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Thread: Steve Russo - April 2-12, 2019 - Boardwalk Villas, Disney's Swan, Bay Lake Tower

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    Steve Russo - April 2-12, 2019 - Boardwalk Villas, Disney's Swan, Bay Lake Tower

    Its Been a Year???
    April 2-12, 2019
    Boardwalk Villas, Walt Disney World Swan, Bay Lake Towers

    Participants

    Steve and Barb Yeah, just us again.

    Background and (more) Health Issues
    Here we go. If you dont enjoy a few dozen details on resort reservations and health issues, please skip ahead.

    If you remember, we renewed our Annual Passes at the end of our trip in February 2018. The plan was to use them for a shorter trip in April for the Flower and Garden Festival; then a second trip near the end of the Food and Wine Festival in November; followed by a lengthy third trip in January 2019 one that would include some time with our daughter Stephanie, her husband and our two grandsons, PJ and Sean. So what happened?

    We visited on a 6-night trip in April, during the Flower and Garden Festival. Other than that, I continued my monthly Chemotherapy sessions and then Barb received a breast cancer diagnosis in the fall. Her needs for testing, surgery, radiation and doctors visits forced cancelation of both of our planned trips. We spent most of November to January traveling to and from hospitals and doctors offices and trying to keep her as healthy as we could. Now, the bottom line is that shes done great and is now repositioning doctor visits to every 6 months.

    How am I doing? Fine and thanks for asking. I still carry my Glioblastoma (unfortunately, theres no escaping that) but December was my 16th and final (?) Chemotherapy session. Im still repeatedly tired and my brain doesnt support what it once did but hey, screw crossword puzzles - I can go to Disney, right?

    I should, however, inform you that youre about to see many nap references. I apologize but each day I (sometimes we) require a 30-45 minute nap. Ive been through six weeks of Radiation and 19 months of Chemotherapy. Thats five days of Chemo every 28 days. Im tired

    While we still had some risk of having to cancel this trip based upon testing and doctors visits, we contacted DVC to see what we could do.

    Thanks Disney:
    After canceling all our earlier trips, we learned there was not much available in post-February Walt Disney World resorts. I spent more than a few minutes with a lovely young DVC woman who did find us a week at a mix of resorts including Bay Lake Tower and the Boardwalk. Sold!

    Next, I contacted Disney about our Annual Passes. As I mentioned, I renewed them for a year hoping to get trips in April, November, and then a longer trip in January. I explained our situation with as much emphasize on Glioblastoma and Breast Cancer as I could muster yeah, Im that cheap. After a few minutes on hold, we were given an additional year (through February 2, 2020) at no additional charge! Honestly, I was hoping for one additional trip but this was awesome. I must have thanked this young woman a dozen times.

    Airfare:
    It was easy to turn two roundtrip Southwest flights in November and January to just one in April. We have some leftover dollars that will expire but Im okay with that.

    Resorts:
    Two things occurred to us: 1) the latter part of our scheduled trip has a few days that would be unavailable to our Gold Annual Pass (Blackout Days), and; 2) Christopher Cross is playing in the Garden Rocks Concert series at the Flower and Garden Special on April 3 and 4. Now, I should tell you that Christopher Cross is not my favorite singer/musician of all time but I do like his music. We also caught his show at the Food and Wine Festival a couple of years ago and he was great. So

    I canceled the Boardwalk rooms, on DVC points, at the end of our stay and replaced it with some earlier cash rooms at Coronado Springs. In the coming weeks, I found a similar deal (slightly higher) at the Dolphin and, because that fulfills my Crescent Lake Snobbery, I booked it. A few days later, I rebooked at the Swan for a cheaper price. By the way, our price of $203 per night has since risen to over $600. The Swan/Dolphin seems to be a funny resort that prices completely on the availability of rooms. Our DVC room at the Bay Lake Tower stayed intact.

    To go with all of the above, I waitlisted the Boardwalk Resort but, unfortunately, that never happened. What did happen was a Boardwalk room coming available on April 2. Yes, its two moves but it does give us airport transportation in both directions. The bottom line is one night at the Boardwalk, followed by four nights at the Swan and five nights at Bay Lake Towers. Phew! Got all that?

    The Trip:
    This trip falls about one year since our last one. Yeah an entire freakin year! The springtime trip is not something that Im used to and Im absolutely convinced Barb selected last year as a final farewell for Walt Disney World and me. Hah! A year later and Im still here.

    Spring in the Northeast has been awful (as usual, lately) cold, rain, ice and snow. Im ready for a trip to warm and sunny Orlando.

    Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Attacked By a Seagull

    Were out the door at 8:30am for our 11:20am flight. Our daughter, Michelle, has graciously agreed to pick up our car for us later in the day. Surprisingly, I find easy indoor parking at the airport and we make a quick trip inside to the Southwest counter. There is literally no one in line. Thats two quick moments in a row for us. We check our two bags in about 60 seconds and head upstairs to the Security check-in.

    Somehow, the gods have worked against us and we were not able to secure a TSA-Pre tag on our passes but there is literally no line at TSA. Ive never had this kind of airport luck before. The TSA agent actually helped us through the security check-in.

    Ours is a full flight but it does leave on time. We have Boarding Passes A25 and A26 but the mass of humanity in front of us steals the two-seat Security row that we usually get. We share our three-seat row with an older man who seems nice and sleeps most of the trip.

    We land on time and find no line at Magical Express. None. Zip. We were here last April and there must have been 200 people waiting for buses.

    We board a bus within a few minutes. This trip is going way too smoothly, but we do have to wait for a few riders heading to the Caribbean Beach. As we entered Disney property, a seagull attacks our bus. No kidding. Im not sure what to make of this but it does seem a bit negative.

    While on route, I receive a text from Disney that our room, number 2086, is ready. I think seriously about buying a Lottery ticket. Our room is a standard DVC room with a main pool view. The view is certainly nice but, honestly, I really dont need to watch people poolside. We freshen up a bit, change into the shorts that I folded into our carry-on bag and headed out to lunch/dinner. I had a bagel and coffee for breakfast (about 10 hours ago) while Barb is existing on last nights dinner. Were both ready for some food.

    Were off to ESPN at 4:15. Its warm on the walk over but the beers are cold. I have a Cigar Hai Lai IPA while Barb has her favorite, a Stella Artois. Its a Grilled Chicken sandwich with a cucumber salad for me while Barb opts for the Wedge Salad. Both were good but I think we were hungry enough that anything would have been great. We also got very lucky in that our last renewed Tables in Wonderland card is good through May. Im getting serious about that Lottery card.

