A DISNEY VACATION CLUB STORY: PART III

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Its been 8  years since Anderson and I took that plunge into the Disney Vacation Club.  And how do we feel about it? Do we regret buying into it? The answer in short is absolutely not. In fact if you ask us, it has been one of the best decisions we could have ever made.
Why you ask?
Because it allows the freedom to go where we want. 
And it forces us to actually take a vacation. And before you ask, no its not just at Disney World. Three months after finding out we were expecting little man, we decided to spend some time down in Vero Beach in southern Florida. We were able to use our points to spend a couple of days at Disney’s hotel right on their private part of the beach. It was one of the most relaxing  beach getaways I have ever had. And since Anderson is not a beach person, the few days was long enough and perfect for him.  Not a beach fan? They have options for that as well. Though we have yet to take advantage of some of the other options and resorts Disney Vacation Club offers including the cruise line, adventures by Disney and traveling around the world, we one day hope to. The bottom line is there are so many other choices to choose from if we wish.
Because it allows us to take the family. 
After we had our son, my family decided to take a family vacation as the whole clan. My parents, my sisters and my 6 year old nephew along with my own. Anderson and I weren’t going to push the thought of Disney on any of them, we were perfectly happy if they wanted to go to the Outer Banks. But it was my dad who actually brought the idea of going up. He wanted to go while they could still enjoy it, while my nephew still believed in the magic. And so for two years we planned, and plotted. And Anderson and I calculated and saved points to share with the family. In the end, we were able to provide the accommodations for everyone at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, savannah view. With a two bedroom and a studio there was plenty of room for everyone. The look on the face of my nephew as he walked in for the first time, was priceless. While it didn’t cover all the financials, the fact that we could help cost with that allowed for a little flexibility elsewhere.
We repeated the trip during the summer of 2014, though at a different resort, once again relishing in the fact that the memories we were making were ones to last a lifetime.
Because it allows us to go when we want.
The reality is, we aren’t always able to take big chunks of time off. Anderson’s crazy work schedule during the season means we often don’t see one another come hockey season. So when there is a break in the schedule, we like to try and get away. Unlike some timeshares I have known we aren’t locked into a certain week. If we want to go for a couple of days to celebrate my son’s birthday in February, so be it. What about a spring break trip-awesome-in fact I recommend going down during the Flower and Garden festival personally. If we want to go down for a week and a half in July. That’s perfect as well. If we want to bank our points to go on a mega trip the year after, we can do that as well. There is no set rule that says we have to vacation this way or that way. We can go for three days or 14. It is all up to us, its how we want to vacation, when we want to vacation…I know it doesn’t work for everyone. But its perfect for us.
Because  we don’t feel rushed.
I know several families that go down and when they return they look at us and think we are nuts. ‘Its an exhausting week, I don’t think I could do it year after year.’ We thought the same thing after our honeymoon, we came back sour, tired and totally exhausted. But when we returned the year after, when we joined the DVC we found that all of a sudden we don’t have to see every show, we don’t have to ride every ride every year. In fact we don’t even have to go to the parks if we don’t want to. Some of my best memories have been doing things outside of the parks. We painted pottery with my mom, we have horseback ridden. We have made jewelry. In fact, the simple fact that we know we will be back in a year or less allows us to enjoy the simpler things that Disney has to offer. I know people look at me like I am a crazed person, but really going to Disney now and days is some of the most relaxing and lazy days there is..
 
Because if that wasn’t enough….
The look on his face is…

Our young Jedi, Logan.

Maybe we are crazy, and a little insane. I know that going to Disney World every year isn’t exactly what everyone decides to do. But every year, when I head down there and am greeted by ‘Welcome Home.’ I can’t help but smile and think yes, for me and the family.

It was right.
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A Disney Vacation Club Story: Part II

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If you ask me, I am pretty sure by the time we got off the plane the decision on whether or not to join had already been made. Anderson and I had discussed and rediscussed it until it was pretty much dead. We were going to join. Still we toyed around with it, as if we were walking on egg shells. Because even though we both knew we were going to join, at the same time I think there was the unknown, that kind of scared us.

For Anderson, it was more of the thought of vacationing down there just about every other year at least. For myself it was the financials. I was totally happy with the thought of hitting up Florida, and Disney every year. But it was a lot of money to sink into. I do not want to lead on anyone when I say that it is a cheap way of vacationing. Because while yes it will save you money, it will take a couple of years until you actually start seeing that savings taking effect. And if you go in thinking its a free program, and you will automatically start seeing that savings pay off. I think one would actually be quite disappointed.

