Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Saturday- Day 5- The Flight Home

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning and quickly got dressed and ready to go. Ate our breakfast of muffins and juice/milk and so forth. The girls and I went to the restroom and Mike was all over us on being out there even though there was stills ome time yet before the bus was to leave. But we made it, though we were all moving pretty slow and the driver- let’s just say he was just too darn happy and chatty at that time of the morning. He was trying to get everyone to sing along, talk with him and so forth and I just remember thinking dude, can you just be quiet? LOL! But he did take us to our destination and the beauty of the Disney’s Magical Express- we didn’t have to mess with our bags- they do it for you- checking it in and so forth, since we’d checked in at the hotel.

So we went on back and went through security and before we knew it, it was actually time to board the plane. For some reason, there was like 4 families all in the same area and no one was sat together with their family. It was pretty crazy. We were in rows 11 & 12, but none of the 4 of us was actually together, there were people between each of us. So we dickered around, trying to make everyone happy that they were with their kids and such, and then a flight attendant came and grabbed Mike and said he was moving up to business class. Mike was like uh but what about my family here. The attendant said they were moving all 4 of us up, and that we needed to put Honey in the one row though.

So Mike and Katie was up front together in the bulkhead seat and then Meaghan and I, with Honey were 2 rows back from them at the back of the section. Those seats sure where nice and the snacks were much better! Meaghan was a happy camper with the selection of cookies to snack on and the bigger seat to curl up in. Meaghan did very well on the flight home, no issues at all about being up in the air, other than being a complete chatter box and wanting to show me something every time I’d just dozed off. LOL! We made it all the way back to Indy, was doing the descent, and I had showed her that we were going down, looked out the window and saw the Indianapolis Speedway- which means you are like 3 minutes from touch down if that and looked over and Meaghan was out COLD! Seriously could not wake her up. She didn’t even stir when the plane bumped down to the ground. We pulled into the terminal and I called Mike to let him know that he’d need to carry her off the plane, so we let everyone else vacate, and since people in economy class were still fighting to get their bags out of the overhead compartments Mike grabbed Meaghan and we made our way off the plane.

We went through the terminal and past the security checkpoint to see Dad and Sue flag us down. Honey was just absolutely cute, she saw them and then she truly knew that she was on her way home. She loves Dad and Sue anyway, but she was soooo happy to be headed home and to see them, that I thought she was going to wiggle right out of her harness! I’ve not seen her wiggle that much before. LOL!

We went on down to baggage claim and got our bags and the girls were talking nonstop about the trip with Grandma. They were showing off their autograph books and pictures and crocs and such, just talking 90 miles a minute. Once the bags were picked up, we made our way out to the garage and piled in the van for home and it sure was nice to be home! Let Honey out of the harness and she just rolled and rolled and rubbed her back on the carpet and came up and rubbed and loved on me for a good while. Dad and Sue took off and we ate a quick lunch and everyone laid down for what was to be just a regular nap. Well that regular nap ended when one of the kids woke up at 6pm! LOL! We were pooped, but we were home! :D

Friday- Day 4- Evening- Magic Kingdom

We got there and went down Main Street and found the photo pass photographer. We had to wait in line a bit and the kids were now hungry and tired, so Meaghan now refused to cooperate in any manner. Mike was irritated at her for being so difficult. We got some photos through the photo pass and then went on back to the frontier land and at the Harter house. Everyone was again ready for the AC, the break from the muggy heat and crowds.

After eating, we went on down to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and we were taken to a back entrance and put right onto the ride. Meaghan was really hesitant to go on this, but we didn’t give her much choice and it turned out that she didn’t mind it too much and actually kind of liked it. It was unbelievable but it was already almost 8pm. We knew the parade started at 9, so if we were going to be able to make it out of the park before the parade, we needed to get moving. We took off for the front of the park and made our way back to the hotel. We stopped at the food courts and picked up some ice cream bars. We headed on back to the room and got the girls ready for bed and Mike and I packed up our things for home.

