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December 13th 2013
Published: December 13th 2013
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If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney


So we're finally here in Orlando and settled into our resort Liki Tiki and I've got to say, it's pretty darn nice. It has been a loooong day to say the least.

A shout out to to Sue for getting this motley crew to the airport. Thank you! We were going to leave our vehicles at the airport but the idea of arriving back at the airport to a snow/frost covered van at midnight gave us shivers (for many reasons), and given we're 11 people, we'd need a line up of cabs just for luggage, so thank you Sue for getting us there. It's never fun to be the one left behind 😞 "If you have nothing in life but a good friend, you're rich". So true; we're so rich in friends, & even better when they have vans! Yee Haw!

So I suppose you want me to tell you that we had all sorts of blips getting here and I've got to say, we hardly encountered a thing. Well, that's if you don't count the following (insert raised eyebrow).

It's not enough all of our nerves are a little frayed with school, work, packing, Christmas, running errands & so on and so forth. When we get to the airport, we are told that there's an issue with me getting a boarding pass. The lovely agent helping us at the kiosk says, "I'm a stewardess on medical leave working the counter and I've never seen this before? You'll have to seen an agent as you've been "flagged". Well if that's not enough to put the fear of god in you... It was determined I've been selected for "screening". YAY! And if that wasn't bad enough, we hear these howling dogs enter the airport in carrying cases. It turns out there's a dog show in Orlando & we are told the dogs will be on our flight. Where is that hidden camera to capture the looks on our faces right about then?

Once through security, I was told they'd have to screen me and my items & to take all my stuff "aside". I had the choice of a "pat down" or a scan. I was asked if I had sharp objects on me, paper, pens etc and I said no other than my jewelry. So they scan me and something shows up on my head (no, not my big brain 😊 but a stupid hair clip. So the male agent had to get a female to pat my head which frankly felt awfully good by that point. They checked my carry-ons, scanned it and finally all cleared & we got to the lounge area. Ahhhh. So we go relax & have a drink and I wasn't seated five minutes before over the loud speaker they announce my name to go to the gate. HUH? So I grab my stuff, go to the gate (while everyone stared at me including my own family) and they look at my passport, then at me, then at my boarding pass, then back at me and then they told me I was cleared to board the flight. HUH? Can you imagine if for some reason I was booted from the flight to Disney? The poor kids were really worried about what was going on. If it's not one thing it's another...

HOWEVER (positive note) On our flight BEFORE the plane even took off, the stewardess came up to Al & I and asked if we'd like a drink. So we look at each like HUH? She offers us the choice of a glass of wine, beer or pop. Turns out Linda has connections. She knew the stewardess working on our flight & asked her in advance to "take care of us". So you should've seen the people sitting near us watching us get the old preferential treatment. When the drinks were delivered, I then took out my cheese tray I had made at home & then the other passengers were really wondering what was going on! I think they thought we were some very important folks or something...(and we are, wink wink!)

Flight was great (I don't know where they stuck those yappy dogs but not with us; despite all the kids on the plane, all of them well-behaved. We got through the airport in record time, picked up our fancy schmancy van (Town & Country) and due to a blip, we ended up circling the airport parking lot twice. Then the 192 was almost shut down due to construction with bumper to bumper traffic at 9 PM. Awwwwwww. Ava said she was so hungry her stomach was howling (I think she meant growling but we didn't correct her!)

However, we got to our condo finally and the staff were amazing and we finally got settled in. Our villa is big; and our room is huge with this big en-suite bathroom & a Jacuzzi that could fit a large family. Thankfully Linda & Henry seem pleased with their condo too (considering I made the arrangements that's good news or I'd be hiding out in our big Jacuzzi all week long!)

For those that have asked, no we are not staying on site at Disney. We are about 5 miles away from MK, and staying at Liki Tiki Village; and we've got a 2 bedroom villa on the first level which is our way to roll. It'll be nice to have our own space. It's got a water park & huge pools & outdoor hot tubs etc. While the water park will be cool the pools are supposed to be heated which will be nice for the kids after a long day at the parks. There's a restaurant/bar by the pool which is an added bonus.

We got a really good deal on the rental vehicle so we can come & go as we please given we also bought park hopper tickets so if we want to go to our hotel after the day, change & head to Epcot we can...no worries about little kids who need to be in bed early, or mid afternoon naps (only for Martha!) I like the idea of complete freedom and not relying on the one or 2 shuttles that run from the resort per day.

Our park hopper tickets (means you can hop from one park to another during the same day) were a great deal. Buy 3 and get 5 days for the price of 3 which is a pretty good savings. And when our tickets didn't arrive as planned, I made several calls that resulted in a nice refund on our account. (And I told them to give a refund to Henry & Linda too and they kindly obliged).

Every trip seems to have its share of snafus which I anticipate and while I'd like to be optimistic when booking these trips, the realist in me knows you have to be on it all the time or you'll fall between the cracks just like the park tickets. It was mis-communication on the part of the company I booked through. We ended up just picking up the tickets at the booth upon arrival our first day. However, it did cause a bit of a kerfuffle till I (the realist) got it sorted out. The following quote is fitting. "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails". So adjust the sails we did...

After settling in, we took a drive to get some snacks/drinks with Henry & Kevin and I'll tell you, Wal Mart was booming late at night. Oh the characters you see wandering Walmart at night (and I'm just talkin' about us!) We had a few laughs, came back, had a bite and Al & I are now savoring some quiet time before hitting the hay. It is VERY late.

Here's a few pics of our accommodations (from the web) so you have an idea what I'm chatting on about. And it's actually very much like the pictures. A huge condo, clean, with all amenities and a great place to come back to & relax after we take on Disney.

Well here I am trying that "beauty sleep" thing again. Wish me luck.

Goodnight dear friends.
Prayers go up, and blessings come down.
May your sleep be peaceful, restful and sound.

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13th December 2013

Have a great time!
Thanks Sal for my lovely gift. I am wearing my gold shawl you got me from last year today as I was thinking of you. Have a wonderful time with the kids. Merry Christmas to you all. Caroline
13th December 2013

Have a Great Time
You're welcome Caroline! All the best to you guys too :)
13th December 2013

Fantastic
It sounds like everyone should have a great time at the park and even at Liki Tiki Village. Enjoy!! We are in the deep freeze -24 tonight (Fri). Love to all, Mom XOXOXOXO
13th December 2013

Fantastic
It is nice here; just up at 7 am despite being tired.
13th December 2013
Waterpark at resort

Suspicious...I mean superstitious
Both works for you folks. Sal, it's Friday the 13th, seriously what could go wrong today? Can't wait to hear how great your day was.
13th December 2013
Waterpark at resort

Friday the 13th
Hey Blaine, we had a bestest day ever!
13th December 2013

hello Orlando!
good morning Sally. just read your 1st orlando entry. wishing you & all a wonderful (and magical) visit. your condo looks very nice. don't forget universal - even if you do the City Walk- it's lots of fun at night too. many good restaurants. only $5 or $6 to park after 6:00 PM. Also drive all the way north on International Blvd- some very impressive sights. Downtown Disney is sweet. I'm sure you've done your research. enjoy. looking forward to reading more...
13th December 2013

Hello Orlando
Hey Cindy good tips for us! It's a great time!
13th December 2013

Merry Christmas
Bravo on escaping the cold

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