Author's note:

Welcome to
Trip Reports!

We have made a lot of friends on the internet, on a number of boards. Unfortunately not all our good friends are welcome everywhere. That raises a dilemma: where to post trip reports where all our friends can enjoy them?

I need to post where all the people who have been there for me, when I needed them, can share the stories. So for now that will be at the Lodgeboards and here.

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Trip Reports at the Lodge




Love ya; Mean it, Chapter 1, Alaska Anyone?

This trip Chris and Bea couldn't make it. Chris couldn't get leave from the Air Force and Bea’s paternal grandfather got sick and passed away days before we left. Bea didn't want to leave her father in his time of mourning and because of her total unselfishness; I didn't think it was possible but I adore the child even more.

Disney will wait for her. She’ll be back, no worries.

This trip we brought along the newest member of the crew, Curt. Curt will someday be my son in law, husband to Commando Nikki and he is studying to be a veterinarian. This trip was a great chance for all of us to get to know each other.

I got to know that my future son-in-law who is studying to be a veterinarian, spends October and November hunting.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. A hunting veterinarian, that has to be an oxymoron, I’m sure.

Curt was nervous at first. He was very quiet and polite in the beginning. It only took us a day or two to break him of that.

Em had no idea we were going anywhere until about a week before our trip. We had no plans on telling her until we got to the airport; we were going to just get on a plane and see where it goes. But Del slipped and said something in front of her about going on vacation.

Vacation means Disney to her. I hate being that predictable to a little kid. I decided to mess with her a little. The problem was I hadn’t really thought it out and screwed myself. On the way back from the store I asked Del if he said anything to her about going on a trip yet.

“Where are we going?” She asked.

“Ahh,..laska?” I said trying to sound convincing.

Dumbass! Could I have found a colder place to say? Why hadn’t I thought about it before I opened my big mouth?

Del shot me a look that said the same thing. I could almost feel him telepathically smack me in the back of the head.

Em sat back in the seat, folded her arms and looked completely disappointed. “Alaska? What is there to do in Alaska?” She asked us.

I had no idea. I know where Alaska is , I know it gets really cold and some people take cruises near there. That is the extent of my Alaskan knowledge.

“We are going to rent polar bears and go riding on them like horses, but you will need to bring shorts with you because we are renting special snowsuits that have heaters in them and they get very hot inside.” I told her.

What did I say?! Where the hell did that come from? Polar bears? Are they being shipped in from somewhere?

You can’t judge me if your kids believe in Santa, the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny. If you’re kid believes a bunny can shit multi-colored eggs, mine can believe in riding polar bears.

“Or we might do a little fishing and swim at the hotel.” Del jumped in still giving me the dumbass look. I’ll take that second telepathic smack now, thankyouverymuch.

That is a much better answer. Where were you two seconds ago?

So Em thought and believed we were going to Alaska. Em also told her mom and everyone she knows that we were going to Alaska. Her mom and everyone they know believed that lie and I was going to burn for being a liar.

I did too; I burned the tops of my feet and ears.

I knew ears could freeze, but it never occurred to me that they could burn. They are particularly pretty when they peel. In the cold you can wear earmuffs, what are you suppose to put over them in the sun?

The day we left was hotter than sin. Up until that day, Maine had only seen two days that got over 50 degrees. In December when we left, my truck was a block of ice and the heater could hardly keep up. This day, it was the air conditioner that was suffering. That was actually the first time I had to turn in on this year and wasn’t sure if it was going to work.

Just a note to northerner’s: air conditioners take a minute or two to blow cold air. Don’t jump in your vehicle and turn it on full blast unless you were looking to get a face full of extreme heat. I jumped back out of the truck so fast; I barely remembered I was in the truck in the first place.

I’m not sure if all men are like this, or just the men in my life but I never have to go any farther with suitcases than packing them. Del and Curt carried everything except my cameras and laptop down to the truck.

Nobody is allowed to carry my cameras, ever. They can carry the empty (well, almost empty) camera bags. Del only carries my laptop in the airport because it is heavier than lead. The way I look at it is, they are going to get dropped, it’s the law of electronics and I should be the one to drop them.

