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Way OT (final update 5/28/06)

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Villain Dude, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Villain Dude

    Villain Dude Member

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    Hi all...

    We (me,wife & two cats) survived Hurricane Katrina ...

    I lost my house, clothes, most Disney Cds & DVDs and everything else. We left with a suitcase each of clothes, all of our photos, two litter boxes and our checkbook.

    Since we are living like nomads, I have not been able to read the boards ... until the other day.

    My community (St. Bernard -70043) of over 40,000 homes was destroyed. .. most will be bulldozed.

    Pray for all the residents of the gulf coast ... remember today is a gift and tomorrow is not promised.

    enjoy life!

    -Chuck
     
  2. WishesFan

    WishesFan Member

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    Re:Way OT

    Chuck,

    I don?t even know what to say. I can?t begin to express how sorry I feel for all you who have lost so much. Your words ring so true, ?...today is a gift...?. So often we forget how important it is to be thankful for all our daily blessings. You are in my prayers.

    God Bless,
    -Rick
     
  3. David S.

    David S. Member

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    Re:Way OT

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I don't think I lost much if anything in the way of possessions (my apartment in New Orleans is on the second floor, but the building will probably be torn down) but I just found out today that a close family friend passed away as a result of the storm. I wish I could be as positive as you sound. I am VERY bitter and angry about this.

    I never thought I'd want to leave New Orleans, but I am disgusted with how local officials couldn't be bothered to make sure the levees were up to snuff before hand. And breaking into every home in the city with looters on the loose was a pure work of genious.

    The only positive I can cling to from any of this is now there is NOTHING holding me back from fufilling my lifelong dream of living at WDW. Sort of a Luke Skywalker moment in Episode IV - "I'll go with you to Alderaan. There's NOTHING for me here now."

    ...well, nothing holding me back except the fact that although Orlando isn't on the coast, I'm wondering if they too could be vulnerable to this sort of thing.

    I'm thinking if I move there just keep everything I own in boxes and rent a U-haul everytime there is a storm appraching.

    But in any case, my next address will NOT be in New Orleans or Louisiana.

    I hope Chris T. from this board is OK. Please post if you see this.

    Fellow nomad,
    David
     
  4. Eric

    Eric Member

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    Re:Way OT

    Going slight even more OT, but I wouldn't move here (Orlando) on a whim just because you like Disney World; I've seen many people do that and become quite dissapointed. People often fail to separate that going to Disney World once in awhile on vacation, and actually living near it are two entirely different things. I consider myself one of the biggest WDW Fans out there, however after living here, I'd say that it's appeal isn't nearly as strong as it was when i was living far away from it. Sure, it's a great place to be near, but it's not worth changing your lifestyle over. People tend to forget that Disney World is simply an overpriced fantasy world that's great for stimulation during a vacation. I would only suggest moving to Orlando if you happen to find a good paying/stable job which would justify your moving towards Disney World; otherwise I'd be afraid to see you end up like many Disney fans do when they move to their "Dream place"..and that would be broke, frustrated, and depressed.

    As for Orlando's succeptibility towards a storm, I'm a little confused as to why you question it's stability? Look at a map; Orlando is one of the most central points in Florida and a good amount of distance away from the coasts. We have no major rivers/levee's that could cause problems, and the only time a hurricane has hit in the past fourty years was last year.. (and even then, being that Orlando is not on the coast, the conditions of a hurricane that Orlando could *possibly* get are similar to those of Tornados that occur in every part of the country).
     
  5. SharonKurland

    SharonKurland Active Member

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    Re:Way OT

    My sincerest hopes that you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

    I agree with Eric though...don't move to Central FL just because you want to live near WDW. I haven't gotten that "Oh cool, we're going to WDW" excited feeling in my stomach since we moved to FL 5 years ago...I know it's hard to believe, but there's nothing to get excited about when it's in your backyard and you know you can go whenever you want...and even less so when Disney pushes to have a train run right through your backyard, because they have the power, money and the policiticians by the pocket.

    If you like Central FL, with its crowds and transient population and lack of strong roots and heritage, fine...but living here is not the same as visiting here. For me, I'm originally from the northeast and I'm still happy with the lack of snow and cold weather, "slower" living, etc. But living 10 miles from WDW can have its disadvantages too.

    -Sharon-
    Orlando FL
     
  6. David S.

    David S. Member

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    Re:Way OT

    Well, as far as WDW getting "old", I don't doubt that. However, I an a theme park junkie beyond WDW, and WHATEVER park is my "home park" is going to seem like that after awhile.

