Ellens Energy Adventure. The boys were kind of bored and right at the very end the ride broke down. The CM was trying to keep everyone entertained but all my boys wanted to do was ride TT and here we were sitting in a broken ride. THe CM asked us for the answer to the final jeopardy and I was the only one who knew the answer. After a few minutes we ended up having to walk out of the theatre. That was kind of cool.

Finally TT was open and we went on it with little wait. The boys loved it and all got t-shirts to commemorate the occasion.

We all rode Spaceship Earth and after that Rick convinced the boys there was nothing else in Epcot that would interest them. So, he took the boys to the hotel while I visited WS. I went to each country briefly, sorry that the boys were not here to enjoy it. I don't think it would be their favorite park but I think there would be some things they would enjoy.

I hurried back to the hotel to find Rick asleep and the boys watching TV. It's funny that on vacation Rick tends to sleep a lot and I tend to have much more energy than I do at home. I think it is because I have much less stress when I am away.

We had dinner in the room then went to MGM. FIrst up was TOT again. I can't believe I was ever afraid to ride this. The CM at the elevator asked us who was the most brave. Clayton said he was so he put him in a different spot. Turns out Clayton had the seatbelt seat. He loved it. And he felt very grown up after riding in it. After the ride we decided to get t-shirts from TOT and Allan got a Goofy beanie baby. He loves that silly thing and sleeps with it still.

We went to Indiana Jones after that. The boys really wanted to see this as a boy on their baseball team's dad used to be an extra in the show. So that was very cool to them. Clayton and I ran to go ride RnRC again. We then went to find seats for Fantasmic.

I don't really enjoy this show all that much but I wanted the twins to see it. We waited about 40 minutes for the show. Which was about 39 minutes too long for Rick. I think the boys enjoyed it but later they said they didn't. I think it was their dad's influence on them. If there hadn't been a wait Rick would have liked it more. Have I mentioned he doesn't have a lot of patience. It's funny, though, where the boys are concerned he has all the patience in the world and that is what is most important.

We went back to the hotel, watched a little TV then it was lights out.

Sun, June 10, 2001

Today was our day for AK. We took the bus and upon arriving went straight to KS. Allan and I kept looking for his buddy that we met at Centra Care. We knew he was working. I really was hoping that he would be our driver because he was from South Africa and I love the accent. We didn't see him while we were waiting and he wasn't our driver. We were seated in the very back of the truck. Normally, I like to be right behind the driver but this worked out really well today. The boys had fun on the bridge that almost collapses. It wasn't working last time Clayton and I were here so he was especially glad it was working this time.

About 3/4 of the way thru we were slowed way down and another truck was pulling up behind us. Suddenly we hear a honk and turn around. The driver was Allan's buddy. We hollered at him for a little bit. Allan was very excited to see him. He was trying to show him his chin. I was amazed he recognized us from behind.

We then went to Tarzan Rocks. I love this show. The boys really liked the roller bladers. Rick thought it was lame. I guess the wait was too long <g> He's definitely more into rides than shows. We got FP to Dinosaur then went to RFC for lunch.

Our lunch was very good. But took way too long. I have been to them in London, Las Vegas, Dallas and FL and the service is always so slow. But I had $75.00 in certificates so we put up with it. And I really like the food. Rick did take the boys out while I waited for a new certificate showing my balance. Apparently there was only one person that could do that and they have to get them from the office so it took forever.

We were late for our FP time to Dinosaur but they let us on anyway. We had so much fun on this ride and our picture was priceless. I could kick myself that we didn't buy it.

Next it was ITTBAB. I made sure none of the kids got stung. All three boys enjoyed this. Last year I had to leave with Clayton but I guess he got over it and really enjoyed it this time. Once again, Rick convinced the boys they did not want to see the Lion King show so we bid AK farewell and went back to the hotel.

Rick and I decided Allans chin was sufficiently healed so we headed to Stormalong Bay. We had a great time swimming. The boys loved the slide but they were not comfortable enough to go on it with us not in the water to catch them. We were not allowed to do this so the boys went just the one time (that's when we found out we couldn't wait for them in the landing area). We stayed about 3 hours then changed and headed over to the ESPN club for dinner

The boys loved this place. They are big sports fanatics and had a great time looking at everything. We had a good dinner, bought a couple of t-shirts and left. My boys are big t-shirt fans in case you didn't notice.

We played the basketball game on the Boardwalk. Of course my boys are convinced I know nothing about sports since I am a girl. Even though I played high school basketball they think I am hopeless. Until <drumroll please> I won them a basketball. Yea. Score one for mom.