I do this for the safety and protection of the crew.

I am hard on electronic equipment. I don’t mean to be. I was using my cell phone in the rain, which made Del a mental patient because he doesn’t believe they can get wet (they can and I proved it) and by the end of my trip the antenna wouldn’t go all the way down anymore because it was crooked. That might be because I carry it in my back pocket. (a cell phone sin, I am told) The 3 times I used Del’s cell, he stood next to me with his hands cupped under it. Commando Nikki asked him what his problem was and he explained that I am incapable of handling his phone properly. He was also afraid I might leave smudge marks on it from my fingers or something.

I licked it. He screamed.

Anyway, the suitcases were behind the truck waiting for the men to load them. Apparently there is some kind of formula you must know to load suitcases properly and if you have a vagina, it is impossible for you to ever learn the formula.

Del and Curt stood behind the truck discussing the formula when I walked by and tossed the camera/laptop cords bag into the back of the truck. (I need a bag just for cords)

Curt nearly had a stroke. Both he and Del froze in their tracks like the bag was going to start spewing tampons or something. I saw him wait until I walked around the truck to grab the camera cord bag and take it back out. He and Del just looked at each other and shook their heads.

What was I thinking?

I hate to be the one to break it to these guys, but the airport luggage handlers are going to throw, jump on and possibly urinate on our luggage as soon as it leaves our sight. They have their own type of formula. Throw the crap in the truck and what ever doesn’t fit can go on the roof. The luggage rack isn’t just for looks, okay?

The formula in action with Commando Nikki and Em who stand back in awe:

Em had been standing on the side of the truck watching the loading formula when I asked her if she was excited about going to Alaska. She pasted on a fake smile and said “I’m really trying to be.”


The routine is to drop the crew and luggage off at the airport while I park the truck and take the stupid courtesy van back. I hate doing this, but I hate loading all of us and the luggage on the courtesy van more.

Maybe it is just formula envy. I can’t handle seeing it twice in one day.

We have gotten very fast and efficient at unloading luggage at the gate. The truck barely comes to a complete stop when doors are flying open and luggage is piled on the sidewalk. (There seems to be no need for a formula to do that) If the driver of the vehicle gets out at this point, he/she WILL be greeted by a rather unfriendly cop, thrown to the ground and immediately arrested.

Okay, maybe not. I told the crew that because I wasn’t finished with the air conditioning yet.

Em was whining about being hot. I couldn’t help but think to myself, ‘This is just practice kid, you don’t know hot yet.’

We said our ‘see-ya’s’ and I drove off leaving the crew in front of terminal E.

Jet Blue flies out of terminal C.

I didn't know that until I was in the courtesy van on the way back. They changed it since December.

The crew almost didn't find that out because they were afraid to answer their cell phones because on the way to park the truck, I had some problems and called Del to scream at him about it.

See, I drove to long term parking lot and it was full. I hadn’t expected that and had no back-up plan in place. The guy gave me two options, the first was to drive back to central parking for $22 a day OR drive the incredible journey to the Logan Park ‘n go. He gave me a map and told me if I drove longer than 10 minutes, I missed it.

I was pissed about spending $220 to park but it seemed much easier to get to that than the park ‘n go. He told me to turn around, take a left and follow the signs to central parking.

Central parking was much closer than I expected it to be and located to my left rather than my right, and I completely missed it. I ended up on a highway, headed back to the state of Maine.

So, I called and yelled at Del.

I really had no other options, you understand.

When we met back up, I licked his phone as an apology.

I accidentally found the park ‘n go. I saw a parking lot and pulled in it. It was pure luck that it happened to be one that wouldn’t tow my truck after 24 hours. I was at the point that I figured impound fees would run me about the same as central parking and I just wanted to get to Disney World, so screw it.

I didn't tell you about my new drugs. My doctor prescribed me something much like xanax, but much faster acting and you can take it without water. It’s called Niravam, its dissolves in your mouth and tasted like oranges. I took it just as I was getting on the courtesy van because xanax takes 20 minutes to work so I figured this new drug would take 10 minutes.

