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 We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone

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KatMark
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PostSubject: Update to Day 1   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:32 pm

I left you with Mark getting ready for the pool. I chose NOT to go swimming. I know...what is wrong with me? It's 90 degrees in Florida and I don't want to go swimming. But I just could NOT leave that view. I did walk Mark down to the pool so I could take a look around.

And the ONLY picture I took during that time? It was Mark in the hot tub:



I went back to the room and just sat on the patio and soaked it all in. I wrote out a couple of postcards that I had promised to send to some DIS kids and then took a bath in that beautiful jacuzzi tub.

When Mark came back to the room, there was a knock on the door. I was told we had a delivery and was handed this:



Inside we found these goodies:











It was from good friends of ours in Connecticut.

Up next: DTD and dinner
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PostSubject: End of Day 1   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:35 pm

We went to the underground parking and got the car and drove to DTD, leaving around 4:40 p.m. We parked near where the old McDonald's used to be and headed towards the shops. As we were on our way, we passed the Lego store. They had a part of it blocked off -- no more 7 Dwarfs :sad1:, but I did get a picture of these:





We hit the World of Disney store and, of course, had to try on a few of these "beauties":











And finally....



From there, we strolled over to Raglan Road for our dinner. Dinner was really, really good and it will be on the list againf or a future meal.

From there, we headed to the West Side to stroll around. We stopped in the Candy Shop and I got this pic (in time for Halloween):



We stopped and got Mark a cigar for when we got to Marco Island with his beer on the dock.

We then stopped back at Raglan Road's outside bar and met friends for drinks. I had this Brandy shake which was out of this world.

We got back to the resort around 10:00 and I took a wonderful bath in the jacuzzi tub, did a little time on the computer and then we went to sleep.

Up next, Day 2 and a favorite breakfast, pool time with the lovebugs, and more
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PostSubject: Day 2   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:38 pm

So I woke up on Saturday around 8:00 or so (a sleep-in day for me!). I went out on the balcony and this is what I saw:







Picture of the building to our right:





I took a shower and then woke Mark up so he could shower so that we could go to breakfast at Boma.

We went to the lobby and there was no van in front (there is a van that takes you back and forth to Jambo House). We figured that since we were eating a big breakfast that we should walk there and walk back -- we would need the exercise after the big meal we were about to eat.

We were early for our 9:35 ADR (I think we got threre about 9:10), so I took some pictures at Jambo before we checked in for breakfast.













Mark by the fire pit:



Moi:













Our breakfast was outstanding as always.

After breakfast, we went outside and then shopped in the gift shop at Jambo:









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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:39 pm

Some more pictures from the gift shop at Jambo:



Mark bought this one for part of his costume for the MNSSHP Party:







I REALLY wanted to buy this hat and I'm not sure why I never did:





On the wall behind the register at the gift shop:



We then walked back to Kidani and went to the room to get ready for the pool. We stopped at our gift shop, and I bought my Mug for the remainder of the trip.

A little story about the gift shops. While at the gift shop at Jambo, the CM's were telling us about another CM who often trains the new CM's and who knows everything you need to know about the AKL and the animals, etc. When we got the the gift shop at Kidani we met her. Her name was Joan and she is 83 years old and full of knowledge. If you are ever there, ask for Joan and ask her to give you some fact about AKL. She was absolutely fascinating and charming.


Back in the room, a few more animal pictures:



















Up next, Mark goes the pool. Will I tear myself away from the animals and go with him this time.
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:28 am

Great pics Kathy! Looks like your were having a blast!

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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:18 pm

Thanks, Buzz; we were.
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:21 pm

So I left you off with us coming back from our walk over to Jambo for breakfast at Boma and then shopping at the awesome gift shop.

Mark got ready for the pool and headed down ahead of me. I wanted to finish writing out some postcards fors some kids and post a picture or two on Facebook.

Finishing that, I grabbed my new Refillable mug and headed down to the pool.



Along the long walk down the hallway, I found out that I LOVE the animals and stopped at each window to take pictures:





And let me stop here and mention something. As many of you know, the CSR is our "home away from home." We have stayed there nine times and we love everything about it. One of the things that has always aggravated me is that everyone complains about what a long walk it is from the Ranchos to the main building. I've walked that walk...and I'm guessing 10 minutes at most if you walk at a normal pace. Now I will tell you that 10 minutes at the CSR was NOTHING compared to the walk we had Kidani. It took us a good 12 minutes or more (and this does not include stopping to look out the windows for animals) to get from our room to the lobby and then another couple of minutes to the pool. The only difference to me is that at the AKL you are inside as opposed to outside at the CSR. Okay, I feel better now...back to our regularly scheduled program.

