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Mom and Nate See the World

All it takes is faith and trust......and a little bit of Pixie Dust.....



December 2, 2000

The big day! Today was the long awaited Clubhouse Luncheon where so many great folks would meet in person for the first time.  How excited I was!  But first we were off to the Animal Kingdom to meet Sir Scotty, Susan and Jeremy, and hopefully Grannybabe at the Boneyard.  Nate was all pumped up to get to actually play with Jeremy instead of having to behave at dinner, so we gathered our things, hopped in the Blazer and drove over to the Animal Kingdom.  I was much more comfy about navigating the World now than I was at first and we had no troubles finding our way there.  I really love the look of this park.   Although I find it more confusing to get around in than the others, I still notice that the lush landscaping, lack of what I call 'gotta rush to ride 'em' attractions and general wander aimlessly feel of the place drops my blood pressure as soon as I arrive.   I like that!  We were to meet the Scottys in the gift shop at Rainforest Cafe' and since I was on time for once, I figured I might have even arrived before them (not a common occurrence for me) Of the folks I had already met, they were the only ones I would recognize so I watched for them and for Clubhouse badges too but spotted neither.   Hmmm.  It's very early, but he had told me that if I didn't find them there to call his cel phone and find out where they were. Okay, ring, ring, ring, ruh roh, getting a bad feeling about this. Another ringie-dingie and a very sleepy Susan answers the phone, and hands it to Scotty who explains that they aren't feeling up to par.  I apologized big time for waking them and we hopped thru the gates on the other side of the gift shop.  This, by the way is a great way to avoid the opening crowds.  We were the only ones there.

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Good Morning Walt Disney World!

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The Tree of Life, Icon of Animal Kingdom

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This one's for 'D' There Muz a Woos!

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Here's a handsome gent

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It's Tough to Be a Bug

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Nate's not sure about this

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Silly! Not 2 pair of specs!

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Bug-eyed Mama

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CindyB found us as we exited and at the Boneyard

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we found Shannon and her family.

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Mom talked to Cindy and Shannon while Nate climbed

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Hmmm a Santa-saurus? That's stretching it a bit

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The walkway between the boneyard and the Dig Site

Because I'm not very familiar with this park, yet, I opted to skip the safari even tho I really wanted to see it, with hopes that I might have time later.  We made our way instead to the Tree of Life to take in It's Tough to Be a Bug. Fortunately there wasn't a line per se, and I was able to enjoy some more of the sculpture on the tree.  I could probably spend an entire day just exploring the art in it's trunk and branches. Nate had been very tentative about almost all of the rides so far this trip for some reason, and the same held true for this show.   But once we started playing with our 'bug' glasses he loosened up.  I made sure he sat on my lap for the show, as I didn't want to fight fear the whole time we were here, and it went very well.  On our way out of the show I heard a voice behind me ask to see my lanyard.  I had the very great pleasure of turning to face CindyB.   What a nice lady she is.  Although I hadn't really ever had the chance to chat with her before, I felt like I had known her for years.  She was so warm and friendly.  Together we hiked over to the Boneyard hoping to meet her guys and anyone else who might be showing up.  I told her about my phone call to the Scottys, and she related the story of how both their families recently relocated to the area and ended up buying homes within about a block of each other simply by chance. (Does anyone besides me hear 'It's a Small World' playing?) Another great surprise waited at the Boneyard.  I we got to meet ShannonD and her hubby Mike, and each pointed out our respective boys as they darted in and out of the scaffolding.  I don't think the kids ever connected while there.  Nate had disappeared the moment we set foot in the play area, and I enjoyed several moments of adult conversation.  It felt like I imagine my mom used to feel when she and other moms in our neighborhood took us on joint outings to the township park.  We chatted about kids, and basic everyday life, very comfortable.

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Nate love the Dig Site

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If Mom would let him

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he'd spend hours moving

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the 'sand' from those 'bones'

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Mom likes the fact

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that the 'sand' is really little

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stones that make no mess

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Back in the Boneyard

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Nate poses with the Dinos

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Head in the T-Rex's mouth

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So many photo ops

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One last slide

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Themeing across the river

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Even the birdhouses love him

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More obvious security now

Nate, however had his heart set on digging up some mammoth bones and was chomping at the bit to move to the Dig Site.  So I said my 'See ya later at the Luncheons' to the ladies and Mike and we climbed the stairway and crossed over to excavation central.  I love this sandbox!  In fact, all sandboxes should be made with these tiny stones.  Except for castles, it appears they behave like sand for play purposes, and don't have the sticky quality that beach sand does.  I could deal well with a sandbox like this.  Okay, maybe not this big, or bony.  Nate made some new buddies in short order and was happily playing for quite awhile when I realized that if I wanted to see the Lion King show, we had to move it.    We did, but still didn't quite make it in time, due to my lousy sense of direction and still had to wait till the next show.  No problem, I declared it snack time and we snagged a couple bottles of water and some giant cookies.   All was well.

