A year and a half of fundraising, 110 students, 15 chaperones, 2 staff members, 5 days, 21 hours sleep, 5 blisters on my feet, and the opportunity of a lifetime! Each chaperone was in charge of 7 or 8 kids and their money. Thank God for cell phones, I don’t know how group trips like this worked without them. We had a great time and brought home lots of good memories. I would highly recommend that any parent given an opportunity like this take it in a heartbeat!
Mr Dunham Day 1
The Hotel, we had floor 3
Marquee @ Epcot
Kids watching fire work show @ Epcot
Kyle and I before performance
Quote of the week… Day 4, the last night we were there, most of the kids arrived at the hotel in time to swim. Cerfew was midnight and all the kids were wound from the weeks events. We received a couple of complaints about the noise by the floor below us and security was sent to ask us to keep it down. One of my boys was walking to his room saying “I just got chewed out by a security guard that got winded walking up two flights of stairs.”
Mr Dunham did a great job with all the kids, They sounded awesome! The dynamics were there, no obvious errors, all the flutes were in tune, and no squeaks from the clarinets. I was very proud to be a part of this group.
My roommate and I each had one room of boys and one room of girls, all were Juniors and Seniors except but one of the girls. I was under the delusion that they would be easier than Freshman and Sophomores because they are almost adults. Telling 18 year old young men it is time for bed was “futile” (according to one of the boys) but we managed to get it done. Maria and I both had the 2 rowdiest rooms of boys in the entire band. Oh boy! At first it was a little overwhelming but looking back I would not change the groups I had. They were quite entertaining and were obviously having a good time and not afraid to show it. I was I was roomed for the 5 days with Maria, a parent I did not know prior to this trip, we were a good match (at least I don’t think I drove her crazy) I gained a new friend.
Roommates Maria and Julie day 1
3 of Julie’ boys (whites shirts)
Julie’s other boy (middle black shirt)
The chaperone rules were that each chaperone group would travel to and from the parks together, meet all the kids for breakfast lunch and dinner, and give each kid his or her breakfast and lunch money in the morning and their dinner money at dinner. If any of the kids did not make a meal meeting place we would all eat then we could not go our separate ways until we found the missing kids as a group. Then those kids that we had to look for would have to stay with the chaperone for 1/2 a day. All the kids read the rules and signed them prior to the trip. My roommate and I had a total of 15 kids, 8 boys and 7 girls to coordinate.On day 2, the first day in the parks, breakfast was rough. All the girls were up and ready to go at the designated time and all the boys wanted to sleep in so they did not get up. Once we got them all to the bus stop we decided on a meeting place for lunch and reminded all the kids they signed a paper they would meet us prior to the trip. We were there early enough that we were getting on all the good rides with less than 20 minute waits. We went to Splash Mountain, it said it was a 40 minute wait on the sign. We had an hour and a half until me had to meet our kids for lunch so we got in line. OMG, the line was way more than 40 minutes but by the time we were in the line that long we did not want to get out. One hour and 20 minutes into the line we were 10 minutes from getting on the ride and 10 minutes from our designated lunch meeting time! It was a 15 minute ride, now way were we getting out of line now! We called all our kids and told them lunch is off, we were stuck in a ride and would not make it. ALL of the kids were at the meeting place or almost there, the CHAPERONES WERE LATE! After we got off the ride we found our boys first, the were eating near a couple of the other chaperones. Apparently that morning Dr. Elliot gave his kids all the money for the day and said “have a good time.” SO! I gave all the boys their dinner money and said “have a good time, see you at the gate when the park closes.” I found my girls and told them what happened gave them their money and told them to have a good time.