    Thirst and hunger clenched, we walked over to Disneys Hollywood Studios and the first thing we notice is practice going on for the Skyliner. Ive heard and read many negative comments on this but, honestly, it really doesnt bother me. I know Disney has to do something to ease the crowded bus lines and the crowding of all the roads and Im not sure what might have been a better solution. Plus most of my stays are at the Boardwalk so I dont expect to spend much time riding.

    We use our FastPass to ride Toy Story Midway Mania but still endure a 15-minute wait. It seems very crowded in Toy Story Land. Our next stop is the Frozen show where theres a new cast (the guy is really good) and a few new and funny lines. Ive always enjoyed this show and Disney seems to be keeping it going.

    Have I mentioned my arthritic knees? No? Really? Ive told everyone. Theyre bad, particularly the right one. I can walk okay but not with the distance I once had. Going up and down stairs is a real chore (such as the internal climb in Toy Story Midway Mania). I actually have issues with the climb into and out of a bus although the climb out is actually worse. About a week ago, I had steroid injections into both knees and they are improved but Im forced to take it easy. For this reason, the boat has become a larger part of my life and we board a waiting one (yes, Im having a really lucky day with waits) back to the Boardwalk. We head right to Ample Creamery for dessert, a single scoop chocolate and vanilla Ill let you guess who gets the chocolate.

    Semi-exhausted but with a stomach full of ice cream, we head to our room where we find our luggage was delivered. We use a set of Samsonite luggage, two suitcases, and I have them configured the same way. Why are they configured? Ive had a number of problems over the years with my luggage being lost or semi-destroyed by airline workers. Each suitcase has a Mickey tag (a gift from our son) with our name, address and phone number inside it (remember the lost bags). I also have a TSA approved lock holding together the main zippers the ones securing the major part of the suitcase. When we begin unpacking, I notice that my case is missing the lock. I then find that only one zipper is functional and the other is now attached to only one side so its worthless. I also see that the Mickey tag is now missing the clear plastic label and the ID. If youve ever seen one of these, you would never expect it to be torn out. Someone did some real damage here and, to top it off, I see that the locked zippers I always secure in the middle are pulled all the way to the back and side. Someone saw what happened and at least tried to keep all the items from falling out.

    I spent a few minutes attempting to reattach the zipper but without having any tools I gave up. Ill give it another shot tomorrow.

    Things I Think I Think:

    I think a year is too long for us to wait between visits.
    I think Ive never had a day with so many things being so well timed for us.
    I think I will always enjoy staying at the Boardwalk (but were moving tomorrow).
    I think Ive had airline employees bang up my luggage before but never this bad.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2019 The Swan, Christopher Cross and a Barrel-Aged Manhattan

    We were in bed by 9:00pm and slept well. Barb gets us coffee and muffins from the Belle Vue room while I try again, unsuccessfully, on my suitcase.

    We only unpacked slightly for the one night at the Boardwalk so the repacking was simple. We wheel our luggage out the front door and get a taxi to the Swan for $5.00.

    Our room isnt ready so we store our luggage with their Baggage staff. I ask one of the baggage experts there about the damage to my suitcase but he basically wants nothing to do with it. Not even a suggestion. We catch a boat to Epcot. Our first attraction is a favorite the Pixar Short Film Festival in Imagination. I was slightly upset that they havent changed the films in the last year but I still enjoy them.

    Next was a ride, using our FastPass, on Soarin. This has been my favorite Epcot ride since it started years ago. Dont hate me but its losing its luster for me. I think I prefer the original Soarin Over California to this flight over the world with some serious issues with alignment. Unless youre dead center, the view of most items is severely bent.

    We had set a brief meet-up with a great RADP friend, Sandi Femino, and we met her by the entrance to World Showcase. At her advice, we picked up our free magnetic Plutos and then headed to France for lunch at the Boulangerie Patisserie. The food here is decent (a Poulet au Pistou for me and two Quiche Lorraines for the ladies) and its a great place to sit and chat for a while. Did I mention Sandi brought me Chocolate Fudge? She almost always does even though I tell her she has to stop. She brought something for Barb too but, hey, I got fudge.

    We chat for over an hour and then Sandi has some places to visit and I get a text that room 215 is ready. We say our goodbyes and Barb and I head back to the Swan. We unpack everything here and rest up for a while. Our room here was originally scheduled for no view which looked to me like a window with a drawing on it. I do, however, have a Titanium Elite Marriott membership (I kid you not on that title) which gets me some free stuff in this case, it raised us up a few floors and gave us a sliding door and a balcony with a view. The room itself is nice similar to a DVC room but different if that makes any sense.

    At about 4:30 we head back to Epcot where we stop at the Rose and Crown. Our order here is always the same - a Black and Tan for me and a Carls Combo for Barb. When we finish, we head over to the American Adventure to catch Christopher Cross. Were just a few minutes late for seats so we sit on a concrete wall until enough people step out and we grab seats for the last three songs. I did mention I really enjoy his music, right?

    Whats hard to imagine here are that many people pay an extra $15-$20 for a meal so they can receive a ticket to stand in line here for twenty minutes to get a seat. Its only a 30-35 minutes show (three times per evening) but I always see many people leave after 20 minutes. For some reason, leaving amidst a small crowd is painful to many people. Were there for the 5:30 show and, while were watching, I see people getting in line for the show at 6:30. I just cant understand this.

    We exit (after the show) and shop a bit at the Boardwalk. Its then back to the room to freshen up before heading to Todd English's bluezoo restaurant at the Dolphin. Weve had dinner here once, and it was very good, but our favorite is to grab a table in the bar for drinks and order dinner in the way of a couple of appetizers. Their Barrel-Aged Manhattans are the best and so was the Fish and Chips and the Olives Flat Bread. The only downside tonight was the place was full of visiting employee conference types and it was extremely loud.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think the Swan resort is a very nice facility but I think I prefer the Dolphin even though Ive never stayed there.
    I think the Swan luggage staff is locked into their jobs with no desire to help on issues. I think Ill ask for help when we get to Bay Lake Tower.
    Ive always loved our sessions with Sandi. No need for a think here.
    I think Ive tired of Soarin and that upsets me.
    I think I like the bluezoo.
    I think I really like the Barrel-Aged Manhattan.