For some reason, Nate isn't crazy about the chaos that surrounds characters when they are out in the parks, so we watched them in Camp Minnie Mickey for a bit while eating our treats and then explored in the area before we got in line for the next show.  Thus began my first close encounter of the Brazilian kind.  We were calmly standing in place as instructed by the CM when a group of 3 ladies nearly knocked Nate over pushing past us.  Suddenly up pops a yellow flag, and the group immediately ahead of us all start waving and hollering every couple of minutes to passersby.  Next thing we know, these passersby are passing us by and joining the steadily growing group.  I actually had to pick Nate up and carry him to avoid him being stepped on or knocked down.  Two very nice ladies just behind us were kind enough to help run interference with me and we kept him from being hurt.  I know that there is plenty of room for all of us in this show, so that wasn't really an issue, but the rude way we were shoved aside, and the threat of injury to my son put me in a bit of a nasty mood.  We heard the CM ask us to please fill in the empty areas up front to accommodate more guests, but the tour group did not.  My allies and I did a sneak attack and actually put a bit of distance between us complying with this request.   Nate and I snagged seats about halfway up on the exit end of the row in the Pumbaa (Warthog) section and I got the camcorder ready while we waited.  I had tried to tape the show a year ago, but the sound didn't record and somehow my video was lacking due to that, so I would tape, and Nate was going to take some still pictures.  What a great show!

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After the Boneyard

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We made our way over

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To Camp Minnie Mickey

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For the Lion King Show

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Mom ran the camcorder

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while Nate took these shots


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Not bad for a 4 year old


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We got a good video too!

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Thank you Dr. Howie for this great Mickey Hug!

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Mom was so busy talking

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to clubhouse friends

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that she didn't take pictures

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but Nate picked up for her

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and he got some good ones

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a sneak shot of Mom too

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So many people to meet

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so little time to do it

After the inhabitants of the jungle were finished impressing us, it was time to hurry back to our room and get ready for the luncheon.  I was hoping that I hadn't missed an email from anyone instructing us to be there earlier as I had volunteered to help with the kids' area and to be a greeter for Deb, but hadn't heard from anyone.  Upon arrival at the room for a quick spit and polish we had received a message that did indeed request our presence a bit earlier.   Ruh Roh!  So we skipped the spit and did a very quick polish and ran out the door.  We barely made it by 1pm due to a very friendly security guard at the entrance to the Polynesian who tried to talk our ears off.  He was a dear, and obviously had advance knowledge of our group as he insisted on asking several questions before giving me a verbal tour of the resort.  We finally bid him good-bye and found what I think was the last space in the parking lot.  Running up to the door of Tangaroa Terrace we saw most everyone had gone inside already and some were skipping the 'social hour' and getting down to the business of lunch.  We made a quick stop at the sign in table and met Pockets and hubby, Steph and Kat were there, but so very busy that I didn't get to really meet either of them properly, and frankly missed picking up a name from the Wish You Were Here list as I had planned.  My helper average was lousy for this one, and I apologize to all of you.  I don't know if I missed information or what exactly happened, but even helping Linnie out fell thru and I had to laugh as I received an email telling me to contact her and pick a time as the meet was getting closer, two weeks after we got home that is.  I had my laptop with me on the trip, and was checking it daily, so I know it didn't come sooner.  In my cold remedy induced stupor, I went into overload almost immediately and fortunately found seats at the first table we came too.  

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ShannonD and her boys

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Doc spun around durn it.

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Paige, Deb, and Tink

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Peggo, Mickey and Y

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Nate with pal Duchess

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The Boos Alan and Ahnalira

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Group shots taken by a CM

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Mom tried to enlarge some

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to get a better view of faces

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But some were cut off

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by the CM so if you aren't

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in the shots, Mom's so sorry

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What a gorgeous group!

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Nate flirting yet again

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Ms. Rita and my dear friend LindaB

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Tink1 and Sir Scotty

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Mahalo Polynesian!

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Morgan, Nate and Jeremy became fast friends

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Nate misses you guys!