I arrived at the pool and took a few pictures as I looked to see where Mark had put our towels, etc.











I found Mark and the two of us got in the pool. The water was so refreshing as it was really hot outside. We talked to a mom and her daughter who had just gotten new glasses and refused to take them off, even in the pool.

I went and got a Pina Colada and we sat in the chairs to relax. I have to admit that I finished my Pina Colada rather quickly because I could not stand the LOVE BUGS! They were absolutely awful -- the worse I have ever seen them. I swear they went nowhere near Mark, they just hovered over or landed on me (it's because I am so sweet). I told Mark I couldn't deal with it and said I was going to go back to the room and shower for our second night at DTD (plus, I knew I would be at the pool later for a DIS meet).

On the way back to the room, I stopped at windows once again and took some more photos:







Okay, this guy I saw when I went on the balcony and he was really UGLY (he was on the pillar of our balcony):



Then the giraffes came out and headed my way:













I finally tore myself away from the giraffes and got in the shower. Mark showed up around 2:30 and got in the shower to get ready for DTD and another DIS meet.

Up next, do we finally make it to Earl of Sandwich after all these years
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:24 pm

I left off with Mark coming back and hopping in the shower for our trip to DTD.
We got he car and drove to Downtown Disney and parked the car close to the back side of World of Disney. Passing through the pathway, we saw this:



A few more pictures on our way to dinner:





I thought this was different:





Outside Once Upon A Toy:



At this store, I found Mark's Old is Better than Dead t-shirt which we've been looking for the last couple of years. I was so happy to have finally found it.

Inside Once Upon a Toy:



We made our way to Earl of Sandwich for dinner and a DIS meet. We LOVED EofS and not sure why we never went before, but I know we will be back.

We met lovethattink and her son, Anakin, and we also met a friend from another Disney forum (Tanya). We had a great dinner and a really nice visit.

A couple of pictures from our meet:

Mark and Anakin:



Tanya, Michelle and me:



Michelle, Anakin and Tanya -- it was a delight meeting you and thanks for coming to DTD so that we could meet.

Mark and I continued to do a little more shopping as we were waiting to hear from our friend Mary as to when they would be at the pool at AKL.

So, a shopping and hat trying on, we went:



















The balloon was not going up the night before and at $18.00 a person, we weren't going up this night either:



I got a Pina Colada and Mark got a strawberry Slushie while we were waiting to hear from Mary:



As we exited DTD, I got this last picture:



Up next, swim time with the urchins.
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:27 pm

We got back to the resort around 6:30 or 6:45. Of course, I had to go out on the balcony and see what was happening:













We changed into our swimstuits and went to see our urchins. As a refresher, we meet Mary and her adorable girls, Cayley and Avery, last year while staying at the CSR. We hung out at the MK for EMH's that year, as well as hooking up the next afternoon at Epcot. We fell in love with all three of them and planned together for this year's trip, and planned even more time together.

We got to the pool and found a round table for the adults to hang out and put towels on two lounge chairs for the girls if they wanted them.

Here are some pictures from "pool time":

Mark and the girls getting used to the water:



The girls and Mark deciding whether or not they were going to go down the slide -- the girls, NOT Mark ROFL ROFL ROFL





After this picture, it was decided that Miss Kathy was the designated slide person and the three of us--Cayley, Avery and I headed to the slide. I went down twice. And NO...there are no pictures of this not pleasant sight. Mark said the last time I went down it he thought I was going to fly off of it.

The girls went down several more times with Mr. Mark watching them while I sat and talked to Mary and Jeff (Jeff is Mary's hubby).

I went around and took a couple of more photos:











We parted ways around 8:30 as the girls had flown in from Arizona and had to get some rest as we had a big morning planned the next day, and Mark and I had to pack for our transfer to the OKW resort the next day after that BIG morning.

Up next, our first park day.
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:02 pm

We enjoyed meeting you as well! My son got a kick out of Mark. He's such a funloving guy!



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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:10 pm

lovethattink wrote:
We enjoyed meeting you as well! My son got a kick out of Mark. He's such a funloving guy!




Thanks, Mark had a great time with Anakin.
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:44 am

Great photos Kathy!

