29 August 2009

33rd Anniversary Surprise

Day One - Disneyland at the Main Gate

I surprised Mike with a trip to California for our 33rd anniversary. He didn't know where we were going until the Saturday night before we left (which was the following Wednesday night). I had "suggested" he take vacation on specific days (that should have been his FIRST clue!) and then liaised with his assistant at work to make sure he didn't have any meetings or calls scheduled the afternoon of our departure as we would have to be on the road to Houston Intercontinental during rush hour as it was. I was a bit nervous about making the plans by myself and also the destination. We go to Florida for our yearly to bi-annual Disney vacation with the kids and grands so figured it might be tough emotionally to go to Florida without our Entourage. Tim had gone to California for business back in May and Megan flew out for a long weekend to join him. They went to Disneyland and also explored the beach highways and thoroughly enjoyed it. So an idea was born...

While trying to figure out the logistics of the trip (frequent flier miles for flights? Marriott Rewards for accommodation?? Disneyland for 2 or 3 or 4 days???), Disney sent me an email offering "buy 3 days get 2 free" for park passes and hotel packages. That made up my mind and cinched the deal. I used Continental OnePass miles to get our flights free (yeah!) and bought the package from the Disney Travel Company for the rest. Win/win!! Flights booked, room/passes/rental car reserved well in advance.

Then came the UPS nightmare. I thought I'd get my travel documents from Disney via USPS. But they sent them UPS, with no advance notification, and a signature IN PERSON requirement. And I was out of town when they tried to deliver. Mom called me to tell me that a note had been left on the door claiming 3 attempts had been made to deliver this and it was being sent back. Well, as (a) there were no stickers for attempt 1 or 2 and (b) I had been home on the day of the supposed first attempt, this all sounded very suspicious to me. At this point, I didn't even know it was the Disneyland documents. I called UPS and told them I was out of town, needed to have a redelivery attempt when I got back and asked who the package was from. And all this was during the week Megan had her post-surgical complications and was in the hospital in Pflugerville - and I was with her. To make a long story short, promises were made, no follow through, notices given that "it was sent back-no it's on the truck out for delivery-no, we've LOST the parcel". I finally called Disney Travel and they calmly said, "You shouldn't have to worry about any of this! We'll take care of it!" And they did. The package was indeed lost so Disney sent a replacement via overnight shipping (and I knew to expect it!). Magical moments restored.

And I'm not talking to UPS for awhile.

We flew to John Wayne Airport on a late flight Wednesday night (8/19) arriving close to midnight. We stayed at the Anaheim Marriott Suites - our room was on the 7th floor, facing towards Disneyland, and were able to watch the fireworks every single night at 9:25 - how cool was THAT?? And having a rental car was a good idea as we wanted to explore the area as well.

More about our trip next post. And photos. Yes, lots of photos!


Teena in Toronto said...

What a nice surprise!

Happy blogoversary!

Awdrey said...

What a NEAT surprise. Disney has a way to be magical don't they:) I can't wait to see your photos.