 Then again, it would pretty much ensure that we would have a vacation to go on from here until whenever. And from where I sat, on the other end of things with a husband who reluctantly went on vacations. Well that deal seemed pretty good.

All we would need to do was crunch a little bit of some numbers.
Which thanks to my father in law we did within the week.

Now all we had to do was agree. Or rather to come out and say that yes officially.
Still we thought about it. We talked about it. To everyone else, we were crazy. After all, going to Disney every year is not everyone’s cup of tea. And to think that it was ours, as mentioned seemed absurd to most. There were several who questioned us. Wouldn’t we get old of it? Tired of it? And wasn’t it for kids? And since we were two people without kids, what was the point? We did our best to back each question with a response. I tried to remind people that it was no different than buying a beach house, I mean the beach never changes?(I pointed out Disney did from time to time) Do you they get bored of sitting there looking at the same beach every year? Does it ever get old to them? As for the statement of being for kids, well I tend to believe everyone is a kid at heart, and have had more enjoyment out of the parks since becoming an ‘adult’ than when I was kid. And while we didn’t have any kids at the time, one day we would and wouldn’t that be something to enjoy with the kids for years to come?

Some got our points. Some didn’t
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And while a few tried to discourage us from joining. Anderson and I in the end decided to not listen to them. It made us happy. And simply when it came down to things, well that is all that matters in the long run…

And so we signed those papers, naming our home resort as Saratoga Springs, had them notarized and sent them off to the good folks at DVC and made it official. We were members.

Welcome Home.
Now the only question that remains is do I still feel the same way seven years later?

A Disney Vacation Club Story Part I.

A couple years ago I wrote a blog post regarding why we decided on becoming Disney Vacation Club members. Years later, we are still just as happy about our decision and since it has been awhile I figured I would revisit this three part blog series with you, sharing our reasoning, our process and our thoughts regarding being members…
Seven years ago Anderson and I made our way down to the happiest place in the world on vacation. It was the second time in two years we had done so. The first being on our honeymoon. Yes we had loved it so much we decided to go back down. This gained thousands of questions from family and friends who immediately questioned why were heading back down. After all we had just been. Of course now they merely shrug and bat an eye when we mention this. But back then, believe me this was a foreign thought to most everyone in our little circle.
But that second trip would change everything. You see mid way through our vacation we hopped on one of the many Disney buses that would take us back to the resort, we were tired, exhausted and looking forward to getting back for an evening of relaxation. The bus was unusually empty. The only other passenger’s was a family-whom just happened to be from just outside the DC area-they were discussing their next trip down. They were throwing around words like points, and villas and DVC left and right. Now I had heard of DVC, one of my best friends had a mother that was a member. I was lucky enough to stay with them for a couple of days back in the early days. And even if she hadn’t how could you have missed the signs around the park. After all they are practically around every corner. But as we listened to them, even Anderson’s ears began to perk.
Perhaps I should really blame that bus ride. Because we soon found ourselves talking to that very family, who talked us into at least checking out what DVC had to offer. Because we were young, and we didn’t have anything else to do. They sat there telling us of all these great memories with their kids, how they wished they would have done it a lot sooner than they did. And how we would be lucky if we did it sooner than later. They encouraged us to even take a listen to what they offered if nothing more Disney would provide fast passes for our times. Which is what I think sold the husband on the whole willing to listen to the speech.
As the bus pulled into our resort we thanked them and made our way-which was the Wilderness Lodge-and wouldn’t you know there in the lobby was the DVC stand. Anderson and I looked at one another. I mean what did we have to lose? Twenty minutes? And so we found ourselves signing up for a session the following day.
In all honesty we were there more for the fast passes. Were we interested in the DVC? Yes but neither of us really knew if we were exactly serious about it. Still we went, we listened and we came with an open ear and mind. While I don’t remember specifics about the discussion it has after all been five years. But I remember the guy really getting to know us. And I remember being asked three questions.
1. Are you willing to vacation here at least once every other year?
2. Are you willing to have a lifetime of memories?
3. Can you afford $$ a month.
We didn’t answer these question, only told to think about them and discuss them at home. Which was fabulous since it was a lot to process. I liked the fact it wasn’t pushy. I didn’t feel like I had to make the decision right then and there. After the discussion we we were told they would have a packet of info waiting for us back at the hotel. He shook my husbands hand and told us not to think to much about it until we got home In fact he didn’t want us to make a decision until then. As promised he handed us the fast passes and we were on our way. They even dropped us off at the location of our choice, Epcot. Where we slipped among our fellow vacationers, none of whom knew that we had just learned. ‘The Best Kept Secret.’
But like every good secret, would we be able to keep it? And would it be right to do so?