    Thursday, April 4, 2019 Southwest Lets Me Down But Not the Fountain

    I expect that the damage to my suitcase was caused by loading it on or off the plane. On the other hand, it could have been the load on or off the Disney delivery truck. It could have been the delivery to our room but thats a bit of a reach. Either way, that means it was damaged by Southwest or Disney and I have no way of knowing who. I called Southwest and learned they will only accept the damage if I report it within four hours of exiting the flight. I explain that I never even saw the luggage within four hours but that has no affect. I express my unhappiness and file a complaint but I dont think that will help at all.

    Were off to Disneys Hollywood Studios to use our FastPass on Tower of Terror. I still love this ride but, for the first time in a long time, I had to hold on during the drops. I was being lifted significantly off the seat and the drop was delivering, Ill try to be polite here, a pain on my butt. I guess I can verify Im getting older.

    Next was a ride on Star Tours, a view of MuppetVision 3D, and then a second ride on Star Tours with our FastPass.

    We shopped a bit and then headed back to the Boardwalk area and Big River for lunch. The first thing I noticed is that their beer menu has changed. Not better, not worse just changed. Barb had a Southern Flyer Light Lager while I had a House Brand IPA. Both were very good. I ordered the burger and while it was very good, its still falling below my Best Ever list. I really dont know if the fault is theirs or mine. Barb had a grilled chicken sandwich, which she enjoyed.

    To the room for a nap. My legs are really hurting and Im not sure why. It likely has something to do with the fact that I used to walk 4 miles, 3 or 4 times a week, and now I walk from the living room to the kitchen. At any rate, were hitting 4-6 miles per day down here and my legs are complaining. I did some walking and bike riding before the trip, trying to back into reasonable walking shape, but I apparently failed.

    Barb deals with someone on the phone so our Green room registration stays Green but someone empties our trash and we get towels (they actually delivered about eight new towels and washcloths, which are far more than we need).

    We catch a boat to Epcot and Im surprised at how full it is standing room only. What doesnt surprise me are the number of teens, boys and girls, that are seated while older folks, women holding small babies, etc. are standing. I normally stare down at them to shame them into offering their seat but just about everyone is fixated on their phone not even looking up.

    We get to another Christopher Cross show this time entering a few minutes earlier and getting a nice sixth row seat just off the center. After enjoying the show, we opt for another shared dinner, this time it was egg rolls and pot stickers from the Lotus Blossom Caf.

    After (how can I call this snack) dinner, we walked back to catch the 6:30 Christopher Cross show. The seating was a little easier here and the show was another great one. CC thanked us again at the end of the show and we decided to finish our dinner with dessert ice cream at the Fountain. Specifically, Hot Fudge Sundaes. This never disappoints.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think the Swan could have been more specific when signing us up for the Green Room.
    I think I still really enjoy Tower of Terror.
    I think I really enjoy Christopher Cross. I was also very impressed by his musicians and backup singers.
    I think Southwest has me POed for what may be the first time. They did nothing to help a guest with damaged luggage.
    I think that one of the attractions to the Swan/Dolphin is the restaurants.

    Friday, April 5, 2019 Lions and Tigers and Bears Okay, Lions Anyway

    We wake up to some rain and thunder. We spend a bit more room time to let the storms clear and leave at 10:00 through a short spit of rain. Our bus to Animal Kingdom is listed to arrive at 10:13, then 10:18, then 10:25 and finally it shows at 10:30. We make a stop for passengers at the Dolphin then arrive at Animal Kingdom at 11:00. One hour for travel is way too long.

    We first enjoy a great Safari ride - quite possibly our best ever. We had a number of lengthy stops due to animals standing in our way but, in todays view, we were surrounded by a bunch of giraffes and two rhinos so the delays were appreciated. We saw several elephants including the newest addition the baby. We even saw two lions the female looking back at us on top of the rock with the male sleeping down lower. Yes, Im aware that Im starting to act like a male lion.

    Lunch was at Pizzafari where we split a Caesar salad and small pizza. We shared the lunch trying to go a little lighter to handle a larger dinner tonight.

    Our daughter, Michelle, had expressed interest in an Annual Kingdom mug and we found one in the Starbucks Creature Comforts. Done.

    Next up was a Lion King show, which never disappoints, and then a use of our FastPass for a ride on Avatars Flight of Passage. We walked in (uphill, a bit painful and slow for me) with zero people in front of us. Ive never seen that before. It was, like always, a great ride.

    On the way out, a person near us says his Standby wait was only 91 minutes. He once waited over 3 hours. I love this ride but honestly Id probably give it 30-40 minutes max maybe less.

    The temperature is up near 85 today as we make the bus ride home. I grab a quick nap at 3:00.

    We adjusted some reservations and made tonights dinner at Il Mulino at the Swan. Weve never eaten there, we almost always love Italian food and Ive heard some positive comments. Dinner was scheduled for 6:00 and we arrived at the bar at 5:00. The bar is very nice and my typical Manhattan (and Barbs gin and tonic) were very good and came in glasses Ive never seen before. The best description I can offer is that the glasses are sloped (curved?) from bottom to top. Very cool and I really liked them and the drink.

    Dinner was a Pollo Parmigiana (Chicken Parm) for Barb and a Pollo Fra Diavolo (Chicken and Sausage with a very spicy sauce) for me. Both were slightly more expensive than back home and unlike any Italian restaurant Ive ever visited, included no pasta. We both missed that. Heck, Barbs chicken was huge and completely filled an entire plate but it was only one item for dinner. She ate less than half. I enjoyed the Fra Diavolo but could have welcomed a side dish of spaghetti or tortellini or The restaurant was nice and the food was acceptable but well likely never be back based on how we felt about the makeup of dinner.

    We headed out for a lengthy walk around the pool area then around the resort. My legs were doing a bit better, something Ill attribute to Italian food.

    Back at the room, we opened a bottle of wine and had a glass on our deck. I also learned that it snowed, only 1-3, back home. It was 65 degrees there two days ago. I guess this has become our Upstate New York Spring.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think Ill ask the staff at Bay Lake if they can fix a suitcase zipper.
    I think the Safari and Avatar ride were the highlights of our day.
    I think were likely done with Il Mulino.

    Saturday, April 6, 2019 Prom Night at the Swan

    There was lots of noise last night and it affected Barbs sleeping. Me? I seem to hear almost nothing these days.

