Cole is th son of a close family friend. My mom worked with his grandma for many years and are still friends today. I've known his Aunt since I was little, going to the babysitter together to graduating high school together. Cole's mom is two years younger but still a part of my family.
About a month after Cole's 1st birthday the family found out he has SCIDs (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency). Basically he has no immune system and is very sick. The plan right now is for Cole to have a bone marrow transplant to replace his lack of immune system with the donor's. Luckily Cole has found a donor and is about to start a very rough journey.
This is a joruney my mom and I are very familiar with. My dad had two bone marrow transplants. The first one they used his own stem cells and the second time he had an unrelated donor. The dangerous part of the transplant is what happens before. The doctors need to kill all the good stuff in your system so that it doesn't attack the foreign cells from the donor. After the transplant there are still hurdles to overcome but it can be done. Aside from my dad, two of my mom's former coworkers have had to go through this process. It's not fun for anyone involved.
Cole and my dad were lucky that there are strangers out there willing to donate bone marrow to help save the life of someone they don't know. I've been on the national bone marrow registry for close to 5 years. It's really easy to get on the registry. They send you a kit and you swab the inside of your mouth. After you send it in, you just wait for the call. If I were to ever get the call I would do it in a nanosecond. I can never repay the man that gave my dad a few more years.
That's how you can help. Join the donor registry to help save a life.
At the end of every month I make a list of my favorite songs. I’ve been doing this since 2008 and its interesting to look back and see the songs that I liked for a short time and the songs that stayed on the list through many months. It’s also fun to see trends. March – May I can guarantee there are at least a couple songs on the list from the current contestants on American Idol.
October sees a lot of Glee. This comes and goes but I have thought the current season so far has been strong and that makes me want to listen to the music. Home has been on the list since May but I really do love it and Phillip. Can’t wait for his album November 19th.
November is one of my favorite months. I love Thanksgiving, it's my holiday, the holiday that I cook dinner. It's also my birthday month.
I have a few goals for this month.
1. NaNoWriMo - I'm not going to write a novel but I do want to write more. My goal is to write 50,000 words through journaling, blogging, scrapbooking, work and other things. I've attampted this the past couple of years but this year I have a better plan.
2. Wear a skirt at least once a week - I have some boots I really like and I want to wear them. Skirts are the perfect way to do this.
3. Figure out the best way to organize books - I have books all over the house. The problem is I love books so I'm always buying them. I do donate books to my library and I have been selling some books on Amazon but I really do need to purge a massive amount of them as I'm running out of space.
4. Gratitude Album - I have a gratitude album ready to populate with pictures and journaling. I'm using a Snap Binder by Simple Stories. I used a fall line of paper from Simple Stories to decorate the album. I'm excited to fill this up.
5. Read more non-fiction books than fiction - I love reading any kind of book, espeically those that I can learn from. I can guarentee that most of the books will be about Disney, movies, parks, the company.
1. Read 2 D2 magazines. I have a year of these magazines and I want to read through them. They take awhile to read. Not necessarily a bad thing since I enjoy the topics.
2. Read both Uppercase magazines I have.
3. Catch up with Project Life. Right now I have unfinished 6 weeks. Most of it is journaling.
4. Blog at least twice a week.
5. Clean my bedroom from top to bottom.
6. Read The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Planner. I want to use this on my trip in October
7. Modify dining reservations for 2 upcoming Disney vacations.
8. Build my new Expedit shelf. It's been sitting in the garage since I bought it.
9. Donate the piles of books I have sitting around.
10. Wear a skirt/dress at least once a week.
I’ve had the itch to go for awhile but no real reason. I have been twice, but that was before I became really obsessed.
I’m using needing miles on Delta to keep my Silver Medallion status as an excuse. The trip to the west coast should guarantee I’ll keep them for another year.
It was interesting planning this trip after planning many trips to Walt Disney World. There is a ton of information on Disney World but very little on Disneyland.
First up was the hotel. I really wanted to stay at one of the 3 Disneyland hotels but the cost was being prohibitive. I could stay across the street for half the cost. But as I am going by myself I always think, “Is it safe enough for me to be walking around at night?” Procrastinating on this task actually paid off. I had picked an off-property hotel when I saw a deal for the days I wanted to go for the Disneyland hotels. I quickly booked the Paradise Pier for about the same price I was going to pay off property.
Now I’m trying to figure out dining. I know of 2 places I will eat for sure but when I booked my package through Disney I was informed I get a free character meal. This totally confused me. I think I’ve figured out what I’m going to do, breakfast at the Storyteller’s Café at the Grand Californian. I want to have breakfast before any of the parks open.
I leave in about a month so I have a lot of homework to do. World of Color totally baffles me. But the goal of this trip, aside from enjoying being in the park Walt build, is to see how many times I can ride Toy Story Mania as I hear the lines are much shorter than at Hollywood Studios at Disney World.
Should you do a package?
When I travel to Walt Disney World (WDW) this December, I will be doing a package for the first time.
Previous trips have included any combination of staying off property, going to work and having an annual pass.
This trip I choose to do a package mostly because I want to see how the Disney Dining Plan works. On this trip, we will each have one (1) table service (sit down), one (1) counter-service (fast-food like) and one (1) snack credit for each day we are staying in the hotel. This of course requires some planning in order to use all the credits so I’m very interested to see how it works out.