Wow, it really had been 4 days already and 3 very busy/packed days in the park too.

Mike went up to the concierge desk and check us in for the flight home and got the time that the Disney’s Magical Express would pick us up to take us to the airport. He also picked up some t shirts and mickey/princess ears for the kids for them to walk up too on that last morning. Honey ate her dinner and she conked out near the AC register.

The girls wiped out after 3 hard days at the parks!

Friday- Day 4- Evening- Riding the Monorail & Ferry

We then trekked it on out to the monorail to go on over to Magic Kingdom. We went up to the platform and waited for the next train, to be able to ride in the front cabin with the driver. We were able to do so and the girls really enjoyed it. They were given cards of being official Disney World Monorail Co-Pilots and Katie got to help the driver blow the horn! :) It was really cute too, as the driver got in after we did and didn’t realize Honey was even there snoozing on the floor until Mike asked him if he’d ever had a dog as a co-pilot. LOL!


Then once we arrived at the Transportation Center, we got off and we had the choice of walking in or riding the ferry over to Magic Kingdom. The girls wanted to ride the ferry and there was one coming in, so we did.


Friday- Day 4- Afternoon - Epcot

We started back towards Test Track, since we had Fast Passes for it, but on the info board, it showed that it was down. Mike asked if I we wanted to do spaceship earth and then go back to Mission Space to let Katie ride the green level again, as she’d asked for, so we started that way and it began to storm again and started to rain harder. We were about half way there and the skies opened up again with some serious Thunder, so we ducked into the character spot, which was air conditioned, but we spent a good hour and a half in line waiting.

Honey was just thoroughly rattled and upset. I was about in tears as she was balking at everything, refusing to move forward in line, and the people around us were just looking at us like we were just aweful to her. She was panting and shaking and had one woman insist on giving us water for her until we explained that she was afraid of the storm and pointed out that she was shaking too. Honey dove between the feet of the guy that was in front of us at a crack of thunder, wedging her head between his sandals, but being a dog lover and having a dog that did the same thing at home, he was fine with her laying there. We wound back and forth toward the back of the room and once we got along the wall she really began to fight me, wanting to hunker down and not move. I understand why, as it is what she does for comfort at home, getting against the couch or the wall where she feels safer and more secure, but she wasn’t willing to work for me even in harness. It was frustrating, as the guy behind me of some sort of middle eastern descent, pulled out a napkin and was trying to push her along as I was trying to coax her forward. I just glared at him and he left her alone after that. We finally made it up to the characters and it seemed the storm was starting to let up. We met Mickey first, then Minnie Mouse, then there was Chip and Dale again, and lastly Goofy. Honey about pulled me through Goofy, trying to dive between his legs, but I was able to pull her back and we got pictures through photo pass with them all, though she was panting in all of them. Mike did take a few pictures of the ones with Minnie and Mickey though.

After meeting the characters and the girls getting their autographs, we came out and headed to the Lands to head to Soaring. It wasn’t storming hard, as in thundering bad, but it was still raining with a very occasional rumble. Mike and Katie got in line for that with their Fast Passes and Honey hadn’t been breaked in a while I went to a cast member to ask for help in taking her for a break and then Meaghan was needing to go to the restroom too. It was right there, so I tell the cast member I’d be right back and go on in to take Meaghan. Honey pulled another one where she refused to come out of the bathroom, laying down next to the bathroom wall and I tried everything I could think of. Treats, coaxing, a correction, and nothing would make her budge. So once again, we grabbed the ears to the Harness and moved forward. Once out of the bathroom she was willing to work, but not very happily.

The cast member went out and graciously stood in the rain with me while Honey refused to do any sort of business, even though she hadn’t been since we’d left the hotel that morning. So we came back on in and Meaghan and I tried to make our way back up to the ground level, to have multiple people cut us off, get in front of us and so forth. Gosh people can be so rude sometimes!

