Unfortunately, Day 1 is very boring because we spent almost all of it traveling.
I got up early but blew half an hour posting my farewells on the message boards, like a NERD! Still, I had enough time to get everything together and out the door relatively smoothly.
Here is a picture of Dr. J attempting to come along for Mommy & Uncle Daddy’s wedding… He’s winking at you…
And here is a picture of all the luggage we took for a wedding and 2-week honeymoon: 1 suitcase, 1 carry-on and 1 backpack apiece. Not too shabby, but more than I’ve ever taken on a trip anywhere except my 3-week high school choir trip to Europe (when I brought along a pair of cheap undies for every single day so I wouldn’t have to do laundry…)
Not shown is a ginormous box we shipped to our first hotel, containing:
- 130 announcement/reception invites to be mailed the day after our wedding
- our custom bride & groom ears
- ceremony programs
- CD of ceremony music
- personalized mouse ear favors for our guests
- alligator cake knife
- cake topper, which Patrick made
- my two fascinators
- fake bouquet for Magic Kindom photo shoot
- Blurb photo guest book and two Slickwriter pens
I became a huge fan of shipping stuff on this trip. It was so convenient, and it enabled us to take along the comforts of home. I shipped my dress and shrug to Carolyn Allen, where they were stored, steamed, and delivered to me on the wedding day and then picked up and packed up to be shipped back home.
Thanks to a DIS Boards tip, I also had two cases of bottled water from Costco.com – about $7.50 apiece (including shipping!) – delivered to the Beach Club Villas, and it saved us a ton on water in the parks.
Going through security and checking our bags at LAX went smoothly. We got our first wedding congratulations from the ticket agent, which was nice. We had a nonstop flight and got in to MCO a few minutes early. Our bags arrived safe and sound (my big worry).
When we saw the line at Alamo to pick up our rental car, I was SO glad I had prepaid online (which got us a discount on top of the great rate we found through a code on Mousesavers.com). All we had to do was put a credit card in the kiosk, press the “No” button six bazillion times to refuse various additional services, then take the printout to the garage. I had never seen car pick-up the way Alamo does it: All the cars are just parked in the garage, and people go to the section for the class of car they rented and pick one out.
It was a free-for-all – people were dashing all over trying to get the best cars. I watched as all the 4-doors were snatched out from under us, and we ended up with a 2-door Pontiac G6 with a rock in its tire (or something – it made a fwapping noise for our entire trip). We called it “the O Mobile” cuz it’s the car Oprah gave away on her show…
We drove straight to my hotel, the glamorous Sheraton Safari Inn. I am a total Disney hotel snob, but I had enough Starwood Preferred Guest points for two free nights here – nothing to sniff at when you’re taking a 16-day trip! So I stayed there our first two nights (Patrick stayed in his fambly’s cheapo condo rental in the boonies).
This is what our room looked like, except without the sassy zebra-print bedspreads, the plant, or the charm….
From there, we headed over to Downtown Disney for our first ADR, at Raglan Road. On the way to dinner, we picked up our Disney Dining Experience cards at Downtown Disney Guest Relations. These don’t seem like that great a deal anymore now that using them adds an automatic 18% gratuity to the bill (the DDE discount is 20%), but I guess we were gonna have to tip anyway… The cast member tried to tell us that we couldn’t purchase one without active Annual Passes (we had the DFTW AP vouchers), but I drew on my DIS Boards research to let her know it was OK – hee hee!
While we were eating dinner, we started to take pictures of our food for the boards and then realized that we’d forgotten our Gorillapod, an adjustable tripod I learned about on the DIS (thanks Crystal!) and bought especially for our trip. Argh!
We love the Gorillapod because we can take shots of the two of us together by affixing it just about anywhere. I was so disappointed, but then I got the idea to call our wedding photographers and see if they knew where we could get one. By this time it was about 9:30pm, but we knew they’re night owls, so we thought it was OK to call. They were so cool – they said they’d do some research and get back to us; when they called back, it turned out they’d gone to some random late-night camera store near their house and bought us the closest thing they could find.
So at 11pm we drove to their house in Celebration to pick it up, and we got to meet Jensey in person for the first time – she’s a huge WDW fan, and just as sweet and friendly as Nathan! It was really fun (but their cute little doggie was at Grandma’s house, so we didn’t get to meet him).
We got a leetle bit lost coming back from Celebration, which was to be a theme of our adventures in the O Mobile for at least a week. Is California the only state that gives you a highway on-ramp in the opposite direction to match every off-ramp…? It was verrrry late when we finally returned to the Sheraton…
…And that is the story of the first day of our trip!