I have finally uploaded all my photos to Facebook and made the album public, so with luck you should all be able to see the photos. If you can't, please let me know and I'll try to find a different (and free) webhost. So, setting the scene a bit: I had managed to use my Airmiles to get two 5 Day Park Hoppers, but they were expiring on the 13th of January, 2018, and although I know that we could still use them and pay the difference in ticket price after that date, I wanted to use them prior to expiry. I had originally planned on taking the kids with me for a week in July, but DH was worried about me traveling alone with the kids - two girls ages 11 and 13. I saw his point as DD11 is impulsive and would be the most likely to bolt away on me. So I said, "How's Christmas for you?" and he sighed and agreed that we could go there for Christmas! I immediately began planning! Airplane tickets through Delta were purchased end July and after that, I was concentrating on saving up enough Airmiles for one more 5DPH and then purchase the last one before we left. Procrastination paid off, as the Canadian Resident offer came out in the fall, so that worked to our advantage, as well as Disney Gift Cards being available outside of a Disney store across Canada, so in October I dropped a bunch of money on the gift cards at Canadian Tire and managed to get Canadian Tire money for them too (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's like a 2% cash-back on purchases in that store which can only be used there. After a year of saving up, you can usually get some good stocking stuffers or something cool for the gear-head or camper in the family). As the days grew closer, things mostly came together, and the torturous Pre-TR can be found here if you're so inclined. Also, the As-It-Happens Trip Report can be found here, but there are no photos in that one. I will be repeating some of the written stuff in this TR, but I'll try to freshen things up too. I'm not good at games like other awesome reporters are, but I'll do my best to load this with photos and funny things. Are you comfy? Good, I'll begin.... The day had arrived! The weather had turned cold before we left, and we got snow the week we were leaving, and they even got more while we were away! We picked a good week to go away, that's for sure. Here's our deck the morning we left. We left our house around 8:30 for a 12:57 flight out of Victoria. We live about an hour away so we wanted to get around any potential problems. Good thing we left early - there was a school bus which hit black ice and took out the trailer of the Canadian men’s Olympic rowing team! One of their sculls went through the driver’s window and he ended up in hospital with a broken arm! Lucky guy. None of the kids were injured and the rowing team made it to the lake for practice, but we weren’t going to wait in a long line, so we turned around and went a different route. A few km down the road, there was tree falling going on, so we were stopped for 10 minutes there. Thankfully, it was clear sailing to the airport. We were first in line at the Delta desk and the sweet agent waived our baggage fee as DH is RCN (Canadian Navy). She didn't have to do that, so it was definitely some Christmas Magic to start our trip off. We made it through security easily and had about an hour to wait, with a 2 hour connection in Seattle. Turns out, our incoming flight was delayed out of Seattle and instead of leaving at 12:57, we left at 2:25, when our Seattle flight to Santa Ana was boarding! Delta assured us if we missed the flight they would reschedule us on another flight. There were 21 people who needed to make that connection. After landing, then going through customs and security and the train... the 21 of us found ourselves waiting for the 6:50pm flight. My family grabbed a bite to eat at an African themed restaurant, where I ordered the largest beer I could to try to make things better. DD11 was so hungry, she gobbled her burger down in record time and pronounced it the best burger ever. I canceled our Rainforest Cafe reservations, moved the Karmel pick up (and was assured of pick up... an hour after landing), and then waited for our flight to board. Once an attendant was behind the kiosk, I talked to her about our boarding passes. Turns out they had placed as many of the 21 passengers throughout the plane, and we were in FIRST CLASS!! They asked for some volunteers to stay overnight with an offer of a Delta credit, and a hotel and food voucher. Had I been traveling alone I would have taken it, but we held fast and ended up sitting in the first and third rows of First Class! It was awesome and DD11 was pretty chuffed. MORE Christmas magic, right there! I was thirsty. We landed and Karmel had the van right there! We were soon at the Desert Inn & Suites hotel and checked in. Room 320 - second set of elevators and down the back. It was quiet once we were inside and cold that first night, until I figured out how to turn on the heat! We crashed HARD as it had been a long day of travel. Next up: First day in the parks! Wheeee!