    Did I mention that the Swan and Dolphin charge a daily resort fee of $30 plus tax? Its added to the room rate and includes enhanced high-speed Internet in the guest room, two bottles of water per day and more. I dont get what the and more means and I really dont understand how any of this is worth $30.

    We take the boat to Epcot at 9:00 and use a FastPass to ride Soarin with no line but a slight wait to board. We follow the ride with a breakfast of egg sandwiches at the Sunshine Seasons restaurant. Barb had a coffee and I had a small orange juice. Did you know they get $5 for a small orange juice? Arent oranges free in Florida?

    Were out to walk across to Mission: Space green I cant handle the full ride anymore. Theres an Asian couple teamed with us that I fear has no idea what to expect. Theyre placed in row 5 (which houses 4 people) and line up in the back so we had to get around them when also assigned to row five. When we board, hes very slow and Barb notices he grabs a barf bag (is there a better word for that thing?) and carries it on his lap for the entire ride. He was smiling at the end.

    Its back to Imagination and another view of the Pixar Short Film Festival. I know. You can make fun of me for this but I really like them and its a great attraction to relax for 20-25 minutes.

    We head up to World Showcase and theres a chance we could meet up with Sue Rayford and family. I know shes here but heading to Animal Kingdom just after noon. I text but theres no reply so I assume theyve made the transfer to Animal Kingdom and we head past Canada and the UK to exit Epcot. Sue does reply but theyre by Mexico and were already at the exit and, honestly, my knees dont feel up to making that walk back. It would have been great for another meeting (we met at the Beach Club one year ago) but hopefully next time.

    We take the boat to the Boardwalk (I told you my knees hurt) and check in for a beer at Big River (the same as the previous visit). That helps us cool down and, when finished, we walk to the Swan and our room, which is finally cleaned. We expected trash removal and fresh towels each day and it now appears we have it.

    We nap and spend some time watching the Mets game. I cant explain this but all of a sudden, my knees are feeling better. Theyre obviously not great but significantly better than any time this week including this morning. I cant figure it out but Im not complaining.

    Its very hot out (near 90) with storms predicted so we opt for Todd Englishs bluezoo and a similar meal to last time. Our server actually remembers us and tells us how less noisy it will be minus the business crowds there earlier in the week. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy their Barrel-Aged Manhattan? After dinner, its another long walk around the hotels and pools. No storms yet but you can feel its on the way.

    The Seminole High School Senior Prom is here, noisy and theyre all playing around. I cant believe how much different these kids look, and are dressed, than those at my high school prom. They look like theyre in their 20s. We sat outside on our deck with a glass of wine watching the prom goers and the approaching lightening.

    Were checking out tomorrow morning and heading to Bay Lake Tower so we did some packing. Ill have them check my suitcase tomorrow and Ill buy a new one if they cant fix it. Ive already found a very close Samsonite on Amazon and they can ship it here in two days.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I enjoyed the Swan but theres something there thats non-Disney like.
    I think Im looking forward to Bay Lake Tower. Weve stayed there before but its been a while.
    I think teenagers have somehow aged.
    I think I really like the Barrel-Aged Manhattan.

    Sunday, April 7, 2019 Welcome to Bay Lake Tower

    First I find that the Swan charged us only $12 (and change) for the daily resort fee not $30. Is that because of my Titanium Elite status? Who knows but Im not complaining.

    We exit out front and ask for a taxi to Bay Lake Tower. A driver, in a large SUV, pulls up. In 15 minutes, we reach Bay Lake and Im told the cost is $31. Huh? Im pretty sure my last ride here was something like $16-$18 but Im informed that was likely in a smaller vehicle. Well, I didnt request a vehicle that would seat six but there was really no way to argue so I paid the fare, and tipped the driver.

    Our room is not yet ready so we check our luggage out front. I ask the CM working there about my suitcase but she really doesnt think they can do anything. Inside, I check with a CM at the front desk and explain my suitcase issue. She (very quietly) suggests I check with resort management for broken luggage. She knows theyve replaced similar damaged items.

    We have FastPasses at Animal Kingdom today so we head out to the bus stop at the Contemporary. Its about a 20-minute wait for a bus, then a 40-minute ride to Animal Kingdom - thanks mostly to todays marathon clogging traffic.

    We enter the park with a fairly large crowd and decide to start with a late breakfast at Starbucks Creature Comforts. Have I mentioned Im not a Starbucks fan? We order a large coffee (with 2 cups so we can share) and our usual egg sandwiches. We pay the check and get our coffee in about 90 seconds. Barb heads out to find us a table and I wait for the eggs. And wait. They arrive in ten minutes.

    We shop a bit then enter Avatars Flight of Passage 15 minutes before our FastPass time. I fully expect this not to work but it did. Have I mentioned that we both think this is a great ride?

    This was our only plan at Animal Kingdom so we grab a bus to Magic Kingdom. We have a policy of getting Mickey Ears for each of our grandchildren (who now total seven!). Our newest granddaughter, Olivia, needs hers. We used to buy them at a shop in Disneys Hollywood Studios but we were told they no longer provide a name on the hat. Apparently, the only place to get a named Mickey Ear is now Magic Kingdom (and Disney Springs?). This takes only about 15-minutes and were off to the Contemporarys Outer Rim bar for a cold beer. I really dont drink much beer any more (seriously) but theres something nice about an ice-cold brew when its 85-90 degrees so Anyway, Im drinking more beer down here.

    While sipping (and waiting for our room to be ready) we see a family with matching t-shirts enter. Theyre very nice black shirts with white Disney lettering, and each one has the persons name. I notice the older gentleman wearing a Pop Pop shirt and, since most of my grandchildren refer to me as Pop Pop, I decide a need one.

    We finish the beers and shop for coffee filters and breakfast items then head over to Bay Lake. Still no rooms yet so we sit by the pool for a while, then move back inside where its a bit cooler. I check with a Front Desk CM and Im told the rooms are guaranteed to be available between 4:00-5:00pm. What? I know my brain isnt what it used to be but hasnt the time always been 4:00 or earlier? Im told Im wrong but Im questioning this.