    As far as "changing my lifestyle", Katrina took care of that. It's ALREADY been permanently changed. There is no way in HADES I'd consider living in New Orleans again, and there is nowhere on the planet I'd prefer than Orlando/central Florida.

    I figure if I have to move anyway, why not go to theme park paradise? Where there is enough variety to keep things diverse and fresh.

    Magic Kingdom for the classic Disneyphile/Walt purist in me.

    But I'm also into water parks, animals/zoos, and coasters, esp. wood coasters.

    So you also have:

    BGT for the winning combination of animals and coasters. And they have a wooden coaster.

    Animal Kingdom for the winning combination of animals and Disney attractions.

    Epcot for the Disney attractions and ambience.

    Sea World for animals and other attractions.

    Cypress Gardens for the other wood coasters in the state (soon to be home to a reborn Starliner late of defunct Miracle Strip in Panama City Beach).

    IOA for the theming, coasters, and other attractions.

    Disney Studios and Uni for the movie parks.

    SEVERAL water parks with year round or nearly year round operation.

    So you see, with all those options, even if it seems old after awhile, I don't see how I could get more "bored" than in a typical market with just one theme park, water park, and a zoo.

    You could go to a different facility ever day and not repeat anything for 2-3 weeks!

    Plus, I LOVE fall and winter, when most theme parks are typically closed. You either have to go in the heat or don't go at all.

    The year round operation in Orlando parks really appeals to me.

    If I get bored there, than there is nowhere on earth where this wouldn't happen.

    Believe me, the only reason I stayed in New Orleans was I grew up there and had family and friends there. But most everyone I know lost everything and has no plans to stay. Our Six Flags was better than nothing but nothing spectacular even by Six Flags standards. It will probably never reopen from the damage, and I'm not about to ever be "parkless" again!

    If the parks in Orlando get old I'll take a trip to Cedar Point or Kings Island or Dollywood or Busch Gardens in Williamsburg every now and then to keep things fresh ;)

    Some strong hurricanes can still cause damage after they get over land. Orlando is insulated from the coast but not as much as say, Kansas, which is why I expressed my concern.

    David
     
  7. SharonKurland

    SharonKurland Active Member

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    Re:Way OT

    David-

    Just my opinion of course, and you can like it or lump it. But there's more to life than themeparks . You have to be OK with the climate, the cost of living, the other people who live in your area (varying socio-economic/demographic societies in a relatively small space, etc...that doesn't matter a whit to some people but might be a deciding factor for others), the traffic, the availability of jobs in your profession, etc. "Real life" stuff, not just "hobby stuff."

    Sure,, it sounds nice that you're going to go to a different park every day/weekend/whenever...but day passes are not cheap and APs are $100 to $400 apiece. That's on top of gasoline to get there, food, souveniers, etc...theme park hoppingis not inexpensive .

    Before you make a decision that you can't easily get out of, try coming to Central FL for a week and go to supermarkets, Walmart, banks, drive on I4 and the Turnpike...get a lay of the land and decide where you'd want to be in relation to themeparks and workplace. It's unfortunate that you were placed in a situation where you had no choice to make some immediate changes in your life...since you have more luxury of time, maybe you want to use it.

    As for hurricane damage in Central FL...when Charlie hit Port Charlotte and the Punta Gorda as at Cat4 last year, his eye went through my community, a half-block from my house, with 105mph winds and accompanying microbursts (mini tornadoes). Depending on the home, location, etc., the devestation ranged from losing a few shingles (us) to losing your entire roof and your house being condemned (1 block from us). Taking the entire Central FL region into consideration, nearly everyone lost trees, pool enclosures, etc. Mobile homes were destroyed. Utilities came back on within 1 day to 3 weeks, depending on how far out in the boonies you lived.

    Move to Virginia Beach. Edward Cayce says it's safer there .

    -Sharon-
    Orlando FL
     
  8. ArnyVee

    ArnyVee Member

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    Re:Way OT

    Chuck and David,

    Good luck to the both of you getting you and your family's lives back to normal!

    David, on the 'moving to Orlando' thing. Do what you'd like to do! If that makes you happy, then do it! But, consider everything that Sharon and the others mentioned because without a decent job, you won't earn enough to go to all of the places that you're excited about. Check out the cost of living and do the research. Hey, you can always work at WDW and get discounts too! :D

    But, most importantly, make calculated risks and make sure that you don't make decisions based on emotion, but on facts.

    Good luck! :D
     
  9. FRAN?OIS

    FRAN?OIS Member

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    Re:Way OT

    Chuck, the wife and the two cats!

