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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

RN’t You Glad I Graduated?! Day by Day Plans

Deeper into her planning today Becks share her day by day  for her coming August Disney Vacation.   ~Kristen
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Since I am currently in the graduate nurse purgatory known as “waiting to take my boards” (read – unemployed) and Carlos has vacation time to burn our itinerary currently looks like this:

1 Day Before – The Imp is flying out to California. Once he’s underway, I’ll finish up any extraneous packing or errands and look forward to my sweetie getting home from a short work trip.

IMG_0199Day 1 – Getting the show on the road – Since C has a comp day after business trips, our time is now our own! I will no doubt be like the dad in the Disney commercial “Can’t sleep. I’m too excited.”  I’d like to be on the road reasonably early – maybe 8:00 am?  After dropping the cat off with C’s parents, we’ll be traveling down I-65 through Indianapolis and continuing to Louisville where we’ll stop for an early dinner at one of my childhood favorites, The Old Spaghetti Factory. After dinner we’ll continue on I-65 towards Nashville, picking up I-24 towards Chattanooga. Depending on how we’re feeling, what traffic is like and whether Venus has aligned with Jupiter we will either stop near Nashville or push on farther south towards Murfreesboro. In the morning, we’ll continue on I-24 to Chattanooga and pick up I-75 through Georgia.

Day 2 – Hotlanta and points south – Depending on where we’ve stopped for the night, we should be no more than 4 hours from Atlanta. We’ll be stopping off for some shopping and lunch before our next section of driving, continuing on down I-75 towards Valdosta. I confess that I don’t have pleasant memories of this part of Georgia. On my last Disney road trip, we finished 18 hours on the road in Tifton, GA when my brain abruptly decided that I couldn’t drive one more mile. It was Christmas night and not a single solitary restaurant was open for business save the Awful Waffle (aka Waffle House) and a decidedly fishy smelling Chinese buffet. I am allergic to seafood so we ended up eating some truly revolting microwave cheeseburgers, chips and soda from a gas station. In retrospect, I admit this was incredibly poor planning on my part. Even Denny’s closes on Christmas! In any event, I recall the landscape was fairly uninspiring with a lot of scrub pine, sand, kudzu vine and not too much else. I’ll be just as happy to get through this part as expeditiously as possible. Four to five hours of driving should put us within striking distance of either Valdosta or Lake City, Florida.  Here’s hoping Georgia and I can kiss and make up.

Day 3 – We’re HERE!

Only a few more hours to go! Depending on when we arrive in the Orlando area, we’ll probably stop at Downtown Disney to lunch with His Excellency, The Earl of Sandwich followed by a grocery/sundries run prior to checking in at Pop Century. After arriving at Pop, I’ll be picking up our swap fridge from Luggage Services and by then we’ll both be ready for a nap. We have an ADR for Crystal Palace at 8:00 pm and it’s an Extra Magic Hours night for the Magic Kingdom. It’s also our engage-versary – C proposed to me a year ago tonight and made my dreams come true.

Disney Wedding Chapel
Day 4 – Hippo birdies to me!

It’s mah birfday! Let’s….sleep in! No seriously, since I’m the birthday girl AND the bride-to-be, I’m dragging my dearest darling fiancé over to Franck’s Studio and the Wedding Pavilion bright and early! Hopefully we won’t be gate crashing any weddings and can take our first in-person look at the space where we’ll be married.

This part needs a little back story. Kristen and I have been friends for ten years and one of the first things we clicked over was our massive love for Disney. However, despite tremendous struggles and massive effort we have YET to be at Disney together. Our latest near miss was this year during the Disney Social Media Mom’s Conference and the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Showcase. I was supposed to be attending as Kristen’s guest but academic obligations in the form of a comprehensive nursing test I absolutely had to take meant that I couldn’t attend at the last minute. I was utterly dejected – it wasn’t about staying at the Grand Floridian and the perks and the stuff to me. It was about not getting to experience all of this with the best friend I’ve ever had, whose been there for me so many times, whose pulled my butt out of the fire more than once and who has never stopped cheering me on. That’s what really broke my heart. I wanted to be able to see the Wedding Pavilion for the first time with her and really be able to go celebrate being a bride and our friendship and what she means to me. I would have liked that but its okay; I’ll see it for the first time with the person I want to spend my forever with. And that feels just right.

I’m really excited about our visit to the Bridal Studio as well. I’m a visual/tactile gal and I’m looking forward to seeing the sample cakes and playing with the bouquets and all the little touches that makes Disney Weddings …well…Disney! I don’t know where we’ll go after our visit. Maybe over to the Grand Floridian to see the Commander’s Terrace? Maybe brunch at Kona Café or the Grand Floridian Cafe?

Tonight we’re “auditioning” Yachtsman’s Steakhouse for our wedding dinner as we celebrate my birthday. I’ve heard lots of good things about this restaurant and I’m hoping it lives up to its reputation. I’m hoping to book the semi-private dining area for our wedding. I want to get a good look in order to get ideas for centerpieces, etc.

Day 5 – Score!

This morning, I think we are going to head over to Hollywood Studios. Since they had EMH last night, I’m hoping the park won’t be too crowded in the morning. We gave this park something like a whistle stop tour last year and spent most of our time at Epcot and Magic Kingdom. We haven’t yet been on Toy Story Mania and Star Tours is new this year as well. C historically trashes me in video games and so I’m prepared to get trounced on TSMM. Originally, I had planned dinner at Le Chefs De France but I’m leaning towards doing an “Eat Around The World” instead. I’ve found some interesting “rules” for this game on a few websites.  Epcot has EMH tonight so we’ll watching Illuminations and hanging out for the evening.

Day 6 – Jambo means hello

No doubt we’ll be sleeping in after our late night. Nothing definite planned today and we have an ADR at Boma for dinner. I think this would be a great opportunity to explore the beautiful Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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Day 7 – A Fantasmic Finish

This is our last full day at Pop Century so we’ll be starting to pack up this morning. Tonight we’ll be having an early dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios and then seeing Fantasmic after. The Brown Derby is the one place C requested when I was making our ADR’s and I’m hoping it doesn’t let me down.

Day 8 – Oh noes!
Its departure day and I have a confession to make. I bought our tickets before the price increase took effect earlier this summer. I should have bought 5 day tickets, but I goofed and bought 6 day tickets instead. (Apparently I can graduate from nursing school but I still can’t count.) The silver lining is that our KTTW cards will allow us to go to Extra Magic Hours at MK tonight if we’d like, but we’ll need to find a place to stay for the night. I’d like to try an offsite hotel called the Buena Vista Suites since it’s one I’m thinking of suggesting to family who don’t want to stay onsite for our wedding.

Days 9 and 10 – East or west, home is best!

Time to hit the road. We have to be back in town by 8:00 pm on Day 10 in order to pick up the Imp at the airport and collect the cat from the ‘rents.

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