    At exactly 4:00, I receive a text that room 7908 is ready. Its on the ninth floor and offers a really great view of Bay Lake on the right and Magic Kingdom on the left. I really enjoy the rooms here but I know many people complain about the size. Ill offer my take The rooms are roughly the same size as the Boardwalk, Beach Club, etc. but they are arranged differently. The bedroom area is smaller, the bathroom is larger and the kitchen area is a complete room. I think its great for a couple but if youve got a child or two, it may feel a bit crowded. And I love the Top Of the World bar, the proximity to the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary and the availability of the Monorail.

    We unpack and I contact a manager on the phone. She listens, places me on hold for a few minutes, and then asks me to bring the suitcase to the Contemporary Front Desk for a review. Barb starts a little laundry and I roll the broken suitcase to the Contemporarys front desk. The CM there reviews it and says I should get a free replacement. God I love Disney but I tell her that Im not sure where the damage was done and Im a little upset with how Southwest handled this. Not to worry and we spend a few minutes locating a close matching suitcase online. When were done, she does tell me to ask at Bell Services to see if they can do anything.

    I check there and get a guy who gives it a great shot, using a few tools, a second employee, and then a third manager to hold a flashlight. In about 30 minutes, they get it to work but he does tell me theres no guarantee on how long itll last. Im thankful but still looking forward to a new one.

    We head up to the Top of the World for another shared appetizers dinner. As you can see, this is sort of a thing for us. We spent some time walking around up there. Its really a beautiful view.

    We went back to our room in time to watch the 9:15 Magic Kingdom fireworks from our balcony. Its a great view and you can actually pick up the sound by tuning your television to channel 105. Were happy, tired and in bed by 10:15.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I enjoyed the Swan but really enjoy Bay Lake Tower.
    I think I need a Disney t-shirt that says Pop Pop.
    I think Im impressed at how Disney handled my broken suitcase especially since the cause of damage may have been Southwest.
    I think I enjoy Top of the World for the drinks, food and, especially, the view.
    I think its great to have a complete view of the fireworks from your room balcony.

    Monday, April 8, 2019 Oh, Ive Seen Fire and Ive Seen Rain

    We wake up just before 2:00am to the sound of our fire alarm speaker telling us to get out. Huh? I can recall this happening once before to me in a Connecticut hotel sometime in the early 1980s. It takes a few seconds to get your thinking straight but we toss on some clothes, some shoes and remember to grab our Magic Bands. I guess thats just in case we want to enter Magic Kingdom but its also to gain re-entry to our room.

    When you have bad knees, its a tough thing to drop nine floors on the stairs. My knees had started to improve yesterday but this wasnt going to be easy or helpful. Barb kept waiting on me as I told her to just go ahead Ill catch up eventually. Luckily, I have very long arms that gave me the ability to move down the stairs while holding on to both railings.

    We moved outside with a bunch of others by the pool and took up a couple of chairs. No one seemed to know what was going on but I did notice blinking lights on only a couple of floors. At around 2:30, an announcement to reenter the building was made so we joined others in using the elevators to return. I did notice that everyone seemed to be going to floors 9 and 10. We were told later that the problem was caused by one idiot who pulled the pin from a fire extinguisher to See what it would do. Only 2-3 floors had to evacuate. Were back in the room by 2:30 but sleep was a long way away.

    We slept a bit later and took our time getting ready. We walked to Magic Kingdom and made it to Big Thunder Mountain by 10:00 (our FastPass was for 9:15-10:15) and got last row seating. Sitting all the way back does offer a much faster ride.

    Next up was a planned meet with Mark Fendrick and Bob Meddaugh (both of RADP fame). We made it to the Train Station by 10:45. Mark was there waiting and Bob arrived a few minutes later. We met last January and again in April so its hard to believe wed have anything to say but we did. We enjoyed a great chat for a little over an hour, took a few photos and then said our goodbyes. I cant explain this but its always nice meeting up with some fellow RADPers.

    Barb and I walked up to Mickeys Philharmagic and found it was packed with people. Now, as Ive aged ever so slightly, I find that more and more things just piss me off (please excuse my language but its needed here). Most of it has to do with the way people drive, walk or simply act like theyre the only important thing in the world. At Disney World, most of my anger goes for the way people select seats in crowded rides or theaters. A young couple cuts in front of me to position themselves by the entry door. They obviously want to be the first into the theater, sit in seats at the dead center of the room and force everyone else to step over them to get through to a seat. Here, the CMs are enforcing the Move all the way to the end of the row so I watch as these two special people go all the way through, step out of the row and step back in two rows behind forcing their way past 15-20 people until they reach the center and steal two seats from folks entering. I wish I had a squirt gun with me.

    Lunch was at another favorite, the Columbia Harbour House. It was crowded and, in order to move up the stairs, I had to have Barb carry our food tray. While I can climb stairs when I need to, I have to use a railing. Its tough to get old.

    While my knees were starting to improve, I think last nights trip down nine flights of stairs has taken an impact. We rode the monorail back to the Contemporary and shopped for a bottle of wine and some pills to address some sneezing we both seemed to have picked up. Then it was time for a nap.

    We had a reservation at the Wave restaurant at 6:00 so we went to the Wave bar at 5:00. It was very nice and very uncrowded. We had one drink there and then were seated in the restaurant. I really enjoyed a filet mignon and Barb spoke highly of a pork tenderloin. Both were very good and what I would call very reasonably priced for a Disney restaurant. Applying the Tables in Wonderland discount made this a bargain. Bottom line we really enjoyed the Wave. Good bar, good service, good food and a reasonable price. Well be back.

    Tonights forecast called for rain and heavy wind so we again bailed out of walking to Magic Kingdom. We decided on watching fireworks again from our balcony.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I dont like leaving a hotel in the middle of the night due to a fire alarm. I can recall it happening years ago in Connecticut. Nothing was found and we returned to our rooms only to find the alarm go off again 45 minutes later. I remember thinking the last one was false so Ill just wait in the room. I remember leaving when I thought about tomorrows news talking about the man who died in a fire because he refused to leave the building.
    I think I enjoyed our little RADP meet with Mark and Bob.
    I think I like the Wave restaurant.
    I think I enjoy watching fireworks while seated on my rooms deck (have I already said that?).

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 Forecasts Mean Nothing

    We slept until 8:00 thats about ten hours. Thats not usual but well take it. The forecast for today is awful heavy rain, wind and storms. We discuss a plan to skip going to Disneys Hollywood Studios.

    Weve never been good with planning so, at about 9:30, we head out to a waiting bus to Disneys Hollywood Studios. We actually make it to Slinky Dog Dash before our FastPass ends at 10:15. Barb enjoys it but its just ok for me. Not a bad ride just not a big attraction for old guys like me.

