The Disneyland Pilgrimage & Cruise - COMPLETE

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alicemouse's picture
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The Disneyland Pilgrimage & Cruise - COMPLETE

*****TRIP REPORT BEGINS ON PAGE 2, POST 6*****

We're less than 60 days out! eek In fact, in 60 days, we'll be back home. sad

And I still feel like my plans are not very well defined. I called Disney Dining at DL last week and the CM that I spoke with told me "don't worry about it. You can get any reservation that you want even if it's the day before." Huh? She even seemed confused that I felt the need to make an ADR already. She's apparently never been to WDW. So I have no spreadsheet. There are some things that aren't even available for booking yet. I'm totally out of my element!! laugh

We ended up adding a night because even the earliest the flight out on Wednesday morning would have gotten us to the park around 2:00pm, so we were basically losing a 1/2 day. So we decided to fly Tuesday night. We'll land at LAX around 9:10 and we're still trying to decide how we're getting from LAX to DL. I'm leaning toward a taxi because we'll be landing at 1am Eastern time. With collecting the luggage, navigating the airport, and driving to the Eden Roc Inn, it will feel like 3am to us until we finally get to go to sleep.

Day 1 (Wednesday) We'll get up (hopefully) early, walk .4 miles to Grand Californian, check-in & drop off our luggage, and go to Disneyland. The first morning, we'll probably spend a lot of time just exploring and maybe picking up some minor attractions with shorter wait times. We're hoping to book the Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour for 2:30 that day, but the booking window doesn't open until 30 days before, so there's no guarantee that a tour will be offered at that time yet. They only offer an afternoon tour during peak periods. That day will be dinner at Jolly Holiday bakery since that is included with the tour. We will probably do lunch at the Plaza Inn because I've heard nothing but rave reviews about their chicken (and I love me some chicken!) On Day 1, we'll probably try to see the fireworks. I've heard a lot of people complaining about Fantasy in the Sky, which is the placeholder until the new fireworks show starts, but I'm not going to fly across the country to skip the fireworks. It's brightly colored explosions creating a backdrop for a castle. How bad can it be??

We have 30 attractions that we want to see at DL and 17 at DCA that are not on the refurb list during our visit, so we basically plan to spend 2 days at DL and 1 day at DCA. We did get park hoppers since we're staying at GC and have the back door access to DCA. Since we are traveling ahead of the 60th anniversary, we're running into quite a few closures for rehabs. We're going to miss Peter Pan's Flight and Soarin'--not a huge deal because we do have them at "home", but they're two of our favorites, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit sad about missing them. The two that I'm totally bummed about are Matterhorn Bobsleds and Luigi's Flying Tires. Matterhorn is just so iconically "Disneyland" and Luigi's Flying Tires looked just like the old Flying Saucer ride that I've always thought looked awesomely fun. Luckily, there are still a ton of our favorite attractions and some completely new experiences waiting for us!!

When I heard about the Fantasmic and World of Color dining packages, we were planning to take advantage of that to get preferred viewing for the shows, but when I spoke to the folks at Disney Dining, they said told me that the menus are fixed for the packages, so I think we'll just get FP for the shows and book dinner where we want to eat.

Day 2 (Thursday) will be a mostly DCA day. Our only "plan" for the day will be a meal at Carthay Circle. I'm thinking that our other meal might be at Tortilla Jo's at DTD today. I'm very excited about doing the Animation Academy (probably while Benn is on ToT), Monsters Inc, and Radiator Springs Racers. Todays' evening goal is World of Color.

Day 3 (Friday) will mostly be a DL day. If we don't hist them on Wednesday, our priorities are Alice in Wonderland, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Toontown, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and BTMR. Presumably Benn will ride Space Mountain. I'll probably opt for Astro Orbiter instead unless I'm feeling extra brave. Food today is very much up in the air. We were going to do Blue Bayou, but it would be more for the novelty of the location in Pirates of the Caribbean, so we're probably going to scrap that and go counter service for the day. There's a possibility that we may do Cafe Orleans or Carnation Cafe. I'm still thinking about it.

Day 4 (Saturday) is transfer-to-the-cruise day. We'll be out of park tickets, so we'll probably hit DTD in the morning and stop at Earl of Sandwich for breakfast. In Orlando, I can get a holiday turkey sandwich at 8:30 in the morning. I hope the same holds true on the west coast! We'll transfer toe the cruise somehow--maybe a cab, maybe a service like Uber or Lyft--haven't decided yet. This is the point where we'll meet up with my parents who will be joint us for the cruise to celebrate their 60th birthdays. Our cruise is a California Coastal on the Ruby Princess.

Day 5 (Sunday) is an at sea day, which might be the day that Benn is looking forward to the most! laugh It's the day that I'm looking forward to the least! After our Carnival cruise on the boat with the broken stabilizer, I'm very leery of at sea days.

Day 6 (Monday) is San Francisco day. We'll be visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum, Industrial Light and Magic (it's not open to the public, but there's apparently a Yoda statue that IS public, so we're going on a scavenger hunt), Ghiradelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz at night. I'm really executed about this day.

