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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.

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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.

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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;

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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).

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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.

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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!
 
Let me be the 7,354th person to commend you on your report and pictures. It took a long time for me to finish thanks to life (mostly work), but I definitely was not interested in rushing through it! My wife is a much more amateur photographer but really enjoys the hobby. I'll have to get some tips from you for the best way to lug the camera and lenses around all day. I assume it gets easier as the kids get older? She usually just doesn't want to carry it after the 2nd day.

Is your birthday actually on 10/14? If so, then we share that birthday so cheers!
 

tommcp516

Well-Known Member
Thanks for such a great TR! I'm new to the forums but have been really enjoying reading everyone's reports in advance of our trip this coming April. Your photographs are incredible--so vivid and so well composed!

And as a west-coast Philly transplant, I enjoyed the references to Wawa, etc. By the way--those Wawa masks on page 8 look very cool (and seem to be contoured well). Do they sell those in the stores? I couldn't find them on their website, and sadly there are no stores on this side of the Rockies....:(
 

fractal

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm way late to finishing this, but I finally did! Incredible photos! I'm only taking my 50mm when we go next week. With only a few days in the park I won't have much time to spend on the photographs, but I want to get used to this 50. I'm so glad you were able to go on this trip and create more memories with your now adult children!

Thanks! I guess you are down there now. The 50mm is an interesting lens to use especially on a crop sensor camera (which I think you have). I used it the same way during my 2013 trip and I really liked the results. Wide angle shots are great in WDW, but the tighter shots that bring you in close are much more unique and often times more interesting. I now like using a 85mm on my Full frame that is similar effective focal length. Hope you're having fun!
Let me be the 7,354th person to commend you on your report and pictures. It took a long time for me to finish thanks to life (mostly work), but I definitely was not interested in rushing through it! My wife is a much more amateur photographer but really enjoys the hobby. I'll have to get some tips from you for the best way to lug the camera and lenses around all day. I assume it gets easier as the kids get older? She usually just doesn't want to carry it after the 2nd day.

Is your birthday actually on 10/14? If so, then we share that birthday so cheers!

Thanks @FromMaldonia ! Having older kids definitely frees up the hands. 😁 One of the reasons I went to a mirrorless camera was to reduce the overall weight to carry. I am a prime lens shooter - right now I don't even own a zoom - so typically I'll bring my camera with lens and another small bag to hold one or two more lenses along with extra batteries and other small accessories.

Actually my Birthday is on October 6th - but still close fellow Libra!

Thanks for such a great TR! I'm new to the forums but have been really enjoying reading everyone's reports in advance of our trip this coming April. Your photographs are incredible--so vivid and so well composed!

And as a west-coast Philly transplant, I enjoyed the references to Wawa, etc. By the way--those Wawa masks on page 8 look very cool (and seem to be contoured well). Do they sell those in the stores? I couldn't find them on their website, and sadly there are no stores on this side of the Rockies....:(

thank you @tommcp516 and welcome to the forums! I have yet to find a convenience store better than Wawa. I purchased the mask in store but it's become more hit or miss lately with availability.
 

fractal

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Just gorgeous, and yes I agree!!
And please forgive me, but you did tell us your site where we can buy your photos. Do you mind posting it again? I'm too lazy to dig 800 pages back to find it! 🤣 Thanks

Not at all! Still have 20% off pricing set.



 

fractal

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If you happen to be in Kutztown PA on Saturday January 23rd, around 5pm stop by Saucony Creek Brewery/Gastropub and join us for a drink!

Val and I, will be meeting @coachwnh and his lovely wife Crystal for dinner and a few libations. In fact, Coach Bill will be bringing several "fractal" beers that he's acquired for us to taste test and judge.

here is one of the 3 or 4 beers named "fractal"...

10930-X2.jpg


I know he sent me photos of the other beers, and you would think I would have them, but alas they are gone.

But Saturday promises to be a lot of fun regardless. If you can't make it, don't worry as it will be well documented and shared right here!

Looking forward to a meetup with WDW magicians outside of the bubble!
 
Last edited:

Bullseye1967

Well-Known Member
If you happen to be in Kutztown PA on Saturday July 23rd, around 5pm stop by Saucony Creek Brewery/Gastropub and join us for a drink!

Val and I, will be meeting @coachwnh and his lovely wife Crystal for dinner and a few libations. In fact, Coach Bill will be bringing several "fractal" beers that he's acquired for us to taste test and judge.

here is one of the 3 or 4 beers named "fractal"...

10930-X2.jpg


I know he sent me photos of the other beers, and you would think I would have them, but alas they are gone.

But Saturday promises to be a lot of fun regardless. If you can't make it, don't worry as it will be well documented and shared right here!

Looking forward to a meetup with WDW magicians outside of the bubble!
July? You guys really planned ahead. Sure that's not January? :D :D
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Wait! What? What is the site address please?
Here's his links he posted. You can see it above also.
And not to make @fractal blush or anything, but I ordered some printed photos off of his site and they are stunning. Very bright and colorful (and don't tell him but he doesn't charge enough)!! 🤣 I feel the need now to order some larger sizes than I did in my first order.


Not at all! Still have 20% off pricing set.


 

KellBelle

Premium Member
Here's his links he posted. You can see it above also.
And not to make @fractal blush or anything, but I ordered some printed photos off of his site and they are stunning. Very bright and colorful (and don't tell him but he doesn't charge enough)!! 🤣 I feel the need now to order some larger sizes than I did in my first order.
Awesome! Thank you!!!
 

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