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PostSubject: Day 3, Part 1   Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:18 pm

It is now Sunday morning, Sunday September 25. I get up at 7 a.m. so we can shower and get the rest of the stuff in the suitcase and then the car before we head over to the Magic Kingdom for our first park day since arriving in Florida on Thursday night.

But if you've been following along so far, I'm sure you know there is one thing I just HAVE to do before we head down to get the car. If you guessed go out on the balcony, you are right.

A few of our friends came to say goodbye:





Goodbye, AKL...hope to be back to see you real soon:



HELLO, Magic Kingdom:



And, yes, when you get older like us, you take a picture of the row you are in so you can find that rental car when you are ready to leave:



We were there early enough that we could walk to the TTC from the parking lot and passed this smiling guy along the way:



We arrived at the TTC around 8:25 a.m. And, lo and behold, the monorail was down. I personally do not see why everyone sees the monorail as the "God of transportation." Every time we get on it, wait for it or whatever...it is down. They were not even letting people up the ramp, but directing everyone over to the Ferry Boat. This is normally fine with us, but the line was long and a boat had just left. I was getting really nervous that we were not going to make it to the MK in time for our 9:05 a.m. ADR at the Crystal Palace.

Finally, the Ferry arrives and we all board:



Some photos during our ride to the MK:







The castle (and that darn crane) are getting closer:





Up next, do we make it on time to check in for our 9:05 ADR?
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PostSubject: Day 3, Part II   Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:20 pm

We arrived at the gates of the MK at 8:55 a.m. (we had missed the show by the railroad station which was very upsetting to me). I had to go through bag check so I sent Mark in ahead of me and told him to get in line and check in for our breakfast and I would meet him there and watch for Mary and family.

Once I got through the long bag check line (I had the slowest guy on the planet who inspected this poor guys bag in every corner; I thought at one point he was going to empty the whole bag out...I felt so bad for the guy and his little girl who was crying that she wanted to go see Mickey), and I take this picture as I approach the Crystal Palace:



I find Mary, Jeff, the girls and Grandma and Grandpa and we proceed to wait for our name to be called or our buzzer to go off.

The girls patiently waiting for our names to be called:



Avery looking at me as if to say, "are you going to be taking my picture the whole breakfast?" Well Avery, yes I am. :goodvibes



Cayley sitting by Mark and enjoying her breakfast:



And then it was time for the characters to make the rounds.

First up was Piglet:





Cayley and Mr. Mark:



Me and Cayley:



Up next was Tigger. Now this is where we were all a little anxious. Tigger scared Cayley a year or two ago (Mary would know exactly when) and Cayley has not wanted to see Tigger or have her picture taken with him. She promised me THIS was the year she was going to do it. To give her a little encouragement, I let her wear my Tigger ears when she met Tigger.







And then, of course, I had to be in a picture with Tigger:



And then Pooh Bear came along:







Since I had let Cayley use my Tigger ears, Mark let Avery wear the Eeyore ears:



And then came Eeyore:



Avery gave Mr. Mark the ears back so Mark could have a picture with his buddy:



While some of the group went to the restroom, I got a couple of more pictures before we left:





I have to tell you a funny story from breakfast. Cayley was sitting between Mark and I (she thought she'd be okay with Tigger if I was nearby). Mark had gone back for his second plate and came back with a banana. He started to peel the banana and out of no where Cayley takes a huge bit out of the banana. I wish we'd had a camera available. Although, in truth, I doubt we would have gotten a picture because we were all laughing hysterically. It was just the funniest thing.

Up next, what is our first attraction after our breakfast at the CP
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PostSubject: Day 3 (continued)   Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:23 pm

Where did we head you might ask? Well, we headed here:



Our first ride of our trip was the Jungle Cruise. Here is Mark waiting in the line (it was maybe a ten minute wait):









Someone looks hungry:



Mark's favorite:



I do enjoy this ride, but I know why we don't do it unless there is no line -- the jokes need some freshening up and the ride could use a little work too. But we all had fun on it and enjoyed seeing the "back side of water." Wink

We sent the group to go to the Enchanted Tiki Room (Mark, the girls, Jeff and Grandma and Grandpa) while Mary and I went to get Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.



From there, it was off to see the handsome Jack Sparrow. I didn't try to take any pictures this time we rode it (but I believe I did later in the trip).