It was then time to head home. We were totally exhausted but happy that we were finally able to have some pool time.

Mon, June 11, 2001

I finally convinced Rick that he had to get up early for EE to MK. We didn't get there right when it opened but we were close.

We all rode Dumbo. Clayton was excited that he could finally ride by himself now that he was 7. On to Peter Pan, my personal favorite. Then to the Tea Cups. Neither of the adults can handle the spinning but we knew the boys were too young to ride alone. So I said I would go on it with them. In line I was telling them they could not spin or I would be sick for the rest of the day. Trust me, I know this from experience. There was a family in front of us with 2 little girls and their parents. The dad turned around and offered to go with my boys. They were less than thrilled until the guy told them they could do all the spinning and as much as they wanted. I was so thankful to that dad and the boys ended up having a much better time.

At some point we went on Winnie the Pooh ride. The boys were not happy as they are way too cool to have anything to do with Winnie the Pooh. I enjoyed even if they didn't. Rick sat it out.

We waited in line for the speedway then headed over to the carousel. I sat out as even this ride makes me motion sick. I can't figure out why TOT and RnRC don't bother me but a Carousel can make me want to throw up.

It was on to the Haunted Mansion. The boys got a real kick out of the hitchhiking ghosts. When we left a CM told me where to find the wedding ring. It took us a minute but we finally saw it.

We rode the Liberty Belle, which is Rick's favorite ride. The boys were less than thrilled by it. I like it best at night. After we went to the HM again then back to WL for lunch.

We ate at Whispering Canyon. The boys discovered Shirley Temples here. Although I think in WDW they are called something else but the name escapes me. Is it a Mickey Mouse?

We went to the NFL experience which I thought the boys would really enjoy. What a waste of time. In all fairness, I think it was too hot to enjoy and I think the boys were too young.

We spent the next few hours at the WL pool. I tried to get PS for Chef Mickeys but was told there was nothing. I finally called right to the restaurant and they told us to come on over so we did.

We had a blast here. Allan and Garrett were trying to find out if Chip and Dale were twins. Turns out they are just good friends. They were disappointed about that but they recovered. We did try to get them both at the table so I could take their picture with the twins but it didn't work out. Allan loved meeting Goofy. Allan is just as goofy so Goofy is so they had a good time being silly with each other. Clayton, at 7 YO, decided he was too old to interact with the characters. That lasted about 1/2 hour. Finally he got into it too.. Minnie snuck up on Rick and kissed the top of his head. I got a great picture of it. The food was great. RIck thought is was well worth the money. No small feat I assure you. Of course, we had the usual dilemma about how much to tip at a buffet. We always debate this and always end up tipping 15 - 20 % so I am not sure why we still ponder this question.

We walked over to MK. Of course it was very crowded. We rode the Carpet Ride. I know there are lots of people that don't like this ride but we really enjoy it. We wanted to ride BTMRR in the dark but the line was over an hour long and there were no more fast passes We hit Pirates on the way out and caught the boat home.

We were all very tired but had another great day not counting the NFL experience.

Tues, June 12, 2001

Today was the day DH had been waiting for forever. We were going to Blizzard Beach. I'm not sure why he was so excited about it. He rarely even goes swimming. He had spent the whole week before studying the maps, planning, etc.

We drove to BB and arrived a little before opening. At opening we headed to Tykes Peak to get chairs. Well Rick didn't want to stay in the little kids area but the boys did. He talked us into going over to the wave pool area but the boys were not happy here. So once again we packed up our stuff and moved back to the kids area. I tried to tell Rick that we could just leave our things here and still do everything. Well, he decided we had to have a picnic table. Well, I was not going to spend the day sitting a table while the kids played so I got chairs. DH was not happy with this and we went back and forth. He finally decided he would just go somewhere else and spend the day alone. About this time one of the twins christened him "Mr. Crabbypants" lol and I am sorry to say that the nickname has stuck to him all this time.

The boys and I had a great time. We rode the ski lift and did the family raft ride. We rode in the lazy river. Had lunch. It was a very nice day. In the afternoon we looked for Rick but couldn't find him so I called the room. He was taking a nap so I said we would take the bus back.

What a bus ride. The driver was fairly old and kept up a non stop stream of info. Problem was some of it was not correct. He said e-ride nights were $10.00. I told him I had heard they had gone up to $12.00. He didn't answer me but all of a sudden he was taking some crazy turn. He was driving on a one way street going the wrong way! We ended up in a parking lot that had a bunch of busses parked. He drove all over there, swerving the whole time, then finely back to a main road. All the adult passengers were looking at each other and my kids kept aking me where we were going. I guess he missed a turn somewhere.