We made it up there and I asked Honey to go over right to the bench and she was set on going out the doors and out of there. So it was probably quite comical to the guy sitting on the other end of the bench, once we made it there as I could see that he was watching us. I went to the bench to give Honey a chance to hunker down and try to settle down, and Meaghan and I just sat and people watched for the 45 minutes until Mike and Katie came back up.

Honey had settled down considerably, as had I, and was in working mode again, so I brought up going on the Living with the Lands ride, a boat ride and we were able to walk right onto that. Honey laid down at our feet until we got into the green house and her head popped up and you could just see that nose twitching back and forth with all of the yummy smells. LOL!

After coming off of the Living with the Lands ride, we took a look at the restaurant there and I told mike I was more in the mood for just a plain and simple burger, rather than the assortment we’d found there. So we went on out to the Journey to Imagination ride. The girls liked that really well and after the ride itself, we came out to a hands on station, where you moved and such and it activated musical tones as you conducted the music.

We left here and went to find the burger joint that Mike remembered to be by there, but it wasn’t there so I asked him about doing Spaceship earth and then going over to Magic Kingdom and just eating at the liberty tavern or something quick and easy over there and then hitting the Pirates of the Carribean ride that Mike was wanting to ride, after getting the picture I was wanting too.

I have to mention here though, that now that Honey had settled down and it was no longer storming, it was like something clicked all of a sudden. She started to pace herself, putting her nose just to the outside of Mike’s left knee and 2 steps behind him. This kept people from walking between us, but she could follow his every move and turn. I was able to just turn her loose and let her go since she was willing to follow him and not trying to drag me to the bathroom or anything. I didn’t have to command her anything, and it was just amazing. I hadn’t been more relaxed the entire trip, now if only we could have worked that out a little sooner, but I’m not going to complain, the rest of the evening at Disney was quite enjoyable as a result. :D

So we headed up towards the exit and went to Spaceship Earth. Both girls really enjoyed this and learning about the forms of communications through time. The ride takes a quick snapshot of you and as we came off the ride, we hit the communications line to send an email “postcard” to grandma and grandpa. Not sure if it got there, but it supposedly sent. We then went to the exits and snagged a photo pass person to take our pictures in front of the “Big Ball”.

Friday- Day 4- Lunch & After Lunch- Epcot

Then we took off across to the Living Seas. We got there and was seated very quickly and the girls as well as we, were just in awe at the view. The entire one wall was an aquarium wall to the Living Seas. There was a large sea turtle that came swimming down and floated down to the bottom and rested right there in front of this little boy at a table. There were sharks swimming back and forth to the other side as well. It was just AMAZING! :)

After eating a wonderful meal, we went out and around to the Living Seas and with Honey went into the side entrance and immediately got on the ride, Katie and Mike in one car and Honey, Meaghan, & I in another. The ride was really neat with Nemo and his friend telling us all about the different animals in the tanks.

We then walked through the tank areas and the girls were just in heaven. They soooo love the tanks and seeing all the fish and such. Honey was pretty intrigued too! :) Mike and I think we ought to make a trip to Newport, KY to go to the Newport Aquarium, as much as they loved this! :)

I absolutely love this picture of the turtle swimming up towards the girls:

After we went through the aquarium area, we went to Talk with Crush, an absolutely amazing interactive show for the kids. The kids all sit on the floor at the front of a screen and the adults sit to the back on benches. A cast member starts out by talking a little bit about Crush, explaining that we have to call him out and that the kids can ask him any question they want about the oceans and so forth.