The boy must play with his sword:



Mark had to try on a few hats as we stopped at one of the shops for Mary's mother-in-law to find a hat:





After that, it was off to the Haunted Mansion:







Then we went to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and I rode with Cayley. Last year we had a screaming contest; this year she said "NO SCREAMING!" Half way through she started screaming. I said, I thought "NO SCREAMING!" She said, "you can scream now...it's okay."

At this point, Mark and I decided to go check in at Old Key West. We weren't sure if the room would be ready, but Mark wanted to get some pool time in as we knew he wouldn't get any time again this trip (does this hold true?). We told the girls we'd see them that evening back at the MK for EMH's and we headed to the front of the park to exit. Along the way, I took a few pictures:







The monorail was now running again, so we took our chances that we wouldn't stall for 20 minutes, and hopped on:



Next up: Check in at OKW. Will our studio be ready? Will we get in some swim time?
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PostSubject: Photopass Pictures from our MK Morning   Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:25 pm

Okay, these photopass pics are from our first morning at the Magic Kingdom. Please IGNORE the hair...the heat/humidity was making my hair uncooperative:

As we excited the Haunted Mansion:





Near the Enchanted Tiki Room:





Castle background:









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PostSubject: Day 3, Part III   Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:36 pm

So when I last left you, we were leaving the MK and hopping on the monorail to go check in to Old Key West.

We got on the oranage monorail. And as seems to be typical with us, it STOPPED...for ten minutes. I don't know what it is with that monorail, but it just doesn't like us. :confused3

We go to the car, hopped in and drove over to OKW:





We pulled into the 30-minute parking for check-in, etc. I gave Mark the camera and told him to take pictures once again while I was checking in. Little did I know that he would be taking several pictures of my "not good side:"







Isn't this just beautiful:







Where you catch the boat to Downtown Disney:







To be continued
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:38 pm

All checked in with wonderful CM's by 1 p.m., our room was ready and we were on our way. We were in Building 40:



And we were in room:



This was a perfect location. We were right near Turtle Pond Bus Stop (a 30-second walk) and a two-minute walk to the Turtle Pond Pool.

Some pictures inside of our Studio:





















We didn't have much of a view from our patio, but it wasn't a big deal to us because we weren't in the room much with Andy coming and hanging with the urchins:





After we unpacked, we wanted to go back to the Hospitaly House area to shop in the store and take a look at the main pool.

I yelled to Mark as he opened the door: "Say Hi to all of my Disney friends." So hi all from Mark:



Mark as I told him to wait for me as I forgot the phone and had to run back upstairs to get it:



I took this for my friend, Poolrat:



And this little guy keeping Mark company until I came back:



Up next, will purchases be made at the General Store?
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:39 pm

So I left you with Mark and I heading to the General Store. We arrived and got these shots:





Here are some of the items available in the General Store:







Some of the decor:





We purchased some instant oatmeal and bananas for Mark's breakfast, some beers for him and Andy when he arrived. I also got an OKW t-shirt and a magnet for my refrigerator (I'll have those pictures at the end when I post the souvenirs purchased). After the purchases were made, we walked over to the main pool to get some photos there:







Then we went to see the Dolphins near the playground. Aren't these guys just the cutest?









We then headed over to the Gurgling Suitcase because Kathy needed a Pina Colada:



Mark on the phone with our youngest son who I am sure was bragging at the Green Bay Packers were winning:



Olivia's....where we would be eating on Tuesday before heading to the MNSSHP:





We drove back to our room and put the groceries away. There would be no swimming this day as I was hungry. We headed to the bus stop. We were on our way back to the Magic Kingdom for some dinner and EMH's with Mary and family:



Up next: where do we eat once at the MK?
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:42 pm

So we left Old Key West and did something we very rarely ever do. We took a bus. We headed over to the Turtle Pond bus stop. We no sooner sat on the bench to wait, and the bus pulled up. How is that for service?

I want to say the bus took about 20 minutes once we left the resort(I didn't really think to time it, but it truly was not a long ride at all).

I was starving at this point and really needed something to eat. We decided to go to Cosmic Rays. We've never had a bad meal there (review is in my dining review).

Mary and I were texting and they were over near the Magic Carpet rides with Stephanie, Alan and Lilian, more Disney friends. We went over to give Lilian her gift back and meet Stephanie and Alan. We decided to head back towards Tomorrowland and see how long the wait was for Buzz, etc. It was a little long so we decided to ride the People Mover while we decided what to do next. I cannot believe that I totally forgot to take pictures of our meet with Stephanie and famly (I do have a picture of Lilian later in the trip). A couple of photos while riding the People Mover:





After that, Stephanie and family were heading off to have pictures with the Princess at the front of the park. Avery, Jeff and I decided it was time to ride Space Mountain. Mary did not want to go (chicken!) and Mark didn't want to risk it after last year's neck surgery since I had not ridden it since the renovations and did not know how jerky it still was.