We finally made it back to the room and the boys let "Mr. Crabbypants" know they were not too happy having to take such a wild bus ride home.

We went to Chef Mickey's again for dinner. SInce Rick thought this was the best food he had had all week. Then we walked over to MK.

It was very crowded but we promised Allan he could have one more ride on Splash Mt. All the fast passes were gone so we got one for BTMRR and got in line for Splash. The sign said it was a 90 min wait but the boys insisted they didn't care. They didn't fuss at all in line so I know they really wanted to ride. Turns out we were off the ride in just over 45 minutes. We rode BTMRR then took the RR around to the front and caught the boat home.

Wed, June 13, 2001

Today we were to be the Flag Family at WL. The boys and I were very excited about it but Rick was not. He was afraid we would miss the opening of TL and not get a spot. Of course, all week he had been sleeping in when we wanted to get up and going ....but I digress.

Darlene was our guide. She explained lots of stuff about the Lodge. I enjoyed it but I think the boys were a little to young for a lot of explanations. They just wanted to go up to the roof.

It was beautiful up there. I took lots of pictures and the boys enjoyed raising the flag. Rick eventually got into it a little and helped the boys. We received our certificate and after thanking Darlene we were on our way.

We got to TL shortly after opening and got a great spot at the wave pool right by a slide. Everyone was happy today and we all hung out together as a family <g> I bought the picture from the family raft ride. It was actually pretty good. I guess the inner tube thing hides the worst parts of me <g>

We stayed until about 1:00 then returned to WL to have lunch at Roaring Forks. Then headed to MGM.

We rode Tower of Terror again. I bought the picture this time since we were all on the front row screaming. While Rick took Clayton to RnRC I took Allan and Garrett shopping. They both bought watches with the money they bought from home. Of course I set Garrett's to FL time and when we got home I lost the instructions and for the life of me cannot figure out how to change it. It's hard enough for a 5 YO to tell time let alone having to always subtract an hour to get the correct time. Of course now that is not DST any more he has to subtract 2.

We returned home and played in the pool for a couple of hours. The boys really enjoyed the WL pool. They had a soft rubber ball that they played with and made lots of friends in the process.

I haven't mentioned the housekeepers this trip. The boys, being 7, 5 and 5, tend to run everywhere instead of walking. They always wanted to run down the hall in the hotel and we would stop them. At the beginning of the week a housekeeper was outside a room with her cart. We told the boys she was the hall moniter and was there to make sure no one ran. By the end of the week I think all the housekeepers were in on the story and the boys always made sure they walked leaving and returning to the room.

We ate leftover groceries for dinner since tomorrow we were going home. I did laundry and packed. It was sure nice having a washer and dryer in the room. I think I did laundry every day.

Thurs, June 14, 2001

After waking and getting our final packing done we went to Whispering Canyon for breakfast. The sunrise sampler is very good and a good deal also. At least we enjoyed it.

Bell services retrieved our luggage and put it in our rental car. We drove to the airport and checked in at the counter. At the gate they were offering $500 vouchers to be bumped and I tried to talk Rick into letting me and Clayton do it but he didn't want us to. Of course in hindsight he wishes now he had.

We got in our seats and I reminded the boys not to kick the seat in front of them since people were sitting in them. The lady in front of them turned around and said thank you. I asked her if they had already kicked the seat and she said no, but she was happy that I was aware of the possibility.

We had a non eventful trip home, arriving back at our house around 2:00. The boys had baseball practice that night so we were right back into the swing of things.

Summary:

We had a great trip. We have some wonderful memories (and a nice little scar, too.) Loved Vero Beach but next time we will go to WDW first then spend the relaxing time at VB after.

Loved WLV and VB 2 bedroom villas. They were both beautiful in very different ways. We had tons of room.

When DH goes to WDW I have to learn to let go. Clayton said to his brothers after the trip "Trust me guys, its more fun with just mom." Rick thinks it all about rides but Clayton knows the parades, fireworks and shows are fun, too. Which prompted me to make plans for Spring Break. I am taking the kids by myself so we can do all the things dad doesn't want to do. Rick didn't want to go for a couple of years but now he has decided we should go again this summer so we are going to WDW and Vero Beach in July but just for a week. I think he is feeling left out of the Spring Break trip but he has to work and I know he would hate the crowds.

The boys were so well behaved on the trip. Much better than at home <g> They never would nap but they never got crabby even when they were tired.

I'm sure there is tons I have left out but I waited too long to write this. I hope someone is able to get something out of it. I know I love reading TR's on Brian Bennett's site. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Laurie Johnson

randlj@webtv.net


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