So the whole audience calls out Crush’s name and he comes popping out. Introduces himself in his cool self and asks the kids what questions they have. It was really amazing, as the children raised their hands and he’d say what child he was calling on and then ask the child it’s name. Then he’d respond saying the child’s name and asking what they’d like to know or what not. The child would ask their question and the interactiveness answered it. I’d love to know how they did it, as it was all digital. It was pretty funny too, as one kid asked Crush how fast he could swim and Crush swam around and back and out of sight and was swimming as fast as he could and bonked right into the screen/the “tank wall” and bounced backward off of it, making everyone in the audience gasp and laugh. There was a whole handful of children that got to ask questions and he answered them all. Then we all said goodbye to Crush and the kids were reunited with their parents as we filed out of the theater.

We came out of the Theater and headed to the doors to take that break that Mike suggested at the beginning of the morning to get the lovely picture I’d wanted and get to the overhang and it is pouring down rain. Then it starts to thunder. *sigh* As we are standing there waiting for it to let up a little bit, there was an opening about 10 inches tall going under the odd wall of this exterior, and Honey kept crawling under, me having to grab the harness handle pulling her back out until I moved her to in front of me and finally having to do a leash correction, telling her a firm NO! It did finally let up to a real light rain, but it was still thundering and Honey was pulling and upset.

Friday- Day 4- Morning- Epcot

We got up this morning, when we all woke up. Mike and I woke up about 7:30, the girls closer to 8am, which worked a LOT better, as usual when they get up on their own. Meaghan was too cute, as she was unable to reach the sink, so we’d put a chair there for her to use. She was combing her hair and singing in the mirror. Please ignore the Mom in PJ’s that you see in the mirror too! ;)

So we all got up and moving, and found with great relief that Honey had kept her food down from the night before. So I gave her the remaining charlee bear treats that I had for breakfast and she inhaled it. Poor girl had to be starving after not eating for 2 ½ days!

So we took off from our room and went up to the main building for breakfast and stocked up on some drinks and snacks for the day. We were headed to Epcot for the day, so we went out for the busses and made our way out. I had wanted to hit Magic Kingdom when it was sunny and try to get a photo pass picture of us in front of Cinderella’s Castel- on Main street, like we had for our honeymoon, but Mike wanted to wait until after lunch and take a break by going to Magic Kingdom to do this and getting the hats for the girls, so we went straight to Epcot, although it was against my better judgement, with the luck in weather we’d had the last few days.

Upon arriving at the park, Meaghan was very intrigued by the “Big Ball!” that was spaceship earth. Mike wanted to head to Mission space first, so we took off for there. HP sponsors the Mission Space ride, so we went to the HP Red Planet Room and we received complimentary drinks and a place to just chill for a bit. Meaghan and I hung out in the lounge while Katie and Mike went on the green version of the ride, or the less intense version. They were walked down and basically put right at the front of the line.

Meaghan and I watched from the window over the lines and could see a couple parts of the ride from the comfort of bean bags, lounge chairs. We hung out for a good while, Meaghan enjoying being pretty much free to play, and Honey was really nervous and panting from the rumbling of the ride going off every little bit.

After Mike and Katie returned, they got another drink and Mike wanted to go on the more intense version of the ride, the orange version. He kept egging Katie on to ride it with him and she really didn’t want to. I finally told him if he wanted to go, then go, she could stay at the Lounge with Meaghan and I. So Mike went and rode the orange version and came off on a thrilled high and babbling about how awesome it was. :D Katie hung out and played the rover game too. :)

I was worried they were going to kick us out though, as when Mike and Katie were riding, Meaghan spun around too fast with the princess backpack on and knocked her drink over spilling her orange drink all over the floor. Then while Mike was on the orange version, Meaghan discovered the window on the other side of the room overlooking the “mission control room”. She ran over and asked drug us over to look out the window and Honey being nervous came following along. Well there was a “lift off” and Honey jumped up onto the bench that was there in front of us. Worried about it being leather/vinyl, I immediately pull her down, not seeing the black table here beside me. As I pull her off the bench, the table topples over and the lady working there, who had to clean up Meaghan’s spill in her suit, comes flying over and is scolding the kids to be careful and that she doesn’t understand why HP used these black marble tables, as she is a grandma and that if they fell over, they would break your foot if they landed on them. Plus the tables were $5,000 each. So I quickly interjected, explaining that it was my fault and apologized profusely and then quickly gathered up the kids to the other side of the room on the bean bags where they were corralled so to speak and sitting still and watching the tv that was there.