Then there was sweet Cayley...trying to decide whether or not she should ride it. She kept saying to mommy: "I want to try it; but then again, I'm not sure." Mary told her to do whatever she was comfortable with doing. She decided she was going to give it a try. So the four of us headed into line, Cayley got measured and was tall enough and we went through the Fastpass line (Mary had gotten Fastpasses earlier in the day).

So we are standing in line and Cayley is getting a little nervous...well, okay a LOT nervous. She keeps saying she wants her mommy. Then she asks Daddy (Jeff) if it is scary. Avery and I tell her it is not. I'm trying to reassure her and Cayley says to me with a straight face, "Excuse me, but I'm trying to talk to my daddy right now?" I about busted a gut, but I turned around and Avery and I were discussing how cool the ride was, etc. I can hear Cayley talking to Jeff and saying "I think I have lost my mind and I need to go find it." It was absolutely hysterical. She turned to me and said, "it's okay...you can talk to me now." She braved it and we got our designated seats (Avery, Jeff and Cayley sat in one vehicle and I was in the vehicle behind them). I am so glad that Mark did not go on this. I still think it is really jerky and they added a couple of turns in there and I don't think he would have liked the jerking with his neck. As for Cayley, she absolutely LOVED it and couldn't wait to go back on it. So she, Jeffy and Avery got back in line to ride again and we told them we'd get ice cream/popcorn after they got off (once on the ride was enough for me).

The three of them came back and Cayley loved it again. I definitely thought this was a good time for a treat to celebrate Cayley's bravado this evening.

So we all got a snack:





And my popcorn:



We decided to head over to try and catch the Castle show and then see Wishes.

A few pictures of the Castle show (they aren't very good as we were too far away):







I have to say that this is one really neat idea -- we all loved it.

Main Street was a zoo as far as finding a place for Wishes so we went and sat by the Rose Garden and we had a perfect view.

A few pictures of the Castle before Wishes started:





Then Wishes began (and yes...I cried again...it just gets to me):































After my trying to get off the cement and everyone laughing at me (yes, we were sitting on the sidewalk and I had a very hard time getting up; Mary thought this was hysterical and, in fact, took a series of pictures of it), we decided to split up and head in different directions. The girls were off to see some Princesses and Mark and I were off to do some attractions.

Up next, which attractions will we get done on this EMH evening.
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:45 pm

So I left off with us splitting for the night with Mary and family and Mark and I heading off for some attractions.

Mary had given us her Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain, so we headed over there first. I love this ride and will miss not being able to ride it in January. From ther we went on Splash Mountain which was a walk on...no wait at all (we could have gone three times in a row and not waited, but we didn't want to get too wet). The mountains over, we headed towards Liberty Square. On the way, we saw that the Country Bears was going to start in about two minutes so we figured we'd get this one done because we were sure Andy would not want to do it when he got there.

Mark waiting for the show to start:



I know this show is corny, but how can you not love these guys?











The line for the Haunted Mansion was a little long, so we headed towards Fantasyland. Of course, Mark wanted to immediately do It's A Small World :headache: And because I my husband, I agreed.











After It's a Small World, we went to see my favorfite -- Mickey's Philharmagic. I love this show.

The long day was catching up to us, so we decided to call it a night as we had to be up early the next morning for EMH's at the Animal Kingdom.

On the way, there is always time to walk through a store and get a couple more hat pictures (these were at the dump shop after Mickey's Philharmagic):





I'm really not sure what this is supposed to be:





We walked through the Castle, and I was finally able to get some unobstructed pictures of the mosaic wall:







And then we stopped in the hub for an annual photo:





Continued in next post
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KatMark
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:47 pm

As we were heading to the exit, I took a few pictures of the Castle and the shops (still learning Andy's camera):











We stopped for two different sets of Photopass pictures before we headed to the bus (you can see how I was starting to drag):















We got to the bus and were back at OKW and in bed by 1 a.m.

Up next: will I wake up in time to get us up and ready to make EMH's at the AK?
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PostSubject: Re: We are cheating on CSR....please dont' tell anyone   Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:27 am

Great photos Kathy! Thanks for sharing!!

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