    We stop at what used to be the Walt Disney attraction, which is newly labeled but still contains many of the older Walt items. We watch the Dumbo advertisement film, which is really pretty cool. Im not sure if well venture out to a theater or, as we normally do, wait for its availability on television.

    Next up was a ride on Star Tours. The weather forecast is terrible and the sky will occasionally flash a possibility of rain and storms but so far nothing. We decide to head out and we boat to the Boardwalk and Big River for lunch. Still no rain so, after lunch, we head to the Boardwalk bus area and catch a ride to the Magic Kingdom and a monorail back to the Contemporary. Do I need to say, Nap?

    After a fairly hefty lunch at Big River, we decide dinner would best be served with ice cream so We bussed to Disney Springs where we shopped and found the Minnie doll for Olivia - to go with her Mickey hat. Hey, rules are rules.

    I can feel the rain coming soon but we found our way to Ghirardellis for dinner: hot fudge sundaes-in plastic containers. Still good but it was so much better with glass. Does anyone else have difficulty finding your way around the new Disney Springs? I knew the old place so well from frequent visits but Im rarely here now.

    We walk to the bus stops where the wind is up and the storms are coming. We catch a bus, head back to our room and decide to grab a cocktail at the Grand Floridian. A packed monorail exits people mostly at the Polynesian where Im guessing many are headed to a Luau.

    We make it to the Grand Floridian where we realize one of our favorite bars, Mizners, is closed. What? So its back on the Monorail to the Top of the World lounge for a Builette Manhattan and Tanqueray and tonic. While were sipping, the storm rolls through and a strong storm it is. In about 15-20 minutes we completely lost the view of Magic Kingdom. Heck, we couldnt even see the balcony outside the window. Eventually, the view was perfect, the sun was out and the temperature dropped a lot. I was able to get four photos across the storms path and they really tell the story.

    We wrapped up our evening there and still watched the fireworks from our rooms deck.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think its become ridiculous to trust weather predictions.
    I think Slinky Dog Dash is a hard name for me to remember and just an OK ride.
    I think I learned that Mizners bar is closed for an upgrade and will reopen themed to Beauty and the Beast. Hmmm.
    I think that storm brought a lot of power but only lasted about 20 minutes.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Narcoossees

    Up and walking to Magic Kingdom. At 9:00 we ride the Seven Dwarves Mine Train using a FastPass. I like this ride but I really believe its just a tad too short.

    Next up was a ride on Buzz Lightyear, I dont consider this a must do but I usually enjoy it. Today, I saw its in need of some work. The controller of our unit didnt work at all.

    Next we enjoyed a ride on the Wedway Peoplemover followed by Mickeys Philharmagic. I was going to give Barb something she enjoys with a ride on its a small world but, thankfully, it was closed for some reason.

    The Jungle Cruise had a 35-minute wait so we passed and took a spin on Pirates of the Caribbean followed by Big Thunder Mountain. It was now 11:00 and weve been through six attractions. Not a bad morning.

    We rode the Monorail back to the Contemporary and walked down to the Business Center to check on the suitcase. I was informed it would be arriving later so theyll deliver it to our room. I couldnt have received better service from these folks.

    We had scheduled dinner tonight at one of our favorite places, Narcoossees, so we were looking for a light meal. We had enjoyed dinner at the Wave so we tried lunch. We each had a Tucson Sausage soup (excellent) and shared a Caesar Salad (very good). A nice light lunch that was very good and has definitely put the Wave into our to do list.

    We were getting ready for dinner when the suitcase was delivered to the room at 4:15. Its a bit darker and slightly larger but looks roughly the same as what its replacing. Im more than satisfied.

    We hope a Monorail to the Grand Floridian and walk back to Narcoossees bar for a drink before dinner. I really enjoy this place and the bartenders were very nice friendly and informative. The menu was a bit different than normal this is part of Narcoossees charm dealing with fresh items only. Unfortunately, they didnt offer the usual menus for Barbs seafood. They did, however, offer a surf and turf (a 6 Filet Mignon along with an 8 lobster tail). It was excellent. A bit high priced at $54 but, after Tables in Wonderlands discount, they were $42. Thats consistent with surf and turf elsewhere.

    We walked back to the Grand Floridian to shop for a gift for daughter Stephanie whos picking us up at the airport on Friday. A Minnie coffee cup will do the trick.

    We take the Monorail back to the Contemporary and walk back to the room for another evening of fireworks from our deck. It was a very nice cool evening.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think today was a bit warm but less humid than the last few days.
    I think we got a lot accomplished in Magic Kingdom in only two hours this morning.
    I think Disney has really stepped up on the suitcase issue and its appreciated.
    I think I really enjoyed lunch at the Wave and dinner at Narcoossees.
    I think I really enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our balcony.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 Avatar and Tesla

    We received our Magical Express tags and were scheduled for 8:20 tomorrow morning. I guess that means well be delivering our suitcases pretty early.

    We head out at 8:20 to a waiting Animal Kingdom bus. I havent counted but, while weve had two or three lengthy waits, most of our trips were to a waiting bus.

    We have a 9:20 FastPass to ride Avatar Flight of Passage and we arrive down there at about 8:55. We decide to take a walk to NaVi River Journey just to see if its a long wait. The sign says 5 minutes so we head in and wind up in a boat with zero wait. Its a neat ride but, in my opinion, not worth waiting more than 15-20 minutes.

    Were then off to Flight of Passage and we enter with no one in front of us until we reach the end. We wind up moving in front of about 20 people when were the only 2-passenger riders. When we finish and leave, I can see the wait here is already 130 minutes while the NaVi River has now reached 60 minutes. It doesnt take long.

    We look at Its Tough to Be a Bug. Its crowded and we wind up at the very end of a row which allows a great photo of Hopper just above me. This show, as always, has more than a few screaming children that have to exit the early.

    Barb used our FastPass for Expedition Everest. She swears she doesnt mind riding alone. She loves the ride while I avoid it based on the reverse part.

    We spend a few minutes shopping for new luggage tags, find nothing. and leave. Back at the resort, I check our Southwest flights and see the good news of landing TSA Pre but find our loading positions are A34 and A35. Thats a little further back than were used to.