Mike came up pretty soon after that, and we were needing to get over to the Living Seas for our lunch reservation at the Coral Reef restaurant. Mike and I go and look at the products they have for sale there, which we each got polo shirts.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday- Day 3 Night – Magic Kingdom

We went to Magic Kingdom, no remembering which park had the “Magic Hours”, where the park was open 2 hrs later to those who were staying on site, and asked a young guy at the town hall. It was pretty funny, as we were talking with him, I happened to notice his name badge, which all of the cast members have on while working. All of the badges have their first names and where they are from, well his badge said IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN. LOL!

He told us that there was Magic Hours that night, so we thought we’d head out and get a stroller for Meaghan, that way she could ride and wasn’t being drug around. But as we got to the gates- since you have to get your stroller BEFORE you come in the gates, the gate keeper there explained that the Magic Hours had been that morning, and the park was closing at 10pm, which it was 8:30 for the time being. So we went back in and went up on the veranda of the Town Hall again, trying to figure out what we were going to do, especially since there were tons of people lined up down both sides of Main Street waiting for the parade to start at 9pm. As we went back and forth trying to decide, the first parade float, if you will came out lit up and we decided to just hang out and let the girls enjoy the parade. We had a good spot, up higher, where Honey wouldn’t get trampled, and when it was over, we could head inside to the lobby area of Tony’s and if it was open grab some ice cream, if not, we could hang out on the couches until most of the crowd passed.

So we watched the parade, which was really neat, as all of the floats were lit up like Christmas trees, including the characters and people. There in the Main Square, the lights were all turned down and it was really cool. Meaghan and Katie chattered and oohhhh’d and aaaahhhh’d at everything, along with jumping up and down and squealing in delight at the next character that they recognized. Honey was thoroughly content to take a snooze at my feet, knowing that we weren’t going anywhere for a while and that she wasn’t going to be stepped on either. :)

So once the parade finished up, we headed inside and camped out in the lobby as planned. Tony’s was closed, so no ice cream as we were hoping. But after about a half hr, the crowds thinned considerably and we hit the restroom right there.

This does reminds me though, that the night before when we were there, after our thorough soaking at Animal Kingdom, we went to the restroom right before we were seated for dinner. Upon leaving the restroom, (It was storming again) Honey planted herself against the wall and refused to budge. No amount of coaxing, offers of treats or anything was to persuade her to move forward. As flustered as I was, the host was waiting to seat us and I felt I had no choice but to grab the ears of the harness and pick her up and pull her forward. Once I had her out of the bathroom, she collected herself and was willing to guide me to the table, but while in the bathroom, she’d made up her mind she wasn’t leaving.

But tonight, after the parade, she was more than happy to work for me and we ventured out and I told Honey, Ok lets get to the bus! She knew right where we were headed and took the lead again and wasn’t messing around. We got back to the hotel and went to the food courts to check out the menu and see if there was any chance of a meal for Honey, since the concierge desk was now closed. No luck there, so we got some ice cream bars and a drink, and sat down and ate those.

We headed back to the room and I had brought a bunch of the Charlee bear treats with me, which are all natural and made a lot like an oyster cracker. Also the tin of treats from Pluto were very similar as were the ingredients as well. I then fed her a meal of the Charlee bear treats in hopes that they would be bland enough to stay down. We’d already decided for this last day, that we’d get up when we woke up and no rushing to hit the Magic Hours on the last morning! Our last day was to be at Epcot and whatever else we wanted to try to catch before we left on Saturday.