Day 7 (Tuesday) is another at sea day. crossfingers for calm seas.

Day 8 (Wednesday) is Santa Barbara. We're doing a trolley tour and then we're not really sure. Maybe hitting the beach? and probably freezing.

Day 9 (Thursday) is San Diego. I was really excited about SD because originally we were going to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but I got overruled and now we're going to Balboa Park. It should still be an awesome day because we'll be doing the Model Railroad Museum, Science Museum, and Air & Space Museum.

Day 10 (Friday) is Ensenada, MX. This is the last day of vacation and it's the one I'm the least excited about. Our excursion doesn't sound all that interesting, but in light of the frequent State Dept. warnings for this area, I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to go off the boat on our own, so we had three cruise-sponsoroed excursions to choose from.

Day 11 (Saturday) is back to LA and travel home day. sad

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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Wow what a trip! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back. I've only been to DL once and it was a long time ago. I'd like to go again just to see Cars Land!

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I'm confused then - did they make you reservations or just tell you not to worry about it?

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Kristen K. wrote:
I'm confused then - did they make you reservations or just tell you not to worry about it?

They told me not to worry about it, but my inner planner is definitely not showing up without reservations! I'm going to make a reservation for Carthay, but I'm going to wait until after I book Walk in Walt's Footsteps just in case they don't offer an afternoon tour that Wednesday and I have to switch days.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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Your trip sounds like so much fun!!

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alicemouse wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:
I'm confused then - did they make you reservations or just tell you not to worry about it?

They told me not to worry about it, but my inner planner is definitely not showing up without reservations! I'm going to make a reservation for Carthay, but I'm going to wait until after I book Walk in Walt's Footsteps just in case they don't offer an afternoon tour that Wednesday and I have to switch days.

The three that you really need reservations for if you're going at Napa Rose, Carthay Circle and Blue Bayou. Other than that you can probably get by.

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alicemouse wrote:
We're less than 60 days out! eek In fact, in 60 days, we'll be back home. sad

And I still feel like my plans are not very well defined. I called Disney Dining at DL last week and the CM that I spoke with told me "don't worry about it. You can get any reservation that you want even if it's the day before." Huh? She even seemed confused that I felt the need to make an ADR already. She's apparently never been to WDW. So I have no spreadsheet. There are some things that aren't even available for booking yet. I'm totally out of my element!! laugh

What kind of craziness is this?! I wouldn't even know how to deal with myself! It sounds like you have an awesome plan in place though and I can't wait for this TR! yay

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Sounds like a great trip! I can't wait to hear about Disneyland biggrin

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Sounds like a lot of fun! Take lots of pictures!

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Day 6 (Monday) is San Francisco day. We'll be visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum, Industrial Light and Magic (it's not open to the public, but there's apparently a Yoda statue that IS public, so we're going on a scavenger hunt), Ghiradelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz at night. eek I'm really executed about this day! eek

Alicemouse! Please dont execute yourself at Alcatraz!!! rolling

All joking aside..it sounds great! I love sea days though...so I am with Ben on those.

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Magic Mirror wrote:
Day 6 (Monday) is San Francisco day. We'll be visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum, Industrial Light and Magic (it's not open to the public, but there's apparently a Yoda statue that IS public, so we're going on a scavenger hunt), Ghiradelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz at night. eek I'm really executed about this day! eek

Alicemouse! Please dont execute yourself at Alcatraz!!! rolling

All joking aside..it sounds great! I love sea days though...so I am with Ben on those.

LOL there must be some subconscious thing there!! I can't tell you how many times I try to type excited and it ends up as executed. I promise, Angie. No executions. Unless dad gets unruly. Then we might have to hunt down one of those old electric chairs or something. wink

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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sounds great. I can't wait to hear about your trip.

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Last week I had a fortunate occurrence. I was attending a real estate conference in Washington, DC and when I walked into one of the seminars, one of my teammates from my office was talking to an agent from Chino Hills, CA who just happens to be a Disneyland AP holder. So of course I chatted her up and she mentioned Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen to me. Well, I had heard of Ralph Brennan's, but I was mostly set on eating in the parks just to save time because I feel a little pressured about only having 2.5 days to take in all of the sights! After looking at the menu, I booked it immediately! And I think I might be more excited about eating there than I am about eating at Carthay Circle!

In other news, Walk in Walt's Footsteps is only offered in the afternoon on the Friday of our trip, so I called and booked Friday, March 27 instead of Wednesday, March 25. I'd really have preferred to do the tour on the first day, but it's not worth giving up a morning for touring time.

Also, I've solved our transportation problem from LAX to DL. Originally, our flight was arriving too late on Tuesday to take the DL shuttle, so we were looking at a cab fare in excess of $100. Super Shuttle would not have been very efficient and we want to have a full touring day on Wednesday and to be well-rested (let's be real--I need Benn to be well-rested so he doesn't get cranky) so we can fully enjoy everything. It turns out that the morning non-stop from BWI to LAX dropped $40, so we switched our flight and bought tickets for the DL shuttle. YAY! Now we'll arrive at the Eden Roc Inn by around 2pm and then enjoy a nice dinner at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen for our first night. I'm very excited about the change in our timeline. It will be nothing short of torture to be that close to DL and not be able to go in until the next day, but I suppose it will encourage us to really enjoy our time at Downtown Disney!