Self portraits days 2 – 4
No rest for the chaperones, day 2 was the longest with 20 hours on our feet. W were up early, the girls were ready but we had to wake the boys to go to the park. “you’re not going to let a couple of old ladies out do you are you?” is how I greeted my boys this AM (all the other mornings I greeted them with money, that worked much better.) According to the ‘Chaperone Rules’ that we were given prior to the trip we were not allowed to leave the park with all the kids there, if we wanted to take a nap we were to call another chaperone in the park and tell them then let all our kids know… what a PIA, plus we did not want to miss a thing, we stayed at the park until closing. This was the night of our 11:30 pm – 2:30 am security shift. When we got back to the hotel with all the kids it was almost midnight, the other chaperones had ALL returned to the hotel at some point during the day to nap. “You guys stayed all day???!” We just looked at each other. Oh well, we had fun, what would we have missed if we took a nap?
day 2 – hour 12
Tigger the Duck
Tigger the Duck – Just as I thought it was safe to sit and eat a snack without my cat Tigger begging for a bite, I turn around and there is a DUCK at my back begging for a bite! Story of my life. Good thing we were not at the wild animal park!
I took 265 photos on this trip, most of them are at Kodak Gallery. The links are below. The selected photos are 93 of the photos I pulled out of the kids & adults to share with the parents. You will have to sign up to see the photos but I have not had a problem with Kodak Gallery sending much junk mail.
UPDATE8/1/2014: Kodak Gallery is no more. I need to move these and repost corrent links
Maria and I did not know each other prior to this trip other than seeing each other at school events. When I packed for the trip I put my new sandals in the suit case for Magic Kingdom day. I thought they would be perfect for the fast and wet rides. When we got to the airport I noticed Maria had the exact same sandals! Was this a case of ‘Great Minds Think Alike’ or just two women with impeccable taste?
Day 3 – hour 12
Maria & I – Epcot
I wonder why my voice was hoarse on the last day. Could it be from all the screaming?
Maria & I front seat
Aerosmith Rock’n’ Roller Coaster
@MGM day 4
Kyle in back + 7 other JHHS kids
@ Magic Kingdom Day 2
Maria & I second seat
@ Magic Kingdom Day 2
By day 4 our bodies were complaining from all the junk we have been eating combined with the sleep depravation, about 1:00 we could not go anymore unless we sat and ate something healthy. All the restaurants with real food were busy. The first place we stopped had over an hour wait. The nice lady at the counter looked in her computer and got us a reservation at the “50’s Prime Time Cafe” with only a 20 minute wait. Just enough time to get there. The whole place was decked out like the 50’s with 50’s TV shows playing on the TV’s in each room. The waitress pulled up a chair and gave us the “rules” for eating there… “No elbows on the table, no whining, no tattling, eat all your vegetables, and set your own place.” She looked at me, motioned with her hand and said “elbows off the table!” Then she made us set out places before she took the order.
We gave the waitress our camera to take our picture and she said “me first” and took a picture of herself!
W e both had pot roast and root beer floats. This was the BEST pot roast I have ever had! The waitress said nothing about licking our fingers being against the rules.
When the waitress was clearing the table next to us for desert she said to the mom at that table “you didn’t finish your vegetables” loud enough that we could all hear. Then she scooped up a fork full of carrots and said “open wide… now everyone make the airplane noise.” As every one made the noise she put the carrots in the woman’s mouth. I’m sure glad I cleaned my plate!
Maria knew how to read a map, too bad Julie could not follow her directions.
MGM Tower of Terror
Dinner at Down Town Disney
The first day out was in Magic Kingdom. I informed my gang I was stalking Jack to get a photo of him for my buddy Deb back in Wyoming. I found Jack the pirate!!! He looked EXACTLY like he did on the big screen. There was a huge crowd around him, because of that the line for the ride dropped from over 40 minutes to less than 20. So I said “screw the photo! Let’s ride!” Sorry Deb, he would not have fit in my suitcase anyway.
Captain Jack Sparrow
There was plenty of Pirate
paraphernalia to be had.
He’s waiting for you…
Travel group 3 waiting for their flight home at the Orlando airport.
O’ Son of mine usually washes his sheets, after the big storm last
Wednesday the dog was all muddy and slept on the bed.
3 years ago I cleaned and organized his room, it took over 8 hours. I was never going to clean it again. The dust on his shelves has turned to dirt. Well, I’m tired of begging, nagging, and yelling. He’s out of town and I have house guests half the summer so I’m cleaning it and throwing away stuff so it is presentable. – send a search party if I turn up missing….
He is not allowed to have food or drinks in his room…. look around!