Nuh-uh. ‘Faster acting’ is code for instantly. I felt fine and became the van drivers’ newest best friend.

I was the original ‘happy camper’.

The crew took my phone call and managed to get themselves to terminal C by themselves which was good because I was too loopy to do anything about them. We checked into our flight, had a bite to eat because it was dinner time and then stepped outside so Del and I could have a cigarette. (Sorry, we are still working on quitting)

Em sat on the ground next to me and said sadly “Wobin, I couldn't find my fishing pole. Will you buy me a new one so I can fish with dad in Alaska?”

Em was the only one who would sit on the ground with me. Del was wigging out because “don’t you know people spit on the ground!”

Niravam, when you just don’t give a tiny rat’s ass about sitting in stranger spit:

We finished our cigarettes and went to the gate to wait for our flight.

As they started calling row numbers to load the plane for our 6:55 PM flight, Em stood next to Del looking at the ground, still sad about not finding her fishing pole. The flight attendant said “Now departing for Orlando…” and Em’s head whipped around to look at me so fast and hard, I feared for her personal safety.

Buz told me to say “It’s a layover to the Alaskan flight.” I had to recruit help in my sea of lies, so I said that.

I wasn’t sure if she bought it. She nodded like she did, but it was hard to tell. Do they teach geography in the 2nd grade? Del is hard of hearing and Nikki and Curt were kissing (they do that every 15 seconds or so, I think they have a quota) so they didn't realize Em might be on to us.

We were split up on the plane. Commando Nikki and Curt sat together behind me and Em and Del sat in the row across from me. The very kind man I was sitting next too had graciously given up his isle seat so I could be on terrorist alert.

Well, he gave up his seat because I almost started to cry when I saw I had a window seat. I threatened to throw up on him if he didn't move over.

I bought him a drink when we got into the air, we are friends now.

The flight was great. I love that they have TV’s on planes now. I was watching ‘The Birdcage’ with Robin Williams when the plane touched down in Orlando. I didn't know we were even close to Florida when the plane touched the ground and I let out a little squeal of fear. For a second I thought they hit a cow in the air or something.

Niravam, when flying cows become a real possibility.

Seriously, that Niravam wears off as fast as it works. It is a great drug for traveling.

We collected our luggage and there was a problem. We had a total of six pieces of luggage, a camera bag, a cord bag, a laptop, and 2 carry on pieces. I turned around and Curt was attempting to carry most of it. His own luggage was a huge duffle bag with no wheels and he was trying to carry that too. He would only allow Commando Nikki to wheel the smallest bag. Commando Nikki played hockey in high school. She is a lot tougher than she looks.

He didn't seem to have a formula for carrying luggage. I thought I saw a vein pop out of his forehead.

“I can take more than this.” She said holding the little bag handle with two fingers.

“No, honey, I got it. You’re fine.” He said trying to pile more bags in his arms.

“Well, put your duffle bag on top of mine and I’ll drag it.” She said and reached for the bag.

“No, sweetheart, I have it. You just take that little bag.” He said while trying to adjust the weight he was carrying. His face was quickly turning crimson.

“Curt! I can carry something else, give me another bag!” She said in a huff.

“Nikki! I said I was fine. You have enough to carry!” Curt huffed back.

Nikki and Curt gave each other a serious look followed by a kiss.

Well, 15 seconds had passed what else could they do?

Del swooped in to assist with the luggage saving Curt from busting a vein.

We proceeded to the Alamo line. There were 3 families in front of me and each of them has some kind of problem. I started to get nervous because it sounded like they had no cars to rent. What the hell was I going to do if there was no car? Look for a long term parking lot and steal one? For what they charge in Logan to park at central parking, I would be doing the owner a favor.

I got to the desk and they had my reservation. There would be no reason for me to commit a felony on this trip after all.

The people in line ahead of me were trying to rent a car with no reservation. This is Orlando in the summer; even I know you need a reservation. No reservation, no car for you.

I have gotten good at renting cars. I would consider myself an expert now, compared to the last time I rented a car when all I could manage to do is stand there and stare at the girl behind the desk with my mouth open waiting for further instructions. Walk across the street and pick out a van from row 7.