We've also had a change of plans for meeting up with Disneylover21 (Dani). We had been trying to work out a DL meet up since our original plans were going to overlap. That's not going to work out after all, buuuut....it turns out that Dani lives close to Santa Barbara where our cruise will stop on Wednesday, April 1 and she has very graciously offered to take us to the Santa Barbara Zoo! I'm very excited about this excursion because I couldn't get the parents on board for the zoo, the safari park, OR Sea World in San Diego waiting. They're just not really animal people confused. So, after the morning trolley tour, we'll be hitting the Santa Barbara Zoo. Unfortunately, mom & dad are still not joining us, but this time it's for good reason because....

...Dad had knee surgery last week. He's doing ok, but the procedure was to remove all of the cartilage from his knee, so his broken cartilage no longer gets stuck in his knee and makes it lock up, but his knee won't ever actually get "better" because he has pretty severe arthritis and now all of the bones are in there rattling around with nothing to cushion them when he walks. He had the same thing done to the other knee last Christmas and when we went to Disney 3 months later, walking long distances was still quite a chore for him. (I must have asked him 15 times if he would use a scooter if I rented one for him. That was like talking to a brick wall. laugh ) On this trip, he'll only have one month of recovery under his belt, so I believe that we will be taking more cabs than we had originally planned and walking-intensive activities like zoos are pretty much out for him.

So, just 3 weeks to go!! Of course there's a ton of stuff to handle--like who's teaching my classes while I'm away, getting all of my clients to a good stopping point before I leave or making arrangements for their needs to be handled, finishing and filing the taxes, communicating with the pet sitter, etc., etc., etc.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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Wow, sounds like quite the trip you have planned!

DL and then a cruise sounds like a really great vacation. mickey

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Wow that is a lot of awesome information! I've bookmarked this thread for someday when we can make it out there! I can't wait to hear how your trip goes and crossing my fingers for a speedy recovery for your dad! crossfingers

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Get better dad!!

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Magic Mirror wrote:
Day 6 (Monday) is San Francisco day. We'll be visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum, Industrial Light and Magic (it's not open to the public, but there's apparently a Yoda statue that IS public, so we're going on a scavenger hunt), Ghiradelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz at night. eek I'm really executed about this day! eek

Alicemouse! Please dont execute yourself at Alcatraz!!! rolling

All joking aside..it sounds great! I love sea days though...so I am with Ben on those.

Alicemouse, enjoy the trip to SF - I've been to the Disney Family Museum - there's also a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the house via a panoramic window and you can catch the fog rolling off the hills at time too - and also found Yoda which is open to the public. ILM no longer do tours inside Sad

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Sid Man wrote:

Alicemouse, enjoy the trip to SF - I've been to the Disney Family Museum - there's also a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the house via a panoramic window and you can catch the fog rolling off the hills at time too - and also found Yoda which is open to the public. ILM no longer do tours inside Sad

Awesome! We were planning to ask the cab to drive us over to the Golden Gate bridge, but if we can see it from the museum, that's even better!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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Single digit day!! banana banana banana

Pay no attention to my ticker...I didn't update it when we added the extra day. Originally we were leaving Wednesday AM, then Tuesday PM, and now it's Tuesday AM. You might say that we're anxious to go!! laugh

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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Wooohoooo! Not long now honey!

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woop woop into single digits!!!!!!! cant wait to hear all about it! yay

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Have a great time. I miss San Francisco very much. I may have left my heart there.

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Have a great time!!

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4 Days to go and already I'm not sleeping! I love WDW, but I don't think I've ever had so much anticipation for a vacation!! My brain is full of trip excitement and seemingly mile-long to-do lists. Every time I cross off one thing, I add two more! Running around like mad trying to get to Tuesday mickey

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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It really is a pilgrimage for a Disney lover. You are going to fall in love with DL.

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Love love love! So excited for you! yay

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I can't wait to hear about your trip! We are hoping to visit Disneyland in August, right after the D23 convention, and I also was very surprised at the differences in planning and making reservations. I'm looking forward to all your tips and tricks. It sounds amazing!

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Hi everyone!! We just got home! The trip report will be coming soon. First sleep, then hopefully someone is feeding me Easter dinner tomorrow, and then catching up on the mountains of work that piles up in two weeks of neglecting it silly

Sneak preview: the trip was awesome and I collected nearly 3000 photos. Don't worry I won't post them all and crash the site! laugh I think a lot of them are random "shots out of a bus window" (especially when I got bored on the 2-hour bus trip in Mexico.) More soon!

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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Welcome back. Glad you had a great time.

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Really looking forward to reading your trip report and seeing some of your photos!

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Welcome back!

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