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Thread: But, I don't FEEL 50!?!? Pam's Birthday Bash January 2013

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    does anybody know how to change this? pfalcioni's Avatar
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    But, I don't FEEL 50!?!? Pam's Birthday Bash January 2013

    Links to individual TR entries:
    Day 0 - Travel Day
    Day 1 - Key West
    Day 2 - Key West
    Day 3 - WDW Animal Kingdom
    Day 4 - WDW Magic Kingdom
    Day 5 - WDW Epcot
    Day 6 - WDW Hollywood Studios
    Day 7 - St. Augustine
    Day 8 - St. Augustine
    Day 9 - St. Augustine
    Day 10 - Universal Parks Part 1 Part 2
    Day 11 - Universal Parks
    Day 12 - Tampa, Tarpon Springs, Stupid Antique Stores
    Day 13 - Busch Gardens Part 1 Part 2 Part 3



    Even when you take into consideration the fact that people are living longer, there is no way to think of 50 as NOT middle age. This fact hit me about 3 months ago when I realized that on January 18, 2013, I would be turning 50 in spite of every stupidly death-defying thing I've done in my life to halt that process prematurely.

    If you'll put up with a moderately boring autobiographic sketch for just a minute, I'll get to the fun part very soon, and I'll soften the blow with some moderately amusing photos.

    Life for me started in 1963 as the adopted kid of two great parents:

    I am decently certain that is the only time my mother strapped on skis and actually ventured into the snow. If she looks cold, tired, and frustrated in the photo, she's really doing a very good job of hiding her true emotions which ran something like "If he ever does anything like this to me again, I'm getting a divorce!"

    Fortunately, dad didn't subject mom to any more ski expeditions, and they stayed together more than 50 years. Dad passed away 7 years ago, but mom is healthy and happy and still making me crazy with relative frequency.

    My dad was an only child, and his parents were over the moon when mom and dad finally were able to adopt me and they had a grandchild to spoil rotten (hooray for grandparents!). Okay, a little quiz, which one of these two couples do you think are my grandparents who were happily married for 50+ years, and which do you think were my grandparent's friends who divorced after a year's marriage:
    (for the answer check the end of the post, aren't I tricky?)

    I wasn't exactly the greatest "first child". I was wheezy and fretful, and didn't really appreciate cuddling very much. I'm darned lucky they didn't throw me back and try again. Fortunately they got luckier with their second attempt at adoption, my younger brother was the most easy and trouble-free child imaginable.

    I spent my first few years of life worrying about weird stuff like if the train ride at Knotts Berry Farm would crash and explode and kill us all:

    And the rest of my time worrying whether my mom would forget her purse (she did this with relative frequency)
    "Oh good grief, she's left it on the dock, along with our lunch basket. Why won't she just pick it up and just put it in the boat already?"

    Between worrying about stupid things, getting asthma attacks at the most inopportune times, and generally being a nuisance, I had birthdays which were fun:
    Honestly, could I look any more dorky? At least my momma dressed me nice.

    The birthday thing continued, and I grew up to be the Good Witch of the North:
    Who apparently liked to wear hooker makeup. Niiiiiice.

    A few more birthdays later, I met and married this guy:
    Mike, who only "drinks and drives" when operating pedaled farm equipment.

    And we started doing stuff like this:

    And this:

    And somewhere along the way I lost my fear of life and started enjoying myself. Which was a good thing because there's so much to enjoy about it!

    Disney's been a part of my life since I was 2. My parents had good friends who lived in Orange CA, and so a cheap vacation for us was to drive down to So. Cal from Oregon and visit Flo and Maurice and spend a day at Disneyland.

    Unfortunately, as a young married gal, Disney sort of took a backburner to other fun stuff until the 1990's when we were down in LA for a motorcycle race and had an extra day on our hands. I suggested Disneyland and Mike sort of rolled his eyes. We went anyway (I can be a bit ornery when I really want something).
    We had an awesome time in spite of the fact that I didn't realize what motion sickness was and that Space Mountain and Mike don't mix. Actually, his reaction was sort of similar to the look on my mom's face in that first picture. Sorry about that, hon!

    Well, fast forward to now (because I know I'm boring you to tears), and here I am 49 years old and the big five-o looming in the extremely near future.

