This Sparks Joy! A Feb/Mar 2019 Birthday Trip NEW 7/6 x2 THE END of an Amazing Healing Trip!!

chunkymonkey

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2009
** This Sparks Joy! **

A February - March Birthday Trip Report with
Chunkymonkey and Chubbyhubby
February 22-March 3rd 2019




Hi everyone! If you've read any of my previous TRs, you know that I, Chunkymonkey aka Su-Lynn, LOVE all things Disney! I am a self-proclaimed Crazy DIS Asian, consider the Peoplemover to be one of the BEST. RIDES. EVER, and I love to eat, sleep, and drink (mostly Starbucks but wine too) DISNEY! I have favorite characters that change all the time, and currently love Eeyore, Pluto, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Jasmine, Tiana, Belle, Mulan, Snow White....oh well I guess I just love them all! I turned 43 years old on this trip, that just means my Disney age is about 21, right? :thumbsup2

My DH's is Steve (aka Chubby Hubby but no one actually calls him that...to his face LOL). He loves all things DIY...he used to have a hydroponic garden modeled faintly after Living With The Land, and is now building a mudroom with drawers and cabinets in our house in northern NJ. I'm not kidding, we live in sawdust right now, LOL. He also has a bit of a Gaston complex. I hope none of you get to experience that. :laughing:

This trip was originally planned for January 2019 but we cancelled it last November.
As some of you know, my dad had battled cancer over the last 2 years, and he got very sick late November into December 2018. He passed away on Dec 11th. I miss him so much but I know that he's in a better place with no pain and suffering.
:sad1::sad1::sad1:


Thank you again to everyone for the kind words and condolences.

Being on the DISboards definitely helped me during that difficult time.

I really needed a trip to find my happy place again so plans were in the works to go back to Disney, most likely around my birthday at the end of February.

It just so happens, a friend of mine contacted me to see if we could use his last few DVC points. He couldn't bank these points anymore and they expired soon and since his family is international they could not make a trip so soon, so he did a little search and found out there were rooms at AKL on the dates of my birthday in February! My friend even gifted me the points as a birthday present, so that was awesome! He was able to stretch the points for 2 nights in a Standard room at Kidani Village. I looked to add-on a stay using our own DVC points but could only find a 1-BR at Kidani for 3 nights after. It was a lot of points, but it was all that was available. I wait-listed for a standard room at the Poly and 3 weeks before our trip, our request came through! I had also booked 3 nights prior to my birthday at POR because it was practically the last moderate room available and it happens to be in a Princess-themed room! Yay! So we had to move resorts a few times during our trip, but to be honest, because Disney took care of everything, it really wasn't as big of a hassle as I thought it would be.

I hoped that during this trip I was able to spark some joy again after a rough couple of months.
And with the help of friends, family...and lots of Disney magic...

it did!




It was literally the happiest I have felt in months!

:butterfly:butterfly:butterfly

Hope you're in for a my latest Trip Report!


:welcome:
 
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chunkymonkey

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2009
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  • Mary Pops In

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2010
    Happy birthday! I have been a lurker and a fan for quite awhile. You have the best photos and I love your writing style.

    My condolences to you. May you always have joyful memories of your father.

    Kudos to your friend for a wonderful birthday gift.
     

    chunkymonkey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    So a week before our Disney trip we flew to California to see Steve's parents in Hemet, CA. Steve's dad has had health problems of his own so we wanted to spend some time with him. Steve's brothers also were there for most of the weekend so it was a family reunion! I could not leave Southern Cali without a visit to Disneyland though! So before my flight back to NJ from LAX (I flew back a few days earlier than Steve because, work, blech) I convinced everyone to have dinner at Goofy's Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel.


    But it was funny that Goofy was not there to greet us so instead we got...Chef Pluto for our group pic! :laughing:

    I had an early birthday celebration with the family and I even got a birthday pin and cupcake. Minnie came over to hug me when she saw it was my birthday!
    I could not wait for our trip to Disney World, after having such a brief taste of Disney that weekend!



    After I got back from Cali on Monday, I had to turn around and repack for us as we were leaving Friday after work!! The only thing that I have Marie-Kondo-ed in our house...is my drawers of Disney clothes, LOL, that's the only thing that sparks joy around here nowadays, hahaha. So packing wasn't too bad considering I could find everything that I was looking for. (Don't ask about the rest of our house, it's the opposite of organized!)

    Friday couldn't get here soon enough even though it was only a few days away...finally after what seemed like an endless week it was time for Disney World!!

    Day 0 - Travel Day

    We had a 5:20pm flight on Friday out of Newark so we left work early. We parked at a place near the airport and then took a shuttle over to the United terminal. It was good timing and we got to the airport with little time before we had to board.



    Happy faces to be on our way to Florida!! It was 40 degrees that day...looking forward to the warmth!

    The flight was uneventful. We didn't eat anything as we weren't hungry and the flight was only 2 hours long. Before we knew it, we were in Orlando and headed to the faux monorail!



    So...it was Princess Race weekend and I could not find a room under 700 dollars for the Friday night of our trip, so what do we do in that case? We stay at the Hyatt Regency right in the airport! I use Hyatt free nights or points to book us a room there since we usually arrive after work, and sometimes it can be really late. Then we wake up early the next day and head on Magical Express to Disney! It has actually worked out well for us over the past few years so it's a little thing we've been doing to save some money and time.

    On the way to the Hyatt I spotted the newly renovated Disney store. So many cute things!!