One thing to think about with the dining plan is how much you and your family eat in a typical day. Will you bring some of your own food and what are your dining preferences. You can do dining plans where you get two (2) counter service or two (2) table service a day. For me, the 1 table service and 1 counter service will work best. We can either have a late breakfast or early lunch at one of the counter service restraints and then have dinner at the table service. If you don’t think you’ll eat more than one meal at Disney in a day, the dining plan is probably not for you.
Staying off Property
Most trips to Orlando have me staying in a timeshare. My parents have owned a timeshare for 10+ years. This is probably the cheapest option in the long run as you pay in the beginning and then yearly you just pay a maintenance fee. This means you can get a week in a 2 bed room condo for less than $1000 a week.
I’ve also stayed in hotels. The problem is they are sterile. Disney hotels are part of the Disney magic.
If you stay off property you only experience the magic for maybe 12 hours a day. Plus you pay for parking. Last I saw it was $11 a day and I know it’s gone up since then. So if you are thinking of staying off property, make sure you figure in the cost of parking.
Buying your ticket separately.
I have read a few places say that if you plan on being at WDW for more than (eleven) 11 days in one year than the annual pass is the way to go. As I was planning a trip to WDW for work in December 2008 I thought about what my next year would be like. I already knew another trip to Orlando was in the works so the annual pass made the most sense financially for me. This also gets your discounts on dining, rooms and special experiences. I would recommend if you are staying on Disney property and don’t have an annual pass that you buy your ticket as part of your room.
Another nice thing about doing a package I think is that your room key is your park ticket, dining payment and of course your room key. It is also what gets you into Extra Magic Hours. Word to the wise….DON’T LOSE YOUR ROOM KEY.
As of right now I can’t recommend either way, going with a package or everything individually. I do know on this upcoming trip I want to be totally taken over by the Disney Magic so a package works best for me on this trip.
Living in Michigan, I won't be driving to Disney World.
Been there. Done that. Never doing it again!
That leaves air travel. I love airports and flying so it's no big deal to me.
Again, being from Michigan, I'm most likely to fly Delta. Detroit is one of Delta's hubs plus I'm a Silver Medallion member this year (ie. free checked bags).
When I first started checking for an upcoming trip to Orlando airfare was a little more than I really wanted to spend so I keep checking back every couple of weeks.
I soon discovered Kayak to help.
This website looks at all the airlines and lets you know what the price on each airline is for your travel dates. I have it set up to send me an update once a week with prices. You can get it to send you updates daily if you really want it.
You just put in your departure and destination airport plus the travel dates and your job is done.
By using Kayak, I was able to save about $80 on airfare and already have another alert set up for another trip to Orlando.
You can also search for hotels, cars, vacations and cruises.
A benefit to flying into Orlando airport when traveling to Disney World is the use of the Magical Express.
The Magical Express is a bus service that takes you from the airport to your resort and back to the airport at the end of your trip. The best part is that Disney collects your luggage for you and transports it.
Before you leave home, you're given luggage tags that have the name of your resort on them. You put those on your checked luggage and it magically ends up in your hotel room. Beware it may take a few hours for your bags to get to your room so if you have anything important you may want to carry it on with you.
I have used the Magical Express a couple times and love it. I really enjoy not having to drag my luggage through the airport.
****I am in no way associated with Kayak, they just saved me some money.
I’ve been to Disney World the past 2 years at Christmas time and as it gets closer to December I’m not sure if I can celebrate Christmas without the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT.
So a trip to Disney was in the works for December.
The first thing was to figure out where I wanted to stay. I have stayed at Economy, Moderate and Deluxe. Economy was defiantly out because those rooms were SMALL! I knew I wanted to stay at a resort that didn’t require me to ride a bus everywhere which only gives me the Deluxe option.
Every time I go to Disney I like to talk to random strangers in line, especially if I’m on my own. I ask them where they are staying and if they like it. In all my trips I had never heard anything bad about the Polynesian Resort. It fit the criteria, only a monorail (or two) ride away from EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom. (I also read reviews at AllEars.net and the Polynesian has the highest rating)
The Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge were also options for me, they’re both cheaper than the Polynesian. The reason I said no to the Contemporary is because if I wanted to stay in the main building then it would have been more expensive and the Wilderness Lodge would only give me a boat to Magic Kingdom but a bus to everywhere else. Also, the only Moderate I have any interest in staying at is Port Orleans and even that urge isn’t very high.
The next step in planning was to figure out when I’m going to go. If I get my way, I’ll be in Vegas the first week of December for work and I didn’t want to travel back-to-back. The date was decided (and then pushed back a day so mom could go).
Lastly I was waiting for a price I was willing to pay. About a month ago I had an email that said 40% off hotel stays and the dates I wanted fit in there, but when I called the price was too high. I figured I would wait to see what else came up or convince myself to stay at a Moderate resort.
About a week after the first offer expired I received another email and thank goodness, the price was right.
Next up will be dining….. I’m doing the Disney Dinging Plan for the first time so I’m trying to figure out a tentative plan. But everything is on hold until I can make my reservation for the Candlelight Processional and mom can tell me Steven Curtis Chapman or Thomas Gibson.