Kiwi's July TR 1 - Arrival

Thanks for stopping by to read my trip report!

Staring!:

Julie - That's me. I'm 20 (spending my 20th birthday in Disney World) and am a Cast Member at the Disney Store. I'm a total Off Kilter nut, and have planned meticulously for this trip in hopes that everything goes well. This is my eighth trip in three years.

Mom - Debbie, my mom. She's in her 40's and is also quite the Off Kilter nut. She's the one that was really excited about showing our newbie around, so she did lots of the meal planning and pep talking to Patsy. She also drove most of the way. This is also her eighth trip in three years.

Patsy - The newbie! She's 55 (I think...if not, she's close) and is mom's first cousin. She's been to Disney World once before, but didn't get to spend much time seeing everything. She also hadn't taken a vacation in many, many years, so she was excited at the chance to get away for a while. Her excitement and willingness to be dragged around and talked into things she normally wouldn't do was a good asset to her.

When did we go?: July 10th-15th, 1999
Where did we stay?: Magic Castle Inn and Suites (in a suite)
How did we get there?: Drove our van from Nashville
How long is this section?: 1651 words

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I am not a morning person. My idea of fun does not include being awake at 4:15 in the morning unless I had been up all night. But for this morning, I could make an exception. I woke up fairly easily as the alarm went off at 4:15 since this was the day we were going to Disney World. We already had everything packed up, so all we had to do was pile everything into the van and go. We had decided to stop for breakfast in Murfreesboro, so eating wasn't of issue at the moment.

We left our house at 5:22 and started out on the road, headed for Patsy's house. Once we arrived, we secured all of her stuff in the van, said goodbye to her mom (who was very adamant about how Patsy needed a vacation since she hadn't had one in years), and we left. We got back on the road at 6:25 and headed for Murfreesboro.

Once there, we pulled off the same exit I take to get to school and found a Hardees. I got an egg and cheese biscuit, hash rounds and water, mom had a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, hash rounds and coffee, and Patsy had a steak, egg and cheese biscuit, hash rounds and soda. She also ran into a guy that she knew who was in the army, so we had to tease her..."Patsy, you're only away from home for twenty minutes and you're already flirting with soldiers!" :-)

Once we left Murfreesboro, I fell asleep and slept until we were at the Tennessee Welcome Center. When we arrived there, mom woke me up to see if I wanted to get out. So we all got out and piled into the small vending building in search of Mayfield Chocolate milk. Alas, we found none. We started the tradition of buying Mayfield chocolate milk every time we go through that rest stop, but as of the past three or four trips, they haven't had any. I guess that tradition will have to come to an end.

We got back on the road and made our next stop at a Target in Morrow, Georgia at 11:30. Sometime between Chattanooga and Morrow, Patsy had said that she wanted to buy a purse to carry instead of the backpack she had brought. While she was looking at purses, I was taking a look at the hats. I'd thought about buying a fisherman hat at the Disney Store before I left, but they were a bit more than I wanted to spend on one. I browsed the hats there, but almost all of them had Pooh characters on them, and I did *not* want a Pooh hat. Finally I found one that was white with three embroidered butterflies on the front. It was only $5.50, so I decided to get it.

In the meantime, Patsy found a purse she liked as well as a box of cookies. We bought our things and got back on the road. We stopped for lunch at an Arbys at 12:10. It seems like we always end up eating at Arbys on the way to Florida. On the last two trips, we ended up at the same exact restaurant and got bad service both times, so we made sure to have Arbys for lunch this time so we wouldn't be eating at the same one again. I had a turkey sub, curly fries and a sprite, Patsy had a turkey sub and homestyle fries, and mom had a beef and cheddar, homestyle fries and a diet Coke.

At 2:30, we stopped at the MTV market for gas. We had some fun taking pictures of Mickey with a Dale Earnhart cardboard cutout, a drink machine and an "indecent exposure" sign. Before leaving, I decided to get a giant freezie, which is a two foot long freeze pop. I got a cherry one, and it was really good. Patsy also got a Butterfinger ice cream bar. After leaving, it started to rain, and it rained on and off until we got almost to Orlando.

At 6:25, we stopped at the Disney rest stop. We didn't really have any reason to stop other than to soak up our first little bit of magic. We all named the Seven Dwarves and got free pencils. At first the lady handed me a Pooh pencil, so I gave it to mom, but them I saw that she had Goofy pencils too, so I asked if I could trade. I felt kinda ungrateful, but hey, I don't like Pooh. I can't help it. hehe

We stopped for dinner at a McDonalds at 6:50. We were less than two hours away from Kissimmee by now, so instead of waiting until we got any closer, we decided to go ahead and stop. I had a Big Mac meal with fries and pink lemonade, mom had a grilled chicken salad with red french dressing and Patsy had a hamburger happy meal with the Clayton Tarzan toy.

Once we left McDonalds, the next stop was our hotel. I'd decided about a week ahead of time that I was going to go to the Pleasure Island meet that was scheduled for that night, so I was hoping that I would get there in time to at least see a few people. There were also three loin registrations to be given out, and I certainly didn't want to miss the ceremony I'd already decided to buy an annual pass since I was going to be spending all spring working on College Program and was sure that I would more than get my money's worth out of it by just going to RADP meets at Adventurer's Club.

Once we arrived at the hotel, we checked in as fast as we could (the lady checking us in even recognized us...heh, it *was* our third time there) and moved one load of our stuff up to the room. Wow, talk about a speedy check in. We had pulled up at 9:00 and by 9:10, we were moved into the room. I called my friend Bill (Whimmel) because he was giving me a ride to the meet. I freshened up a bit, and by the time we got there, purchased our annual passes and got inside to the Adventurer's Club, it was 10:00.

When we arrived, a Mask Room show was just starting so we went in and grabbed two of the last seats. I didn't recognise anyone else, so I didn't know if the meet was already over or if no one had showed up yet. After our show ended, a library show let out and a bunch of RADPers poured into the Mask Room. Among them, in no order, were Rob, Royal Mermaid Rachel, Paragon, Mickeymom and her hubby, Bartender Sam, Kimfudge, Larry from Scotland and a few other people I didn't get a chance to speak to.

At about 11:45, we decided that it was just about time to give out the loin registrations. Only two of our new registrants were present, but since some of the group wanted to watch the midnight fireworks, we decided that we should proceed. Rob Olsan and Whimmel were already there, but Steve Preskitt wasn't. Our fearless leader Alison said a few words, and right as she was about to give out the first one, Steve showed up. Bill was the first to receive his registration, which the board had decided should be an Apprentice registration. Steve was next, who also graciously received his Apprentice registration while displaying his beads. Rob was last, and he accepted his Loiners Permit eagerly.

Once that course of business was done, some people left and others went outside to watch the midnight fireworks. After chatting for a while, I, Alison, Bill, Steve and Kim went outside to watch the fireworks as well. Hmm...up until this point, I don't think I've mentioned that the next day was my birthday. I was turning 20 at midnight, which was part of my incentive to be at Pleasure Island that night. So at midnight, they did a countdown on the stage and shot off fireworks...all for my birthday as far as I was concerned :-)

Afterwards, everyone met back up again and chatted for a little while. The party seemed to break up at about 12:45 and everyone went their own ways. I got a lift back to my hotel and was back by a little after 1:00.

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