    Plenty of time for shopping later. What we really needed was some sustenance! Steve went to get our one checked bag from the claim area and I went to check in at the Hyatt. Their automated check in wasn't working so I had to speak to someone. Key cards in-hand I went upstairs to our room on the 9th floor. When I opened the door and walked in, I was truly amazed to find a completely renovated room! I knew they were doing some work on the hotel but I didn't think it would be this fast to get a new room! And the room was big and modern, it is leaps and bounds over what it was before (which wasn't bad, just older more traditional furniture). I think the only thing original was the bathtub and they just re-tiled the bath around it.









    I recorded a video of my surprise at the renovations...I really was shocked! I thought the room was great, very comfortable, and very big!


    After Steve got here with the bags, I went down to give him his key and we went back upstairs. We wondered where to eat and the hotel has a few restaurants so we decided to go to the one literally down the hallway from our room called Hemispheres.



    They had also completely renovated and was now a hip modern space. I remember we ate buffet breakfast here before our SWDAS cruise in 2016.
    We ordered a few things from the menu and shared it.

    But first...cheers to vacation starting!



    I got some sort of fancy mai tai and Steve got a glass of cabernet. My drink was ok I think, it was super strong, so I just got tired quickly after that. LOL.

    We got the:


    BURRATA MOZZARELLA
    Florida citrus, pickled mustard seeds, micro greens, fire roasted bread


    This was pretty good. I always love a good burrata and this wasn't the best as it wasn't oozy enough, but still it was a nice refreshing appetizer. Not sure it needed the mustard seed but I was fine with it.


    PANKO OYSTERS
    Wellfleet oysters, kewpie remoulade,
    yuzu kosho salad, fried capers, pickled Fresno peppers


    The oysters were really good! They were lightly fried and had a nice crisp crunch without overpowering the oyster.

    We also had:


    RIBEYE
    HAND CUT 14 OZ ANGUS
    heirloom tomatoes, red onions, frisée, arugula, chimichurri and smoked
    organic mushroom


    This was quite tasty and we were getting stuffed. I don't think we had any leftovers though but we were pretty full when we left.

    I was so tired I just stayed in the room and rested for the week ahead! Steve did the Crazy DIS Asian thing where he went to the hotel gym LOL.

    Coming up...our first stay at POR!
     
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    Spacecow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2017
    Joining in! I love reading your reports and I'm so glad to finally be here as one is starting, lol! So jealous of all your amazing Disney trips!! #Goals for sure!
     

    annie170

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2013
    You know I'm in! You so deserved this trip and it looks like you're off to a great start!

    This is completely random, but I noticed Steve pulls four wheeled luggage the same way my husband does, like it's a two wheeled bag. I'm always asking him why he does that. I don't know if he was so used to the two wheeled that he couldn't adjust to gliding the four wheels or what. I do know the four wheels don't glide along carpet that easily. Anyway, I'm glad to see my husband's not the only one doing that!
     
  • chunkymonkey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    Happy birthday! I have been a lurker and a fan for quite awhile. You have the best photos and I love your writing style.
    Aww thank you for joining in and reading my TRs! This makes me so happy!

    My condolences to you. May you always have joyful memories of your father.
    Thank you so much!

    Kudos to your friend for a wonderful birthday gift.
    It really was! I was so excited to stay at AKL again!

    Joining in! I love reading your reports and I'm so glad to finally be here as one is starting, lol! So jealous of all your amazing Disney trips!! #Goals for sure!
    Thank you for reading and joining in!! :)

    You know I'm in! You so deserved this trip and it looks like you're off to a great start!

    This is completely random, but I noticed Steve pulls four wheeled luggage the same way my husband does, like it's a two wheeled bag. I'm always asking him why he does that. I don't know if he was so used to the two wheeled that he couldn't adjust to gliding the four wheels or what. I do know the four wheels don't glide along carpet that easily. Anyway, I'm glad to see my husband's not the only one doing that!
    Hi Annie! Thanks for joining!

    Haha, yes he does pull it like that but only because it was carpet. On regular smooth floors it's better to just push it. Less strain I think. Although if you're like in a rush, sometimes the 2-wheel drag is the fastest way to go! LOL. I personally never drag and always push unless I can't help it :)
     

    NJlauren

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2014
    First page! Who am I!?!?

    Excited to hear more about this trip! I followed along on insta but excited to hear all the details!

    Fitting in anything Disney is always nice! But how hard was it to go to goofys kitchen and not hit up a park?!?!?

    For airport/hotel food that actually looks really good!

    Omg the gym??!?! This is vacation, granted I don’t go to the gym when I’m not on vacation so I probably shouldn't say that!
     
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    PlutosRHM55

    Pluto's Prince (Haters back off!)
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2010
    You had me at the Marie Kondo reference. I'm in! :mickeyjum Also, how blessed were you to get a fam photo with Pluto instead of Goofy? The dream. :goodvibes
     
  • Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    consider the Peoplemover to be one of the BEST. RIDES. EVER, and I love to eat, sleep, and drink (mostly Starbucks but wine too) DISNEY! I have favorite characters that change all the time, and currently love Eeyore, Pluto, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Jasmine, Tiana, Belle, Mulan, Snow White....oh well I guess I just love them all! I turned 43 years old on this trip, that just means my Disney age is about 21, right? :thumbsup2
    I need to copy some of this paragraph for my next intro! Peoplemover is awesome; everytime someone asks me what are my favorite characters I can't choose; and I agree with the Disney math!

    My DH's is Steve (aka Chubby Hubby but no one actually calls him that...to his face LOL).
    Goal for me for May! Remember to call Steve, Chubby Hubby!
     





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