    I'm not religious so you can't be in my prayers, but you definitely are in my thoughts and feelings!

    You sure have been through "hell" and I hope the future will be positive for you and yours; thanks to your courage ( It takes a lot to overcome such devastating disaster ) and determination, you help us all, the "lucky ones", to put things in perspective and count our blessings!

    Good luck to you, because you do need luck, hope and help from all of us!

    "A Hurricane Comes Your Way?
    Enjoy The Breeze!"

    Well.... only in a Disney movie!

    But we have to have faith that there's a
    Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!

    Best wishes for everything from a lucky one in Paris!
     
  10. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    Re:Way OT

    I appreciate the post, Chuck--my thoughts and prayers go out to you......and you may even get some volunteers from our Emergency Medicine department, as some of my fellow physicians have volunteered to be available for service, if called upon--I'd be among them if my current responsibilities on the home front weren't what they are.....

    On another note......no significant hurricane problem in Maine......the rare ice storm.......mountains, forest(just did a great backpacking trip last week), ocean.......the pace is definitely SLOW.......but, there is that snow thing..........

    Mike
     
  11. Eric

    Eric Member

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    Re:Way OT

    David,

    I promise not to run this point in the ground..but i'm just posting in a sincere and caring manner, but your recent post makes me think that you really don't have a grasp of what life would be like in Orlando. Theme park junkie or not, you first and foremost need a job to support the habit. An annual pass to Universal is $160, annual pass to Disney is roughly $450, SeaWorld/Busch Gardens is also another $150. You'd pay at least $700 for that unlimited Theme Park experience. Again though, you will get sick of it..no matter how big of a fan you are. I never expected to get sick of Walt Disney World (being that, again I thought I was the biggest fan of the place), however it's just not the same. On top of it, as Sharon mentioned, there's more to life then theme parks. Having a life means needing to take time to take care of things beyond living in the fantasy world of Disney. Working full time only gives me so much time to go grocery shopping, cleaning my house, doing yard work, paying the bills, etc. With what little time I have left, I then chose to spend it at a theme park or some other form of entertainment.

    Central Florida is no longer a cheap place to live in; it's quickly becoming the "new" California of it's time. Housing/Apartment prices are high; and apartments in decent areas are being turned into condos at outrageous prices (it now costs, on average, $220,000 to buy a one bedroom condo). The cheapest price you'll find for an apartment is $650 a month, and most of those are in just "okay" areas. Decent paying jobs to support the high cost of living here now are hard to find in Orlando. IF you're lucky enough to grab a server's job (which the good ones are pretty much taken) you might be okay; but beyond that, the only good paying jobs are those that require a college education in a specialized field with experience. The average household income ni Orlando is $43,000, and if you aren't making that, life can get fairly limiting here unless you're still a college student with the luxury of having parents helping to finance your lifestyle. I consider my salary to be way above average for the typical Floridian/Orlando resident, and even then, I have to budget and can not afford to eat at the parks all the time and it took a lot out of me to justify spending money on a Universal Annual Pass and even to renew my Disney Annual Pass (I eventually broke down and renewed both..but still, with the cost of the passes so high..and living expenses high as well, I wasn't able to easily throw down that cash). The cost of living anywhere is tough enough as it is, let alone living in a tourist trap.

    With all that happened to you and others in New Orleans, I wish you luck in whatever avenue you chose to pursue. But just make sure your motivation for moving to goes beyond theme park experiences.Like I said, I've just seen way too many people move here for that reason, and quickly become dissapointed and depressed later on. Whether it was a theme park/disney fan or somebody out of the disney college program who was offered a "great" position by Disney in guest relations (only to find out that $10 an hour isn't a good salary and the job sucks after a year). As many of us who have moved to Orlando have found out, there's more to life than Disney and Universal. I wish you well David and if you do decide to move to Florida, I'm sure any of us here can assist you with any questions you may have! :)
     
  12. David S.

    David S. Member

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    Re:Way OT

    Oh, believe me, I'm not naive about the "real world" stuff as some of you put it. Before getting any sort of "permanent" residence, wherever I go next, be it Orlando or otherwise, I will start small with an apartment and spend several months to a year getting a feel for the place before deciding to "permanently" live there. I may never in fact decide to "permanently" live anywhere, but just decide to take it month to month or so.

    Believe me when I say I have absolutely NOTHING to lose by playing it by ear and just hanging out in central Florida for awhile.

