Trip Report Making Lemonade out of Lemons Fractal Family Trip Report

I think we can all agree that so far 2020 has been one big sour lemon.

For those that did not read my Pre-Trip report; my entire family (Val-wife, Alex - oldest daughter, Sterg - son, Toni - youngest daughter) has recovered from the Covid-19 virus. Myself, Val, Sterg and Toni got it in March and Alex in April while working as a nurse. Val had it worse with a fever for a couple days and flu like symptoms for about a week. The rest of us were either asymptomatic or had minor symptoms.

Add to that the mental stress of living in a society dealing with this pandemic, Toni missing out on a big chunk of her High School Senior Year and her last dance recital (where she was going to take on a major role as Jasmine), work reductions for Sterg and high stress work conditions for Alex on the front line. Yes, 2020 has sure been one big sourpuss.

But, as the saying goes; "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

It just so happened that last year I made a reservation to attend the annual AHEPA convention in Walt Disney World, just as I did in 2017. We were going to stay at the Grand Destino Towers but that seemed very much in jeopardy when AHEPA (which is a charitable organization I'm involved with. Like a Greek version of the Knights of Columbus or Lions Club.) cancelled their convention. Soon after however, I received an email that Disney would honor our reservation in July. This was pretty tempting since we had convention rates and discounts on tickets. Long story short, we decided to go. We felt that having already had the virus gave us an extra level of protection and we knew that Disney would handle the health risks properly. In addition, we later found out that our rooms were moved from Grand Destino to the Contemporary in order to accommodate the LA Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. Sterg's and my dream of playing Marco Polo with the Greek Freak and LeBron James in the pool were quickly dashed. But who could say no to staying at The Contemporary for $175 a night?

We were a go! It was frustrating however because although we had a resort reservation we did not have park tickets. We also didn't have a "park pass" which was needed during this reopening of WDW. We had to wait for all that to open and I had serious doubts it would by the time our first day at the resort (July 20th) rolled around. I decided to book flights without tickets or park passes. Southwest had roundtrip flights from Philly to Orlando for $90 plus if you had to cancel you got that credit for a future flight. No brainer. This was turning out to be the cheapest Disney trip we have taken as a family! Soon after I was open to buy tickets and book Park Passes. We had started to squeeze that lemon and add it's juice to our pitcher of cold water.

Now for the Cast of our adventure.

Myself - Chris/Fractal. A lover of Disney Parks for the many memories it has given me over the years with my family, the way it helps me completely unwind from my job, and how it taps into my creative side and challenges my skills as a photographer.

Here I am with my crazy kids at Christmas.



Val - my beautiful wife. Not the biggest fan of Disney but in the end she was on board. I think secretly she likes it more than she lets on. I will make it up to her with a trip more to her liking.

Here she is with Alex.



Alex - our oldest. Now a traveling nurse. Alex is like me in many ways but as she's getting older and more responsible I'm starting to see her take on a number of Val's traits. She's a good mix and always a delight to be with.

From a trip to Colorado we took last year;



Sterg, aka Fractal Jr. One word to describe Sterg - catalyst - he just makes things happen. He creates reactions both good and bad. He graduated last year from Penn State. He was a captain on the Swim Team but not without drama. He had to miss his promising senior year of swimming when a series of concussions (all outside the water) forced him to medically retire. PSU handled it very well as he helped the team from the sidelines. He now works as a digital marketing consultant as well as helping his cousin get his music career off the ground. Never a dull moment when Sterg is around!

with our dog Prince (Charming).



Toni - For long time readers of my reports you know that Toni and I have a special Disney connection. Many times she would be the only one up early with me to tackle the parks at opening. We have had many great adventures together in the Disney bubble. She's now technically an adult (how did that happen?) so I was going to find out this trip if the magic was still there. She's going to attend Clemson University starting next month and I couldn't be prouder.

Toni in front of the Theater her Recital was supposed to perform at.



So Covid-19 made our family suffer in many ways, but we took that lemon, squeezed it's juice out into our water pitcher, now we just needed a little Disney sugar to make our Lemonade complete.

Coming up - Our trip begins with a WDW meet-up before our flight even leaves the ground!
 

cgersic

Well-Known Member
You've got me all teary eyed!! The end of the trip always makes me sad, regardless of whose it is 😩 The pictures leaving Main Street did it. I'm going to have to go back and read your older trip reports again because I saw SO MUCH in your photos of this trip that I don't normally see myself. Maybe it's the lack of crowds, but I appreciate it either way! Thanks for the fun and I look forward to the next one!
 

DisneyGigi

Well-Known Member
On our way to the airport with magic band still on.



Cheers to a memorable trip!



After a smooth flight we were back in Pennsylvania.

Wally wasn't happy to see me not wearing Mickey ears.

"DUDE......"



And that's all folks! Thanks for following along and all your likes, loves, laughs and wows. Thanks for all your comments and thoughts. I really appreciate that and every little conversation I had
while writing this. In many ways this WDWmagic community is like extended family - many of us have seen each other's children grow up, shared in many good times and some bad and most of all
shared our love for the magic of Disney - it's still there!