Sibling love starts early.

Last night after dinner while watching my stomach move around Andy had little man put his hand on my stomach while Baby Boo was kicking. It was not the first time we have attempted to get him to feel her. Each time he has said he has felt her, but considering Andy has assisted, and never felt her at the same time we have been skeptical, still we had never discouraged him from thinking so. We believed that he would eventually feel her. So when Andy visually saw her kick he rushed to little man and threw his hand on my stomach.
“What is that?” He asked looking up at us.
“That sweetie, is your sister.”
I knew the minute he felt her, because little mans eyes grew about five times bigger than his head and his smile radiated across his little face. In fact when she kicked the spot his hand laid, the look on his face was absolutely amazing. It was a combination of shock, awe and pure sibling love. He may have said that he felt her before but up until last night I don’t know if actually got it.
“That’s my sister!” He exclaimed, which was followed by a round of giggles and telling her that he could not absolutely wait to meet her!!!
I know these moments between the two will not always last. I know I am in for years of battling, reasoning and trying to spend time between the two of them. But in that moment, while he just kept placing my hand around the right side, it didn’t matter. These are the moments that for years to come I will be able to share with the two of them and look back thinking this pregnancy despite everything was worth it.
I just wish I had captured the look on his face because it was unbelievably beautiful….

23 weeks and counting.

I am now a little over 23 weeks along. Technically that is. Little girl is running about a week behind, smaller than she probably should be, but looks healthy none the less. However because of her size I had to go through extra testing late last week. We had previously done the first round of testing and nothing was wrong and the doctors do not think anything is necessarily wrong still but they wanted to go through the precautions and procedures to rule out everything entirely.

If I am going to be honest I will admit the decision to go through with the testing was not exactly easy. Andy and I had to take a moment alone to discuss the options. We knew the risks that came with the testing, we examined all of them, ultimately however we knew that the testing would at least give some answers (hopefully anyway) to why she is running small.

It still does not mean it was any easier to sit and have them done.  At that moment I did not know what was scarier, knowing or not knowing. We are currently awaiting the results; as we do my mind has gone a thousand directions in every direction imaginable.  It seems like we wait by the phone, glance at it and tell ourselves everything will be fine.  Ultimately I do believe it will be, she is just making sure we are aware of her.

Other than that everything is going well, and seems to be a pretty normal pregnancy. And yet this one is so very different from my first pregnancy. With my son, I showed all out, this go around it’s not so much out as it round, flatter perhaps, all in my sides. The morning sickness that plagued me so much in the first trimester has no stopped for the most part; though stay away if you have decided to smoke. It seems smoke and smell of leather send me running to the nearest bathroom.

I crave a lot of sweeter tasting foods, chocolate milk odd since I am  (A) allergic to dairy. B) Never cared for dairy even of the soy kind before) and pickles, which pretty much means I am your typical pregnant woman. And I crave seafood of the kind that I am not allowed to eat. Crab meat and lobster specifically, oh how they have all sounded incredibly amazing at any given moment.

Despite her small size, she is really active. And when I say active I mean each time we make it to an ultrasound, she makes them work for their money. And I am now beginning to really feel her throughout the day which is such an incredible experience it amazes me. Watch out when you put music on, because there seems to be no stopping her from dancing. She does tend to prefer my left side (little man preferred my right) but when she does become active on the right little man and Andy tend to get a kick out of telling me when she is moving.

We have been asked several times about names. To this we are still working on the names, though thankfully the baby room theme has at least been processed, the paint finally decided on. A plus on both ends, though both seem to be a work in progress which if all goes well will actually be done by the time Boo arrives in the beginning of January.  If I will be honest, since last week we haven’t given much more thought to either.

Though perhaps while we wait, these will give us a distraction to the waiting game.

And until then, we just keep moving forward. 16 and a half weeks to go..

A new Beginning

Hello!

Welcome to a new format and new platform for From The Puck to the World! After several issues brought to my attention and much thought I decided it was time to abandon the former platform. I am excited to update and bring my writing to hopefully a more stable and sturdy format for one and all to enjoy.

Don’t worry I shall return bringing you all my latest updates on the family, Disney and of course the occasional poetry piece. But for now, please forgive me for the moment as I work on getting things together and up and running. I promise when I do it will be worth the while.

Until then, enjoy!