    Its 90 degrees - very hot and it seems the humidity has returned. We settled on lunch at the Grand Floridian Caf and Monorail over. Lunch was good and I shopped a bit and found a new tag for the luggage.

    Next up was a nap and packing. The television news has a story about a stolen Magic Band. They actually have the guys picture riding Buzz Lightyear using the stolen Band. How stupid can one be?

    At about 6:00, we decide on another visit to Top of the World for a small dinner. We also take advantage of stepping out their rear door, to the balcony, where we catch a view of the 6:35 launch of Teslas Space X. I have to admit it was pretty cool to see but a bit too far away for a photo but still cool.

    After dinner, it was back to our deck and Fireworks.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think as last days go, this was pretty good. We missed two visits here and this 10-day trip was really nice.
    I think were both ready to head home.
    I think I hate packing.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 Home Again

    Were up at 4:30, have some coffee, showers and final packing,

    We rolled our three suitcases over to the Contemporary to check them in at 6:30 - then its back to the room. Were up (and bored) so we head outside and grab an early bus at 7:20. We get picked up in front of Bay Lake Tower and then drive over to the Contemporary. We were going well until were slowed by having to wait 10 minutes for a guy checking out. The bus was locked up and ready to go when the guys wife and kids came over to ask the driver to wait. Thats what I mean about having some respect for others.

    We see a maintenance truck rolled over at the airport. It looked like it tipped over from a higher lane. Then I see a car is parked on the centerline, straddling a curb, and then pulls in front of us. I can see our bus driver just shaking his head.

    My belt triggers a TSA issue and I have to remove it. Im pretty sure Ive worn it several times without an issue. We get breakfast at McDonalds which is seriously the only meal I eat at McDonalds. Were here two hours before the flight so theres some waiting.

    Our flight begins loading with nine groups of handicapped guests, four with wheelchairs. Probably a total of 35-40 people. Thats before the A1-30 group loads. It took forever. The flight is full and two individuals command the two-seat rows one each. Theyre saving the other seat for friend boarding later. We just cant catch a break.

    We land on time and are picked up by Steph and the boys.

    Final Thoughts

    I mentioned that this April trip, last year, was Barbs idea. This was ours. After the health issues of the last few months, we really needed a trip.

    It was nice staying at a new resort (the Swan) and one (Bay Lake Tower) that Ive really begun to love. Yes, its not Crescent Lake but it aint bad.

    The average Glioblastoma sufferer last about 14 months. Im right around two years and hoping to make it longer. For that reason, weve scheduled a trip in November that actually covers Barbs birthday and our 47th anniversary. We then have a longer trip scheduled next January that includes some time with our son, Stephen, his wife and our 3 grandchildren. I cant wait!

    My ability to write, type, spell and remember some things is much less than it once was. For that, I apologize. But as always, thanks for reading.
    Steve

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  3. #2
    Registered User Silvercat's Avatar
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    Hey Steve, great to see you back on here! Lovely report, thanks for taking the time to write and post it.

    Sending you and Barb much love, hugs, and very kind wishes from the UK - long may you both continue to fight against the dastardly health issues! It's a real shame our trips have never coincided, I would have loved to have met you in person. We will be in WDW later this year, but the first 2 weeks of December, so I guess we'll miss you by a few days/weeks. We will forever have the Russo rule of ice-cream for one meal when at Disney!

    Anyway, great report, thanks again.

    Silvercat

    (Enjoy reading trip reports? Why not try my books, "Tiggerific Travels" - all 4 books available now as e-books)

  4. #3
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercat View Post
    Hey Steve, great to see you back on here! Lovely report, thanks for taking the time to write and post it.

    Sending you and Barb much love, hugs, and very kind wishes from the UK - long may you both continue to fight against the dastardly health issues! It's a real shame our trips have never coincided, I would have loved to have met you in person. We will be in WDW later this year, but the first 2 weeks of December, so I guess we'll miss you by a few days/weeks. We will forever have the Russo rule of ice-cream for one meal when at Disney!

    Anyway, great report, thanks again.
    Thanks.
    Steve

  5. #4

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful trip report. I really enjoyed reading it.


  6. #5
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daisyd0 View Post
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful trip report. I really enjoyed reading it.
    Thank you.
    Steve

  7. #6
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    Hey Steve, I am curious about what you thought about WDW resort fees. I was amazed by all the different fees and taxes on our last trip there. California is horrible for doing that to tourists but WDW is fast catching up.
    Thank you for visiting and enjoy us gouging you for every penny we can get.
    Geeeeshhhh.


  8. #7
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    Things I think I think. Not really think I know that I absolutely love your reports. First off I am praying for you and your wife. You are such strong people so I know you will continue to battle and prove your strength. Disney wise, we are kindred spirits. I cant go on Everest because the backwards part makes me dizzy. I got to go on FOP last year and loved it. I am lucky enough to have two trips this year which I have never done. The first one is June 27 to July 3. We have a group of 11 including three kids going for the first time. Ages 2, 5 and 7. Do you think the 5 and 7 year olds would like the Pixar film festival? My second trip is the longest I have ever gone for. From Nov. 5 to Nov, 17. My nephew became a vacation club member last year so all but two nights are at Saratoga Springs. I get to do food and wine and the Christmas party for the first time ever. I would love to stay at Bay lake sometime. We used to stay at the Contemporary when I was a kid. My dad will be 89 next month and we still reminisce about sitting outside the Contemporary and watching the electrical water pageant. My family makes fun of me but I still love it. Best wishes to you and your wife


  9. #8
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdwchuck View Post
    Hey Steve, I am curious about what you thought about WDW resort fees. I was amazed by all the different fees and taxes on our last trip there. California is horrible for doing that to tourists but WDW is fast catching up.
    Thank you for visiting and enjoy us gouging you for every penny we can get.
    Geeeeshhhh.
    Hey Chuck,
    As a DVC member, most of our stays are on points. On the occasion when I pay cash for a resort room I dont see any resort fees. Obviously, taxes are normal for everyone but what fees have you seen?
    Steve

  10. #9
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suejacken View Post
    Things I think I think. Not really think I know that I absolutely love your reports. First off I am praying for you and your wife. You are such strong people so I know you will continue to battle and prove your strength. Disney wise, we are kindred spirits. I can’t go on Everest because the backwards part makes me dizzy. I got to go on FOP last year and loved it. I am lucky enough to have two trips this year which I have never done. The first one is June 27 to July 3. We have a group of 11 including three kids going for the first time. Ages 2, 5 and 7. Do you think the 5 and 7 year olds would like the Pixar film festival? My second trip is the longest I have ever gone for. From Nov. 5 to Nov, 17. My nephew became a vacation club member last year so all but two nights are at Saratoga Springs. I get to do food and wine and the Christmas party for the first time ever. I would love to stay at Bay lake sometime. We used to stay at the Contemporary when I was a kid. My dad will be 89 next month and we still reminisce about sitting outside the Contemporary and watching the electrical water pageant. My family makes fun of me but I still love it. Best wishes to you and your wife
    Thanks, Sue.
    Steve

  11. #10

    Steve -

    Thank you for this report, and the many reports you've shared through the years! Every time I see a Steve report it goes right to the top of my reading queue. Keep fighting the good fight and keep Thinkin' Those Things you Think!