Thursday- Day 3 Evening – Aloha Show- Polynesian Resort Hotel

We got up from our naps and collected ourselves to the busses to head to Magic Kingdom to hook up with the Monorail to the Polynesian Hotel. As we were about halfway there, Grete, from GDF called and explained that Honey’s issues with keeping food down could be one of three different things:

1. Stress- which she thought it was
2. Heat Stroke
3. Gastrointestinal blockage

So she recommended that we go to the Kennels that was at the transportation center and find a vet that should be on site and get her checked out just to be sure to rule out the latter two. Since we had a set reservation, we went on to the Aloha show and would head to the Kennels immediately following the show.

So upon arriving at the Polynesian, we followed the crowd in and through the hotel and it’s gardens out in the back to the Luah Cove where the show is held. There were beautiful flowers and plants all through the gardens with exquisite smells too. We checked in for our reservation, got our lai’s and sat down and it began to rain. We were wondering what type of effect the rain would have on the show, but we saw that the seating area was completely covered. So we moved in under the overhang and I found a lone seat open, next to an elderly woman that loved to chat. ;) Mike had to take the girls to the restroom yet again, since the girls had drank the Powerade drinks we had and they made the call to start seating.

When Mike and the girls got back, we got to our seat, and had a really good view. We were the first table of the upper section, like we were for breakfast that morning at the castle, so the girls were overlooking the lower floor and able to see everything well. The meal started out with some fresh pineapple, rice, and salad appetizers and then moved on to the main course with bbq’d chicken and ribs, as well as rottissiere chicken. You talk about some GOOD eatin’!

The show itself was cute, as the cast was made up of younger and older people and they did a wide variety of stuff from newer present day type of music to older traditional stuff, of native dances too. Of course there was the flame thrower too, which surprisingly, the entire show held both girls interest pretty well, as Mike and I couldn’t believe that Meaghan actually sat still that long!

We left the Polynesian resort and boarded back on the Monorail, chatting with a lady that raised goldens and had a friend that also raised guide pups out west. She happened to be from the Cincinnatti area, so not too far from us either. She loved to talk about her dogs and asked all about Honey as we we made the loop clear around to the Transportation Center, to go to the Kennels.

At our stop, we got off and headed down to the Kennels that were a bit elusive, but once we saw the big Pluto topiary, we knew we’d found it. We went in and the guy at the reception desk was very nice and asked how he could help us. We explained our situation and asked if there was a vet on site and he worriedly said no. He went back and got his supervisor and she then was trying to think of what we could do instead. She called the emergency number to talk to an animal emergency clinic vet and let us talk with that vet over the phone.

I explained what Honey had been doing over the past couple of days and that while she was not keeping any food down, she was drinking lots of fluids and seemingly completely normal otherwise. I then put Mike on the phone with the ER vet and she had him check Honey’s gums and then explained to him that she too thought it was just stress from what we’d described. She explained to watch Honey’s gums, that if it was heat stroke, that her gums would turn bright to dark red instead of the healthy pink that they should be. She said too that the possibility of the GI blockage was there, but from what we’d said, that she was normal otherwise and that there were no other symptoms, she really didn’t think it was that.

She recommended not feeding Honey any food for a period of 8 hours and then starting her back with a bland diet, white rice and boiled chicken for the next few days. She was more than happy to see Honey if we wanted to make the arrangements to get off of Disney property and to the animal hospital, but that the visit would be $95 for the exam. We decided to wait until the next morning and to see how she was doing and we would go to the concierge desk at the hotel and see if we could get some help from the food courts about getting what we needed for her for food.

The girls both had to go to the restroom again, so I took Honey outside to Pluto’s Doggy Park and took the harness off and let her sniff and walk around for a good 20-30 minutes so she had some down time. When Mike got back with the girls, we debated whether to go back to Magic Kingdom or to call it a night. We wanted to go back, but as tired as we all were, we weren’t sure how well everyone would do the last day if we did. We decided to give it a try and see how far we got and vowed to leave when things started to go south. So we were off to Magic Kingdom and popped onto the Monorail.