    Mike softens the blow a little by saying we'll do anything I want on our January/February vacation. Wow, carte blanche! Then I get to the small print "as long as its something that doesn't bore Mike to tears for the entire 2 weeks, and as long as we can afford it, and as long as it doesn't involve really fancy restaurants or resorts". What, there's not going to be a new Lexus with a huge red bow on its roof waiting in my driveway (with no payments attached), and an all-expenses paid 2-week stay at the GF as icing on the cake?? Well, it's still exciting to think about planning based more on my loves than on our mutual enjoyment - since I'm essentially a selfish person at heart.

    After some thought, and help from my buddies here on the forums, I decided on 2 weeks in Florida with only a portion of it visiting the House of Mouse (gasp!).

    Here's the itinerary so far:
    Jan 26: Fly out of Portland OR to Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Pick up rental car, stop at grocery store, fall into bed at some no-tel mo-tel about a 1/2 hour's drive from Ft. Lauderdale.
    Jan 27: Get up waaaaaay before the crack of dawn and drive to Key West. Spend 2 days in Key West wandering around looking at cool old houses, checking out museums, and drinking. Which is why we will be walking!
    Jan 28: Rinse, repeat yesterday's itinerary, but in reverse, without the alcohol, and with a drive to Port St. Lucie for the night.
    Jan 29 - Feb 1: Disney World!!! Booked at Pop Century for 3 nights with 4 day base tix.
    Feb 1 in the evening: Drive to St. Augustine
    Feb 2-3: Explore St. Augustine, utilizing a similar itinerary to Key West.
    Feb 4 - 6: Universal Studios
    Feb 7: ??? Rest day (yea, right, I'm married to the Energizer Bunny, I'm delusional if I think we'll have a rest day!) or we might add an extra day to our WDW park tickets on Feb 1 and use it here.
    Feb 8: Busch Gardens
    Feb 9: Fly home (boooo, hissssss, what do you mean 2 weeks just flew by? that can't be right!!!)

    We've got our outbound flight scheduled, and Pop Century booked with the 25% off discount, and I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself, so that's why I'm doing this pre trip report! Wheeee, we're going to Florida for two whole weeks and I get to ride REAL roller coasters and not feel guilty about Mike being bored because it's my BIRTHDAY PRESENT!! Wahoo!!

    Oh, and which ones were my grandparents? That dour couple on the left. I don't know if they developed their sense of fun and great joy in life after the grandkids came along, but they sure had it in spades when we were growing up. Life's funny, you know?
    Last edited by pfalcioni; 03-23-2013 at 09:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Some great pics there. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the trip.

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    Senior Member BeckyW's Avatar
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    This is awesome - thanks for sharing Pam! And I can't wait to read all about your trip :)

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    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    OMG that picture of the grandparents was awesome! And I love how your Mom had full makeup for the cross country skiing.
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    Senior Member runDisneygirl's Avatar
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    Love the photos. Sounds like a great trip planned, but really, it does sound too short.
    Tanya

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    proud to keep the transportation forum the most civilized jilly7896's Avatar
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    I love reading your writing Pam! I'm looking forward to hearing more about the big 5-0 plans :)

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    does anybody know how to change this? pfalcioni's Avatar
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    And I love how your Mom had full makeup for the cross country skiing.
    I honestly thought that was my Mom's natural lip color until the 1970's when she switched from bright red to a more subdued tone. It was quite the shock.

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    Senior Member aclassofherown's Avatar
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    Love it! I can't wait for me. The pictures are fantastic.
    Katie
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    DD's 1st Trip - 9/2012 - Wilderness Lodge

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    who gon stop me? HUH? josh's Avatar
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    Fun!

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    Senior Member abfallas's Avatar
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    Love it! Can't wait to read more!!!
    ~Ana~

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    Senior Member JasonMiller's Avatar
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    "turning 50 in spite of every stupidly death-defying thing I've done in my life to halt that process prematurely."

    One of my favorite authors/musician/pseudo-philosophers Neil Peart has a saying that you're just "working your angels" when you do those sorts of things. Come to think of it thats actually a coincidence as he is also an adventure rider like you and you husband -although he rides strictly BMW and I believe you ride Ducati?

    On a side note I have the same John Deere peddle tractor that you husband is riding in that photo. It was my grandfather's and got hande down to me for my kids to use.

    Looking forward to the report.

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    does anybody know how to change this? pfalcioni's Avatar
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    I ride a Beemer for adventure stuff, I like to think I'm just as cool as Neil Peart, but he's got a nerd/cool rating of like a bazillion-plenty so I'm not even in the ballpark.