~ Progress Notes ~
day 1 ~6/18/06 – Clock In : 1145am Break: 1420 – 1515 Stop: 2020
day 2 ~ A little vacuuming in the clean half, 2 more loads of laundry, order new bed, sheets, &pillow.
day 3 ~ Bring in roll-away bed (new bed not in until 6/30), 3 more loads laundry, clean and reposition shelves (1 hour).
day 4 – more laundry! ahhhhh!!! Did the last load-TG! Another 30 minutes in room.
day 5 – clock in 10:00 break 13:00 – 14:00 break 17:45 – 18:45 20:45
Now I see why it is such a fight, I wanted to cry after I worked a few hours and the pile was still winning. I hope he is happy I did this, I doubt he will miss any of the stuff I tossed.
Thank You Sharon!!! ~ Buddy Sharon stopped by and gave me a hand for a couple of hours. She helped me put a huge dent in the shit pile.
I have been looking for a new set of dressers at yard sales. The one he has was falling apart. I found a couple of almost new ones Saturday. Just the motivation I needed to get started on his room.
He gets a new bed
I found that the springs in his bed have broke and are sticking out, he needs a new box spring and mattress. Now. He got a new extra long twin box spring and mattress. We have no bedding that size in the house so he also got a new mattress pad and sheets. His pillow sucked so I got him a new one of those too.
Earring on night stand??? (blinking light, clip. not a girls)
MY tape dispenser from MY desk
2 screw drivers
$50 2 dressers
$350 mattress&box spring
$44 Mattress protector
$50 Sheets &pillow
I lost count of loads I did the first day, below is the pile of clean laundry I washed plus one load is in the washer, one in the dryer, plus 2 hampers with more. I found cloths he grew out of years ago piled under toys and stuff. In his defense his dresser drawers were hard to pull out on the bottoms were falling off.
Out the Door:
Bags of Toys: 8
1 Box of Books
(I put a free sign on it and it was gone in less than an hour)
This weekend the ‘get the teen out of bed to go skiing’ thing hit a head. His schedule last week other than school included Boy Scouts Tuesday, we let him go to the Teen Center after school Thursday, and he went to a friends house after school Friday. Saturday morning my husband dragged him out of bed at 0830 to go dig snow caves with the boy scouts for for next weekends camp out. Sunday I got him up at 0900 to go skiing. He didn’t want to go, he wanted to sleep until noon then play video games the rest of the day. I have a rule, if he skips skiing no video games all day. My husband applies the same rule to scouting events.
I dragged his grumpy bum out of bed at 0900 and we headed out the door at 1100, plenty of time to improve his attitude. But to no avail, he was in such a foul mood when we got the ski hill if flowers had been around they would have wilted. “Skiing is boring and I don’t like it any more!”. And from that moment on he was determined to NOT have a good time. It snowed all week, skiing was going to be GREAT. Sure, it can’t be too much fun skiing with mom but all his friends ski black runs and we ski blue runs. We hopped right on the gondola and went straight to the top of the hill. I told him to meet me where we can see the runs off of Thunder lift, we looked up the hill and the snow looked great, It was not too windy, and there was not too many clouds on it. So we met at Thunder lift, I thought if we skied something harder he might cheer up but NO all the was up the lift the sulk on his face was worse than ever. We skied to a run called Rag Run, it is marked single blue but for a short time is more like double blue, but the snow was foot deep skied powder. I told him he could ski ahead and meet me at Casper, he skied off so fast he missed my face plant in the powder (I think that would have put a grin on his face).
We skied for over an hour separately, then I saw him on the chair when I was on my way down the run, I challenged him to catch up. He did in less than one run. When he caught up I said “Already!” he had a grin on his face (yes a real grin) and said “I ski faster than you”. We stopped in the warming hut for a snack and I could tell he had been having a good time despite himself.
The highlight of his day was when we met up with one of my friends and her kids then went to the bunny hill for one more run before going home. We were playing follow Jenny (she’s 5 years old) and she went on a short trail through the trees. Kyle did not follow, he just watched me scream like a little girl and fall on my ass.
He admitted he had a good day and about 9pm apologized for being a grump.