I'm sure I'll post again with some overall thoughts about the entire experience. Right now I have a long list of things to do, but first I think I'll have a tall cold glass of lemonade. :)
Okay, so this made me eyes get a bit damp, reading. ;)
80C57E2E-8603-48D6-B01E-FC65079984D7.gif




I feel the same way, we have all, from a distance, watched each other’s kids grow up. Read about the love handed down to the next generation...I will always say, Disney families, especially on the trip report forum, are just a shot different. A bit sentimental, and we share a love of Disney, and watching our adult children love it as much as we do. You just wait til you have grandchildren! ;) It gets even more sentimental!

Excellent photos, as always, and excellent details. I have always, always loved your reports, and sad to see this one end, but at the same time, so very happy to have followed along!
 
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MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
I enjoyed your trip report so much! Love your humor, and your tolerance when events and maybe people didn't meet your expectations. Obviously the photos, they were not only a joy to see, but as I read most of your report before our recent trip, we just got back Monday, it caused me to slow down a little and pay attention to things I've never noticed before. Thanks for taking the time to share!
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
You've got me all teary eyed!! The end of the trip always makes me sad, regardless of whose it is 😩 The pictures leaving Main Street did it. I'm going to have to go back and read your older trip reports again because I saw SO MUCH in your photos of this trip that I don't normally see myself. Maybe it's the lack of crowds, but I appreciate it either way! Thanks for the fun and I look forward to the next one!

Thank you @cgersic and I appreciated all your comments along the way!

I finally finished catching up. Excellent job as usual. Thank you for helping me and others see a little bit of magic in these crazy times!
Thank U GIF

I love this! Thanks @Loco_driver !

Okay, so this made me eyes get a bit damp, reading. ;)
View attachment 509282



I feel the same way, we have all, from a distance, watched each other’s kids grow up. Read about the love handed down to the next generation...I will always say, Disney families, especially on the trip report forum, are just a shot different. A bit sentimental, and we share a love of Disney, and watching our adult children love it as much as we do. You just wait til you have grandchildren! ;) It gets even more sentimental!

Excellent photos, as always, and excellent details. I have always, always loved your reports, and sad to see this one end, but at the same time, so very happy to have followed along!

I agree with that! Thank you for the kind words @DisneyGigi !

I enjoyed your trip report so much! Love your humor, and your tolerance when events and maybe people didn't meet your expectations. Obviously the photos, they were not only a joy to see, but as I read most of your report before our recent trip, we just got back Monday, it caused me to slow down a little and pay attention to things I've never noticed before. Thanks for taking the time to share!

Glad to see you starting your report @MickeyCB ! Thanks for following along and all your replies!

Thank you for such a great trip report!!! Also your fantastic pictures, you are a master at your craft and an inspiration to people like me who miss picking up that camer.

Thanks @Pirate Magic ! There's some beautiful fall scenery out there waiting to be photographed (depending where you live)!

Thank you for sharing another fantastic trip report with us!

Thanks for following @k8einwdw !
I REALLY enjoyed following along on your artistically photographed TR; thanks for taking the time to share it with all of us.

Thanks @Ghostdog ! It was nice having you along for the ride!

Thank for you sharing this beautiful trip report! I am so glad you all got to have a great family trip after everything that's happened this year!
Thanks @bee! It was some good medicine. Good luck with the house!
 

BigDis

Member
Thanks for sharing this great TR with the best pictures ever. I think you had us at hello...ok technically your first line of the report was "I think we can all agree that so far 2020 has been one big sour lemon."...but you certainly did make lemonade out of those lemons!
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
I thoroughly enjoyed your TR and beautiful pictures!!! Your family is adorable and I loved seeing the pictures from when they were younger. Thank you for taking the time to share your adventure. :) 2020 has certainly been a strange year and your TR was a bright spot for me!
 

senor_jorge

Nationality: Swiss for all things FP+
I'm assuming that you know it's only about 8 hours from Clemson to Orlando, if you don't linger on River Street?
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
Thank you for taking the time and effort to do this trip report, yours was one of the first ones I read when I came here a few years ago, and I've been waiting for another one for so long!

Thanks @Rista1313 ! :) Hopefully the next one will be sooner.

Thanks for sharing this great TR with the best pictures ever. I think you had us at hello...ok technically your first line of the report was "I think we can all agree that so far 2020 has been one big sour lemon."...but you certainly did make lemonade out of those lemons!

Lol! Thanks @BigDis ! 👍
I thoroughly enjoyed your TR and beautiful pictures!!! Your family is adorable and I loved seeing the pictures from when they were younger. Thank you for taking the time to share your adventure. :) 2020 has certainly been a strange year and your TR was a bright spot for me!

Very much appreciated @lindawdw ! I'm glad I was able to share some good things from this year. Thanks for following along and all your comments!
Thanks for an awesome TR as always!! And of course for the outstanding photography!! I really enjoyed both!!

Thanks @riverside!

I'm assuming that you know it's only about 8 hours from Clemson to Orlando, if you don't linger on River Street?

I did know, but it's always good to be reminded! 👍
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
I just realized I never commented once you finished reporting! :facepalm: Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! I thoroughly enjoyed your photos and your narrative! I can't believe how grown up the kids are, makes me feel really old! Can't wait to hear about the next trip, whenever that may be!
 

fractal

Premium Member
Original Poster
I just realized I never commented once you finished reporting! :facepalm: Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! I thoroughly enjoyed your photos and your narrative! I can't believe how grown up the kids are, makes me feel really old! Can't wait to hear about the next trip, whenever that may be!

Thanks @TheMouseFan ! Same with your kids and right back at you!
 

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