Arrival day at The Fort

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Time for another addition to the Mother/Daughter Take The World trip report. Today’s edition: Arrival!  Due to the fact that I have been more than a little sick the past few days, I am once again re-posting my report from the message board I post on. Hopefully within the next 24-36 hours the brain boring worm that has taken residence in my skull will explode so I can have my head again. Until then, I leave you with arrival day: 

Hello FW campers and TR readers. 

I haven’t forgotten about you, and hope that you haven’t forgotten me! Life has been busy since our return, and sadly I have lost several people who have passed in the past few weeks that has taken my time and focus. I have not felt much for writing a new edition to the TR, sad to say.   I’m doing better today, finally processing a few pics (none of these are edited though, you have to wait in the time-line of things for those, lol) and thought I would share a few from what is uploaded to Photobucket to keep your interests up. 

Give me time and I will get back to the full report, but here is a brief beginning. 

Yay! We are here!! Arrival: 

So, for the record of how things went if you are just tuning in: We left Atlanta around 3 a.m. and arrived around 10:30 Wednesday morning (9/27). First things first…I needed gas!!! There were no gas stations on a newer toll road I had taken except for when we first got on that road, and as the miles crept by and my gas tank suddenly went from having 30-40 miles until empty (which should have been more than enough as that road was not supposed to be that long) to having 0, I was in a wee bit of worry. But finally, there was an exit! Any exit with a gas station would have sufficed, but luckily (or not so luckily as it took me having to go one way for a few miles before being told to turn around and go the opposite way), we found a gas station just minutes from our destination. On Disney property. That didn’t cost $90 a gallon. lol  DD was so excited to be on property, she couldn’t believe the toll road dumped us right at the WDW gates! As I pumped gas at the Hess station, she stared enraptured out the window gazing longingly at The Swan and Dolphin Hotels, Hollywood Studio’s Tower of Terror and any other sights she could feast her Disney starved eyes on. We were here, we had made it! Now with a full tank again, time to head ‘home’ to The Fort and check-in.  

Pulling up to the gate at Fort Wilderness, the nice gate guard welcomed us home and directed my car to check in. I had a minor credit card issue that was quickly resolved (amazing CMs, still working on writing that letter) and we were given our site in the 2000 loop. Yay! We love the 2000 loop! We were both so happy to find out we were once again going to be on Spanish Moss Trail, where we had been our last trip. My fingers were crossed that we would get a canal site this time and as we drive away from Guest Services/check-in, we see a small herd of deer walking in the meadow as well as a few rabbits darting by. She and I looked at each other, cocked our heads to the side, threw our hands up in the air and said ‘word’. (Which happens a lot on this trip. ‘Word’ is our ‘thing’ for when we see something we like or makes us laugh.)

We get to the site, yay…it is a canal site…and now it is time to get the show on the road! After nearly 5…yes I said FIVE…hours of set-up, we finally had a camp. What took so long in set up this go ’round was my kitchen canopy. I am so short, and could not get it to go up and lock into place so the rest of it would pop up, I struggled with it for hours! I had gotten the tent put up first (although not staked in case I needed to move it), then the small pop-up canopy for the kid to sit under when I needed her out of the way (why is it kids go nuts when you first get to a campground?!). But I digress…. I had her set things up in the tent as much as possible while I continued to work on that dang-nabbit canopy frame. After what seemed like the longest time, and because DD kept telling me how long I had been at it (“Do you realize, Mom that it is now 3:00 and you started this at 11?” Yeah, those updates came often…grrrr… ), a family rolled up with their pop-up and set up next to us. In 15 minutes. (Which has prompted me to decide I am buying a pop-up camper for us…maybe). In between shouting at her kid, the wife finally shouted at me to ask if I needed help and then shouted at her husband to come help me. They walked over and pop! Up went the canopy! God, I hate being so short sometimes.  I thanked them profusely as they walked away, and then I finally got the canopy on and the kitchen was ready. The irony in all this is that we barely used it; we ate out more than we cooked; and the canopy frame refused to unlock which meant when we tore down I literally broke the thing and put it in the dumpster!! 

Camp: I put the kitchen canopy nearest the canal, because I wanted to sit out there and listen to the creatures at night when kiddo went to bed, and because by the time I had it up and ready to secure, the aforementioned neighbors had moved in and I needed a barrier from all the shouting. (For the record, tent walls do NOT provide a noise barrier, but hey, luckily for us the neighbors were only there for 2 days.) Re-positioning camp worked well, although I think I will just do the tent to back of canal next time for more privacy and avoidance of the car lights (although across the canal at the cabins was very loud at times). 

Welcome to our camp! 
Inside the kitchen
A little Halloween decor…

After the fiasco of set up, I was falling over exhausted. All night drive from Atlanta, check in and set up had left me about ready to collapse. It was also hot. VERY HOT! I’m a southern gal and used to heat and humidity, but after driving all night and then set up, I was roasting. DD was worried, because certain things can trigger seizures and while I didn’t think I was in any danger, she had me convinced to go to the pool to ‘cool off and rest’. Haha, smart girl, she was ready for the slide! Luckily for us, Kenny from Tee Time Rentals had our cart delivered to our site while we were setting up, so after a quick change, off we go!! The pool felt so good, the hot tub was a bit too warm still at that time of the day, but all in all, kiddo had the right idea! 

I have photos of the pool trip, followed by what has been deemed our tradition for arrival night: Dinner at Trails End, but the next day my camera card freaks out at DTD, so all photos taken up until then are most likely in the great netherworld of lost data. 

First full day after arrival, off to DTD. The camera has its episode almost right as we walk up so I take a few minutes to check my gear sitting on the rocks to T-Rex. Lens, good. Battery, full. Strange code keeps popping on screen so quick Google and text to DH who stayed home this trip for work. He pulls up Nikon codes and relieves my “OMG, my camera is broke!” moment. I find out memory card is probably toast, so the following are all mobile pics (which kinda suck, sorry). 

Waiting to pick up our tickets at GS. Long line but pleasant people to get to know and talk with. DD just wanted to A. go. B. text: 

After our turn at Guest Services, we are off again!

Walking around, hey Woody and Buzz! 


T-Rex looks so cool! 

  



I told DD we would eat here, but we never did. Oh well, another to look forward to when we go back. 

After checking out DTD for a bit…we are hot, tired and my camera issues are weighing on my mind, so off to find a mall or other store to get a new HD card. I was going to be more than upset if the lens I rented for good night shots wasn’t going to get used, so camera issues became an urgent problem for me. While I didn’t get upset about it, I did want it resolved and quickly so we wouldn’t waste any time when it came time for park days. Off we go, found a Wal-Mart which had something good enough, plus a few other things I needed. The McDonald’s in the parking lot was screaming at me that it had good ice tea, lol,  so I pulled in and grabbed us a quick bite and my tea before heading back to the Fort. Plus side, the drive-thru worker noticed my AAA card as I took my CC out of my wallet and gave me a discount! Nice! Didn’t even ask and saved a few bucks…I like that! 

Back to the Fort after a day of what seemed like a bunch of nothing but tired us out anyway. Change into our suits, hop in our cart and zoom over to the pool. As we pulled up, we noticed the Archery being put away for the day. Darn! We forgot about that today. Oh well, maybe later.  Pool time, then steaks on the grill at the site followed by a little looping, the fireworks, water parade and then a movie in the tent as we get ready for our first Y.E.S. class the next day. And of course the first class is at the park ya gotta do first….THE MAGIC KINGDOM!!! 

To be continued….