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    Member Bunny's Avatar
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    This is great, Pam! I have pictures of me somewhere with a similar "worry wart" expression. Cannot wait to read more!
    Stacie

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    Member albertoon's Avatar
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    Sounds super fun! I'm in!

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    Senior Member raraavis's Avatar
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    great pics!

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    Senior Member JasonMiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfalcioni View Post
    I ride a Beemer for adventure stuff, I like to think I'm just as cool as Neil Peart, but he's got a nerd/cool rating of like a bazillion-plenty so I'm not even in the ballpark.
    Have you any of Neil's books? They're all worth a read even if you're not into RUSH- just the bikes and the literature,etc. I was actually born the year after they released their debut album, but discovered them in college from albums and 8-tracks my father owned. I've managed to see them play live 7 times. Unfortunately missing the current tour for various reasons.

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    Senior Member Bernie2003's Avatar
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    Thanks for those pics! You brightened my day with those! I can't wait to see how this trip plays out!
    ~Brandi

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    does anybody know how to change this? pfalcioni's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I'm sketching out an itinerary this evening, so I'll probably get down to (boring) brass tacks tomorrow. I'm finding it hard to get a handle on Universal/IofA for Mike. For me its easy - ride every coaster and 3D/4D ride. I know there's a ton of attractions he won't be able to do because of the motion sickness thing, but figuring out what he will be okay with and what he'll enjoy is tough ("here honey, you can ride the Dr. Seuss Train!"). All I've got is the Unofficial Guide and for some reason I've just never liked the way they describe things.

    Have you any of Neil's books? They're all worth a read even if you're not into RUSH- just the bikes and the literature,etc.
    I've read some of his writing, but just the short stories, none of the books. He's lead an amazing life, I can't imagine coming back from losing a child and spouse in less than a year, but I do understand how riding can help take away that kind of anguish. It really helped me when my dad died unexpectedly.

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    Senior Member CJUERS's Avatar
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    I can't wait to hear more Pam. Better yet let's say hi in person. We will be at WDW from Jan 29- Feb6. Maybe if some of our parks match up we can meet up??
    I'm still here...just wishing I was there.
    Chris

    http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showth...ransformers-TR

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    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    I'm excited for your report! It sounds like an awesome itinerary. Love the pics, esp. your worried expressions as a kid. Priceless.
    Brandi

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    does anybody know how to change this? pfalcioni's Avatar
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    I can't wait to hear more Pam. Better yet let's say hi in person. We will be at WDW from Jan 29- Feb6. Maybe if some of our parks match up we can meet up??
    You really don't want to meet me in person. I'm very strange and I scare small children.

    Honestly, I know it sounds odd given the fact that I completely over-share online and am a veritable chatty cathy on the forums, I don't do well with face-to-face meetings. However, if we accidentally bump into each other, I'll definitely chat, I just get weirdly nervous about actually setting up meetings with people - even people I've known for years. I know it's stupid, but I can't change, especially now that I'm "middle aged". Barf.

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    Senior Member CJUERS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfalcioni View Post
    You really don't want to meet me in person. I'm very strange and I scare small children.

    Honestly, I know it sounds odd given the fact that I completely over-share online and am a veritable chatty cathy on the forums, I don't do well with face-to-face meetings. However, if we accidentally bump into each other, I'll definitely chat, I just get weirdly nervous about actually setting up meetings with people - even people I've known for years. I know it's stupid, but I can't change, especially now that I'm "middle aged". Barf.
    It's ok. It is slightly odd I agree. But its nice to put an actual person with the words we exchange here. Enjoy your planning and I hope you have a fantastic birthday!!!

  23. #23
    does anybody know how to change this? pfalcioni's Avatar
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    Honestly, it's not you, I hope you're not offended? Ask anyone here who went last year in early February, we were in WDW at the same time as a few other EasyWDW buddies last year and I avoided all of them too.

  24. #24
    Senior Member CJUERS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfalcioni View Post
    Honestly, it's not you, I hope you're not offended? Ask anyone here who went last year in early February, we were in WDW at the same time as a few other EasyWDW buddies last year and I avoided all of them too.
    NOOOOO not offended AT ALL!!! I can't wait to hear more about this adventure of a trip you are planning though.
    I'm still here...just wishing I was there.
    Chris

    http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showth...ransformers-TR

  25. #25
    Senior Member Micklessor's Avatar
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    What a great start to a great birthday! (You are "literally" 1 wk older than I). Your pics and story are fun!
    Michele

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