We had the honor of sharing a table with Peggo and Y, Pope Buck, and MargaretJ and her son Matt.  Margaret was another lady I hadn't really conversed with before, and that is truly my loss as she is a dear.    As soon as we sat down the surprise our message in the room had promised arrived.  Mickey!!!.  I was told that the person arranging this wanted to remain anonymouse, but it didn't stay secret long.  Thank you so much Dr. Howie for this gift.  The smile I saw on Nate's face as he hugged Mickey will be in my memory forever.   The luncheon is actually a blur to me.  I met so many people, but most were unfortunately a quick "You're ______! Oh my gosh! It's so great to finally meet you!"  Then I usually asked if they were hug-friendly or a shaker (that is if I wasn't already involved in a bear-hug) and nine times out of ten someone else had walked up and it all started over again.  So I really didn't get to talk to people as much as I would have liked.  There was another disadvantage that was hampering this too.  My voice was gone.  It deserted me completely.  Here I was, finally in the same real world room with these people who had become so important to me online, with a chance to sit and talk to them, and I couldn't talk.  Durn it, Mr. Murphy, must you follow me around ALL the time? I wanted to hug all the kids I'd heard so much about, especially the babies, Kerrigan and Carson and little Theo, but didn't want to pass on this nasty bug to them.  I tried to make the rounds as much as possible and as a result really don't remember what, if anything I ate.  I know I went to the buffet line and it was beautiful! Thanks so much Deb for all your wonderful and I know very frustrating work on this.  I remember a couple of minutes with PammyK and a couple with Susan3,  another wonderful hug from LindaB (and one to go-thanks my friend!)  It was about then that I remembered that I had a little token to pass out too.  I suffer from CRS (Can't Remember Stuff) most of the time.  So I grabbed the bag and began using the little CD's I'd made up as an excuse to try to meet even more folks.  Soon after that we were required outside for the official photo shoot.   By the time it was done, my cheeks hurt both from smiling and from sitting on the concrete :o) and I can only imagine how funny the video that LB was taking turned out with all of us repeating "123 Mickey" over and over and over and....well you get the idea.  People seemed to get the idea that it was time to go soon after that, and began to drift off.  Spotting Dr. Howie and his family in the lobby area I made a bee-line to introduce myself and thank him for the gift of Mickey, and folks I didn't need to ask the "hug" question.  Howie is definately a hugger! and as warm and wonderful in person as online. (see a repeating theme in that comment?)  The warmth we see in his posts especially in regard to his ladies, Susan and Sarah comes thru clearly when you watch them together.

It was a lot quieter in Tagaroa Terrace as I walked back in to find out where my lil punkin went.  He and his buddies Jeremy and Morgan were playing harmlessly so I looked for another introduction victim.  That's when I spotted Ms. Rita, and she wasn't mobbed.  (insert repeating theme yet again)   What a nice lady.  From my observation she was somewhat quiet and reserved, but very warm and approachable.  The impression I got was that she was a lady you could be comfortable sitting quietly and chatting with, or cutting loose and getting a bit nuts with.  All I know, is that despite it being virtually a first meeting, I felt like I was with an old friend.    Right after this was when I got bit by another contagious bug.  Rich and Mellany.  They had gotten engaged the night prior and were literally bubbling with excitement.  Personally, I think that since they got us all involved in this event from the beginning, they owe it to the clubhouse to simulcast the wedding on videocam.    Ahhh, I met so many others, Dippy Dog and his wife Laura, Mal and her minions, SammieG, Richard and Theo, of course Deb and LB, and Tink1 (had to meet her on my hubby's insistence!)Linnie, and others I'm still forgetting.   Then there were those I missed out on that I had vowed to meet. (everyone!!!) I had wanted to hug the Fairy Godmother herself Ahnalira, and although I saw the Boos across the room, I missed the opportunity.  GrannyBabe, I missed you and was so looking forward to it, and kingdom (what kingdom?) for more time!   The room was nearly empty by now, and sadly it was time to go.  The kids Jeremy, Morgan and Nate were still going strong tho, and Scotty suggested pictures of our 3 Mouseketeers, so we wandered outside to do this.  As the little ones played we bigger kids talked of kids and homes and lives, and how special this whole clubhouse community is.  Scotty, Susan, Bill and Wendy, thanks for helping prolong that wonderful afternoon.   I walked away with a little tear in my eye knowing that while other meets will happen, odds were pretty good that it won't be quite like this one.   I feel lucky to have been a part of it.

I had wanted to go see the Osborne Lights that evening, but the cold was definitely winning, and Nate really wanted to go swimming again while the weather was close to warm enough.  I took him to the Swimmin' Hole and Old Man Island this time and actually braved the pool myself, although only to keep him in sight.  It was pretty chilly so we didn't stay very long, and made our way back to the room to relax.  After a couple of hours Nate was hungry, so we ordered a pizza.  He passed out, and I hopped in the Jacuzzi for a bit.  My northern neighbor Julie was there and she and the rest of that nights' Babes began a round of 20 questions as to the events of the day.  It was fun trying to answer them all, but honestly my brains were in a state of overload, and completely scrambled so I doubt I made much sense. but it didn't seem to slow down the  questions.  Made my exit after a bit and fell into a deep Nyquil enhanced sleep.

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A 'hidden' Mickey

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Polynesian landscaping

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Mom's favorite resort

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Thank you for the goodies everyone!

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We were both pretty worn out

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We wandered a bit

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getting to know Dixie

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a little better

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What a pretty resort

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Nate wanted to swim again

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Old Man Island this time

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We took the long way back

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and made plans for the night

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and the next morning

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Pizza delivery was dinner

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A view of Oak Manor

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Where Mom and Ed dad met

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A surprise from Shawn our housekeeper

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Nate and his new pal Mowen from Dinoland

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