    Rick


  12. #11
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanADale View Post
    Steve -

    Thank you for this report, and the many reports you've shared through the years! Every time I see a Steve report it goes right to the top of my reading queue. Keep fighting the good fight and keep Thinkin' Those Things you Think!

    Rick
    Thanks, Rick.
    Steve

  13. #12

    Steve Russo - April 2-12, 2019 - Boardwalk Villas, Disney's Swan, Bay Lake Tower

    I haven’t been on Mouseplanet for months as the WDW forums are so empty. For some reason I had a look tonight. Must have sensed a new Russo trip report was waiting for me. Much respect to you and your wife and. Nobody needs crosswords. My bucket list trip involves a Bay Lake Tower stay so I really enjoyed that part. Looking forward to your next trip report.

     

    If no-one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man (Billy Bragg)

  14. #13
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydooby View Post
    I haven’t been on Mouseplanet for months as the WDW forums are so empty. For some reason I had a look tonight. Must have sensed a new Russo trip report was waiting for me. Much respect to you and your wife and. Nobody needs crosswords. My bucket list trip involves a Bay Lake Tower stay so I really enjoyed that part. Looking forward to your next trip report.
    Thanks.
    Steve

  15. #14

    Hi Steve!

    Just came home after a busy 12 hour shift to find your trip report, what a great way to end my day! So glad you like Bay Lake Towers. It may not have a ton of theming, but you really can not beat the location or views! Thanks for writing and sharing a bit of your trip with us! Sending sunshine and pixie dust!

    Gail


  16. #15
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baylakebeliever View Post
    Hi Steve!

    Just came home after a busy 12 hour shift to find your trip report, what a great way to end my day! So glad you like Bay Lake Towers. It may not have a ton of theming, but you really can not beat the location or views! Thanks for writing and sharing a bit of your trip with us! Sending sunshine and pixie dust!

    Gail
    Thanks, Gail.
    Steve

  17. #16

    I was so glad to see this trip report today. I often check to see if there are any from you and your wife. Disney is the best medicine...and you are right ...crossword puzzles are overrated Wishing you both healthy days ahead.


  18. #17
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessD View Post
    I was so glad to see this trip report today. I often check to see if there are any from you and your wife. Disney is the best medicine...and you are right ...crossword puzzles are overrated Wishing you both healthy days ahead.
    Thank you.
    Steve

  19. #18

    Steve, thanks so much for a great trip report. Yours are always some of my favorites. Prayers for you and Barb for continued good health. Thanks again,
    Ellen


  20. #19
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ4Disney View Post
    Steve, thanks so much for a great trip report. Yours are always some of my favorites. Prayers for you and Barb for continued good health. Thanks again,
    Ellen
    Thanks, Ellen.
    Steve

  21. #20

    So happy to read another report. I look forward to your adventures every year. More trips in the works sounds great!
    I have a very good friend with a Glioblastoma who is going strong about 6 years now and no changes in the last few years. I hope and pray the same happens for you. And continued good health for Barb as she becomes a many year survivor as well.


  22. #21
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HM1 View Post
    So happy to read another report. I look forward to your adventures every year. More trips in the works sounds great!
    I have a very good friend with a Glioblastoma who is going strong about 6 years now and no changes in the last few years. I hope and pray the same happens for you. And continued good health for Barb as she becomes a many year survivor as well.
    Thanks... and thanks for the detail on your friend. That helps.
    Steve

  23. #22

    Hi Steve, I haven't been on the Mouseplanet boards in quite a while but I always look for a Steve Russo TR whenever I do!!! I'm sorry to hear that Barb has had her share of health issues this past year also. A year and a half ago, my sister had a double mastectomy along with chemo and radiation and she is doing quite well now. I will pray for you and Barb to continue with your good health. I thoroughly enjoyed your TR once again and find your writing style so entertaining. We are DVC members too and have found a new love for BLT on a trip last October! We can't wait to stay there again soon. I'm glad to see you have a November and January trip planned and wish you continued good health! Look forward to reading another TR in November. Thanks again for sharing your adventures with us.


  24. #23
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindawdw View Post
    Hi Steve, I haven't been on the Mouseplanet boards in quite a while but I always look for a Steve Russo TR whenever I do!!! I'm sorry to hear that Barb has had her share of health issues this past year also. A year and a half ago, my sister had a double mastectomy along with chemo and radiation and she is doing quite well now. I will pray for you and Barb to continue with your good health. I thoroughly enjoyed your TR once again and find your writing style so entertaining. We are DVC members too and have found a new love for BLT on a trip last October! We can't wait to stay there again soon. I'm glad to see you have a November and January trip planned and wish you continued good health! Look forward to reading another TR in November. Thanks again for sharing your adventures with us.
    Thanks, it's appreciated.
    Steve

  25. #24

    I love the Pixar Short Film Festival too. Great for the whole family!

    Michael and Kellis August 2016 Trip with 25 Friends and family
    http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?234828
    Common Walt Disney World Wild Birds http://bochnik.com/disneybirds/disneybirds.htm
    Our other Disney Trips (including our Disneymoon): Kelli and Mike's Adventures http://www.bochnik.com/

  26. #25
    Registered User Silvercat's Avatar
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    HI Steve - just to let you know, we are just back from a 21-day road trip on the West coast, which included 5 days in Disneyland. During that trip, (trip report being written as we speak!), I personally invoked the Russo Rule on 3 seperate occasions - so, thanks for that!

    Silvercat

    (Enjoy reading trip reports? Why not try my books, "Tiggerific Travels" - all 4 books available now as e-books)

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