    I won't comment on the financial stuff because it's of course personal, but trust me when I say I won't do anything that puts me in the risk of going "broke and penniless"

    I'm a bit surprised some of you seem to have a negative opinion of living in Orlando. I'm sorry it doesn't seem to make all of you happy, but I shouldn't give up my dream until I have at least tried it.

    Also, I know there is more to life than just themparks. However, my other hobbies are things like music, movies, and books, and those things can be enjoyed in any place in the world. It really doesn't matter where you live, moreso nowadays than ever, with the advent of online shopping and such.

    I have no dependents, no strings, no obligations, which is how I choose things to be by design, and how I like it. So I am completely free to move here or there without there being any possible negative consequences for anyone else.

    I appreciate that you are all trying to help, but trust me, I know what I would be getting into! This was something that almost happened twice for me in the past, and was considering anyway, so I've already put a great deal of thought into it WAYYYY before the hurricane.

    David
     
  13. Villain Dude

    Villain Dude Member

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    Re:Way OT

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you so much for all the kind words, thoughts, feelings and prayers ... it means a great deal to us.

    When you have lost family members, friends, your home and everything inside, it makes you look at yourself and the world around you differently. I'm in no way bitter but I am upset, however, I'm so happy and lucky to have my life and a wonderful (and I might add very sexy & beautiful -inside & out) wife.

    We will start over ... we have no other choice ... it will not be at the former residence ( Katrina put 12ft of water and an oil/chemical leak/spill ruined any choice of rebuliding) ... but we will start over.

    Do not get me wrong ... I know I have lost a great deal but there are others that have lost even more and they never had much to lose in the first place. We had enough insurance, emergency cash and family members who opened their homes to us ... we are blessed.

    Once I get another residence & PC, I will start working on my Disney music collection. This cool dude from Indiana has been so gracious... he sent me some music and helps to get me thru the rough times. WDW seems so far away but hopefully we will be at the parks at the end of Janurary (as planned before the storm).

    Remember enjoy your life... it is the only one you've got!

    Thanks again for thoughts, prayers, feelings & words!

    Your disney music friend,

    -Chuck


    Ps... Rick, I saved the disc w/ your version "Welcome" ... could not think of leaving it behind. : )
     
  14. Villain Dude

    Villain Dude Member

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    Re:Way OT (updated)

    Greetings Disney music friends,

    I have some good news to report on our situation. The wife & I have found an apartment in Hammond, LA. and are moving in this weekend. A co worker has loaned me a PC until we get our own...

    We are looking forward to moving ahead with our lives and this is a step in the right direction ... just hoping the insurance check arrives soon so we can begin house hunting.

    This all seems so surreal ... like a dream in a way. The first thing I think of when I wake up is ... this is real and it's happening to us. Then I look at my wife and realize how lucky I am to have my life with her next to me.

    Thanks again ...

    -Chuck
     
  15. Villain Dude

    Villain Dude Member

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    Re:Way OT (5/28/06 final update!!)

    ;D

    Hello everyone,

    The wife and I want to share our great news with you. We are now home owners again!

    We purshased a quaint "Acadian" style home that has front and back porches, sits on top a hill and is in the middle of our three wooded acres. Most important it's 107 ft above sea level and the nearest large body of water is 30 miles away.

    Inside, it's an open floor plan, wood floors, 10 ft ceilings and large windows everywhere ... we love it!

    It's in "The Village of Folsom, LA" .... there is not one fast food restaurant, drug store chain or super market chain in town. The nearest walmart is over 20 miles away.... we love this even more!

    We are surrounded by horse farms and tree nurseries ... we are in the counrty and loving it.

    It's has been a long and crazy journey since Aug. 29, 2005 but the trip has come to a end (thank goodness) and we start our new lives in our new home.

    Thank you all for the kind words, thoughts and mostly (for me) thanks for the prayers. Remember to enjoy life and peace to you all!

    -Chuck

    PS... Thanks to all our Veterans (young and old) on this memorial day weekend for protecting us night and day. I know some of us may object to what they are/were fighting for but I still want thank them for their sacrifice. If you have a family member or friend who is a Vet, ... thank them for us. Peace.
     
  16. makeminemusic

    makeminemusic Member

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    That's great news Chuck! We have friends in Mandeville that did not get hit quite as bad as you. We used to live in Abita Springs while I was in the Navy stationed in New Orleans. I really enjoyed the North Shore. Really enjoyed the strawberries from Hammond!

    If you want a change of scenery, you should come to the Disney Music convention in Seattle Nov 4-5. No hurricanes here, just an occasional earthquake or maybe a volcano blowing up sometime ::)

    Good the hear from you!
     

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