Saturday, August 9, 2008

Virtual Disney Vacation

Wow - where did the week go? For that matter where did the summer go? One more good week of summer before the countdown begins for the Fall semester. I need a vacation. Don't have the time or funds to make that a reality right at the moment so I'm gonna live vicariously through a trip report I did for a discussion board for the Disney Obsessed. This was our first trip (been back every year since!) and some things have changed, so just keep in mind that it was written in '04.

So...join me now for the first chapter - The Prequel.

Dec. 11 – 17, 2004

Cast –

Melvis (a.k.a Mel) – Me (39 – dangerously close to 40th birthday, which may have something to do with buying the Mazda Miata convertible and convincing all immediate family that we needed to spend an early holiday with The Mouse.)

Dr. D – my dear husband (54); purports to be “Grumpy” by wearing considerable items of clothing bearing said image, however, by nature, much more like “Doc.” University Professor, who taught a Winter Session class WHILE we were on vacation. Online classes and high speed internet are glorious things. (And yes, there is a 15 year age difference and all I have to say is “Viva l’difference!”)

Deanster – younger sister (34) – total princess with an amazing, creative brain – secretly wishes to be Ariel if only to find her Prince Eric. Professional independent photographer. Between the two of us, we, this is NO LIE, took over 1, 000 pics during this trip. Our mutual scrapbooking habit is currently on overload.

Big Cal – my daddy (64) – absolute salt of the earth. Would go anywhere, do anything just to please his wife and daughters (and to get them to be quiet!). Is used to being out numbered – even all family pets have been female. Has great empathy for Dr. D being married to me for nearly 14 years. Big Cal is 6’ 5” by the way. This will be important information later.

Mini Maureen – my mother (NOT 64! Mysteriously as I get older, she gets younger – we have suspicions that she is perhaps an alien – this has been somewhat substantiated by her obsession with Elvis.) I have acquired my best queenly skills by watching her all my life. Best thing she makes for dinner is reservations. She is 5’ 1” by the way. Ibid.

Crew –

Pag – (pronounced with a long “a” as in short for “The Pagan Baby”) (25) Long story here about how he got his name, but suffice it to say that he belongs to a select group of university students who have deemed themselves “adopted” by The Dr. and me and is part of our family. He is the resident house sitter, limo driver to the airport, cat and dog feeder and all around cool guy. He, in essence, makes our vacations much more relaxing by knowing that all things are being taken care of at home.

The Prequel –

I had my reservations about venturing on an Adults only trip to THE WORLD. I had been 20 years earlier with my second to last husband on our honeymoon. Only MK and Epcot then. To be absolutely honest with you, didn’t remember much.

Must have blocked it…

I, however, truly wanted to return with current (and last) husband and thought that a family trip would be fun. I hadn’t traveled with my sister and parents in decades. DH and I travel quite frequently, but mostly to NYC to do the theatre thing. Would be nice to do something at least in theory, a little less hectic than Manhattan.

December 2003, Dr. D's mother passed away. I thought maybe a diversion would be good for all of us.

Now, we had some logistical problems to overcome. Big Cal broke a hip in his 40’s while chasing a cousin with a water pistol…in Louisiana…150 miles from any surgical facilities…ANYway, he has several VERY long metal rods that hold his leg on his body (ewwww) and make all sorts of bells and whistles go off when he goes to the airport.

It pains him when it rains.

I knew that hiking around all the parks would not be feasible for him and probably really exhausting for Mini (not to mention the rest of us) so I began my quest for solutions. Here is where my Disney Internet Discussion Boards obsession began. Because of incredibly knowledgeable, kind and fun people, I found Randy’s Mobility who could set me up with some really nifty scooters. The hard part would be convincing Big Cal to ride one. He surprisingly was all for it and even lobbied Mini into liking the idea for herself. One problem (quite probably two) solved.

#2 – As I said above, The Dr. would be “on the clock” as it were while we were gone. What he really needed to do was to be able to check emails and moderate discussion boards for about an hour a day, as it was the first week of his class and students would be getting acclimated to the Web environment, etc. We used a wonderful travel agent – she suggested the Coronado Springs Resort because they cater to a business clientèle and had high speed internet available in the rooms and WiFi at certain locations. I was a bit concerned because I had read about how BIG this resort was, but being from Texas and putting in some very well worded requests about wanting to be near the main building, I figured this would be “no hill for a stepper” as my grandmother used to say.

#3 – Back to medical issues. I was in an automobile accident many, many moons ago and suffered really bad neck and back injuries (whiplashed so hard, I tore my carotid artery – lucky to be alive). Soooooo, no thrill rides for me. Dr. D is a stroke survivor; little hearing loss, little balance problems occasionally- tiny annoyances in the grand scheme of things – again, lucky to be alive - no thrill rides for him, either. Big Cal and Mini Mo aren’t interested in Space Mountain either (could wreck Mini’s hairdo)…how to convince them that there will be enough to entertain and thrill them for a week? Quick trip to the boards, Passporter loaned to the parents…(and just for my sanity’s sake, a look at the WDW website to learn which rides did what and how to get on them, etc – WOW, what a help!) Everyone’s excited and all say “if you plan it, we will come…”

So, booked the vacation in October and started the trip counter to go off on December 11th!

Next - Chapter 2 - T minus 48 Hours


Lisa B. said...

Great set up! But I have to I to gather that your mother named you Melvis...because she has an Elvis obsession?

Mel said...

Alas, Lisa, mother didn't dub me with the Melvis moniker - a dear friend did. But I do have a soft spot in my heart for the King, thanks, of course to the early exposure. I can sing most of the major songs from all of his movies, so I guess I qualify as an Uber fan. I'm bummed about not getting to see the witty comment about cheez whiz!