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Old 10-15-2018, 06:35 PM   #1
broganmc
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Default BroganMc/JenKoko Does Disney (Autumn 2018)

Hey everyone,

Well I'm back in sunny Florida and magical Disney. Took the Auto Train down on Friday with my brother-in-law. He hates flying but really enjoyed the train trip. It was also the first time and I spent 30 hours Alone Together. That was fun, and I mean that in a good way.

I have 14 people here with me. It's a chaotic route as normal which means lots of thinking on your feet, negotiating I'm trying to fit everything in. So far we've done Food and Wine Festival, Halloween in Magic Kingdom and today was split between Toy Story and Animal Kingdom.

I'm currently taking a break in the ABC commissary eating a chocolate Toy Story cupcake while the family goes on rock and roller coaster. Then we're going to go on our second trip of Slinky Dog.

The family has had me running 4 days. You know how it is when you travel with that many people. You want to spend your time talking to them instead of doing anything with the computer. But when the party starts break up this week I'll have more time to share pictures and stories.

A few of the highlights are:

The new roller coasters are a hit.
Halloween parties are way too crowded.
None of us can believe it is still this hot in mid-october.
The 21 year old niece has a nose for the best alcoholic, sorry "adult", beverages on property. She would make her good future bar crawler.
Anyone want some candy?
Grandpa Mohawk lives on and his family.
The kids are no longer kids.
And despite all the stresses life throws the family that plays together stays together.

Jen

P.S. oh and work lasted all of One business day before they called me to fix problems. Getting a vacation is near impossible.
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Vegas NYE Dec 29-Jan 3
Florida March 1-24

Last edited by broganmc; 10-17-2018 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:41 PM   #2
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It has been stinking hot there!

A great start!
Following along! So glad you are all together.
That is quite a crew!

Yup, let the family good times roll on and on!
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:21 PM   #3
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Wow. 14 people would drive me bonkers.

How was the cupcake? Never had it there.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:34 PM   #4
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I'm in! Settling in for the daily reports.

Thanks for taking the time. Waiting to hear your thoughts on Slinky Dog.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:00 PM   #5
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Hey Jen, enjoy your family, we can wait for picturess...
Fall has finally arrived in Maryland- 50s overnight last night. Iím off on a fall foliage 9 night cruise to New England and Canada. I think it will be beautiful, but struggling to pack for the cold as all my previous cruises have been south!
Enjoy!

MaryJane
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:27 PM   #6
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Glad to see you made it safely! Enjoy all that family time, and I look forward to reading about your adventures. I hope the weather cools a bit for next week, though warm sounds good right now as I wrap myself in a blanket and have broken out the fuzzy slippers.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:52 PM   #7
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Enjoy! Hopefully cools down as soon as possible.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouseman View Post
Wow. 14 people would drive me bonkers.

How was the cupcake? Never had it there.


Honestly? A bit dry. Tons of icing. If you're a big icing fan, you'll love it. The blue stuff is this rich and creamy vanilla. The little white balls are crisps. The sign is white chocolate and the beach ball is filled with a vanilla yogurt. But the cake itself is relatively tiny and flat. Almost like a flourless chocolate cake. Personally, I prefer my cakes to be light, fluffy and moist. But my nephew was impressed. Said it reminded him of a Baby Cake. (Hmm, maybe that's the reason for the "flourless" texture.)

I preferred the strawberry lemonade slushie to go with it. Just the right amount of sweetness, tartness and slush for a hot day.

When I say it is "summer hot" down here, I'm not joking. Feels like a hot July/August spell back home. (I too was just getting used to the change of seasons back home. I even brought along a selection of clothes that can work in any weather. I expect I'll see a lot of changes throughout the month I'm here.)
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:16 AM   #9
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I'm having some issues getting Photobucket to post with the browser, so bear with me as I drop things in this post from my phone.

I'll start off with images of my newest family guardians/protectors. That would be my sister and her husband. They are the official "oldest" members in our family. They wear "Oldest Child" label well. Levelheaded, pretty cool and always striving for some peace in the family. They met in Chicago a lifetime ago when both were pursuing a career and life change. My bro-in-law is native born and raised Thai (from Chiang Mai for all you International House Hunters viewers). His life took him on a circuitous route to America where he eventually met my sister at an after work/night time Spanish class that double as a "where career singles mingle". Their mutual love of music is one of the things that draws them together. Every Sunday for te last several years, they've been playing together in a Gumbo band. It's all for the love of music but they do treat us with concerts several times a year. (I'm usually in the crowd waving my lit-up cell phone in applause.)

If I had to give them cute nicknames for a blog, I think I'll call them SisMom and Smiles. You'll get my reasoning in the photos.

First up was the trip down via AutoTrain. Yes my first train trip without Dad. (I flew in March.) The biggest questions I've been exploring this year is just how much help do I absolutely need vs. what can I manage solo. Now I've been traveling by train the last 10-15 years. Dad and I started out in coach. We'd go by train in one direction and drive the other. Then we discovered the discounted ADA cabins and found it's just easier to budget for a round trip. Relative cost is about $900 round trip for one passenger with minivan. But there's room in the cabin for a companion [to be named later].

Since my family are notorious procrastinators, actual travel plans did not get finalized until around 3 weeks ago. My sister and her kids decided to try Spirit Airlines along with my brother (Brohawk) and his kids. They got an early bird flight for Saturday morning (had to be at the airport by 5am) and the cheapest rates possible. BIL Smiles hates flying. It makes him dizzy and nauseous. So when I said I had space available and might want a companion "just in case", he volunteered. [Companion Passenger fare was only $100.]

Smiles liked the journey so much, he started entertaining ideas of taking my sister on future train excursions to the country.

As for me, I handled the train fine on my own. Where Smiles' help was truly welcome was the packing end of things. There are always 1001 little things you forget to pack the night before. As it was, I took days to pack and draw up lists. I was still running about like a madwoman collecting those last minute items. And I forget a couple as well. We made it to the train station just barely on time. (I must remember to start moving out the night before I go anywhere.)






And here's my BigSis, protective as ever. We were just about to go down the big drop in Frozen and she just had to reach out and grab me...



And after, a little Food & Wine for us.

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Last edited by broganmc; 10-16-2018 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:55 AM   #10
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Here we are again just settling into our Saratoga room. One of the best parts about vacation in Florida is it gives Smiles a chance to visit. [This is just "some" of he kids.] That lady down front is Smiles' big sister. She married the charming fellow behind me and they live in St. Petersburg. Last minute plan, they joined us for the day and overnight. "Tim" brought a kitchen full of authentic Thai food to welcome us to town.

Smiles isn't a big park person. It's all a little too busy, a little too far, and a little too hectic. But if you want a good companion to enjoy a new restaurant or wait for that special parade or show, he's your man. MomSis prefers a little more activity and hanging out with the family. Their kids are inbetween. So every trip we do have a bit of a struggle figuring how much they'll jump in. Somehow it works out to be just enough.

Their boys are not little anymore either. They have a 19 yr old college student and 17 yr old HS senior. Young men with their own set of standards, stresses and interests. They fit right into this eclectic group of young adults.
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Vegas NYE Dec 29-Jan 3
Florida March 1-24

Last edited by broganmc; 10-17-2018 at 01:00 AM.
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