I did it a little differently this time. The last van I rented was invisible. This time when I stood at the end of row 7, I closed my eyes for a minute and picked the first van I saw when I opened them.

We never lost that one.

Commando Nikki came along and tried to screw up the formula:

And was quickly pushed aside by the mighty luggage handlers:

It was about 10:00 PM by the time we loaded the van and left the parking lot. After missing the exit I was supposed to take, making two ‘L’ turns instead of one ‘U’ turn (because ‘U’ turns might be illegal. I never heard a law about two ‘L’s) we came to the Disney World sign lit up in all it’s glory.

Em was sound asleep in the back. We all started to scream at her.

Looking back, I know why the kid will need therapy someday. There she was minding her own business, having a nap when 4 adults start screeching at her like lunatics.

It could have been worse; Commando Nikki could have gotten her air horn out of her luggage before we started driving.

Em’s eyes opened wide with fear and she sat up with a jolt.

Imagine that.

Del said “Look Em! We are going to Disney!” with all the excitement of a kid at Christmas.

Em, now awake and grateful to be alive because I’m sure she thought we were being group murdered with all that screaming, yawned and said “Yeah, dad.”

“Did you know we were going to Disney?” Del asked her.

“Ah, yeah, I did, dad. I’m 8 years old and not stupid, okay? The lady at the airport said we were going to Orlando and Wobin is here. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.”

Hey, we tried. At least she didn't figure it out until the airport. If we ever really do go to Alaska, that kid is going to be completely crushed.

I pulled into the gate at Pop Century. The man at the gate with a slight accent asked me my last name and I told him. Hand to God, I have witnesses that he said this: “I have two Costello’s, Carol and WOBIN.”

“Did Em make the reservation or does everyone call you Wobin?” Del asked with a laugh.

I had two requests at Pop and didn't get either of them. The first was connecting rooms; the second was a smoking room. We did end up on the first floor with a view of the van.

We didn't mind that. I’m in Disney, I couldn't care less what my room has a view of, I’m hardly in it long enough to open the curtain anyway. Why would I be sitting in the room looking outside anyway?

If you keep your room curtains open, people that are walking past your room will look in. I am not doing anything in my room that I want to share with the rest of the resort. The curtains stay closed.

Del and I found ourselves pleased with the non-connecting rooms for a bit of privacy, but a bit bothered by having to go outside for a cigarette. When it is that hot and humid, breathing is already a problem, never mind filling your lungs with smoke.

Hey, in reality, the weather I thought might kill me, may have actually added years to my life.

And I only locked us out once.

“I hope you don’t think this will go unpunished.” Del said to me when he realized I had locked us outside in 100 degree heat.

When I travel the entire east coast again to go to Disney, I’m going to do it at night again. We got into our rooms, I actually unpacked (never had time to unpack before, always rushing off to the parks) and we slept like babies. We were getting up early for the Magic Kingdom the next morning.

And the air horn was on the other side of a double locked door.


Link to Lou’s side of our story, (Thanks again Lou!):

Copyright Robin Costello, all rights reserved 2005

The Gulf coast states could use your help. You know what to do.


Love Ya / Mean It and Pins

Tony, Delaney, Connor - Love Ya / Mean It

Robin & Del, Kimball & Bennet (aka Delswife & Scuba Steve, Zurgswife & Zurg) are proud to announce two unique limited edition trading pins to benefit research to help find cures for Juvenile Diabetes and Muscular Dystrophy.

We love going to Disney World and writing funny trip reports, after all it is how we became friends.  We care just as much or more about helping these two great causes. All the profits from pin sales will go to JDRF and MDA because, well, Robin thought it would be a fun idea.

So if you enjoy the trip reports please chip in and buy a pin or two. Pins are $10.00 each including shipping and handling (North America.) Send an email to with how many pins you would like and we will get the pins rolling. The pins have sold out. Existing orders are being filled but we can't take anymore pin orders, sorry. There still Love Ya /  Mean it Pins (there were more to start.) 

If you feel inspired click either MDA or JDRF's logo or both and make additional contributions.