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WDW Radio # 740 – The Best of the West: Our WDW Radio Adventures by Disney to Wyoming

Join us way out West this week as we gather round the campfire to recap our WDW Radio Adventures by Disney to Wyoming, and discuss not just our adventure, but break down what makes an ABD such a remarkable travel experience.

Join Lou and fellow WDW Radio Adventurers – Beci Mahnken, Doobie Moseley, Ethan Suib, Cameron Allshouse, Nicole Ostrowski, Greg Haas, Stella Suib, and Linda Haas – as they share their unforgettable adventure on the latest episode of WDW Radio, and a journey through the stunning landscapes of Wyoming with Adventures by Disney.

Prepare to be captivated as you hear first-hand accounts of love, family, and pushing beyond comfort zones. This group of travelers, including their extended family, embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that brought them closer together and created cherished memories.

Discover why traveling with familiar faces and experienced guides made all the difference for our guests. From thrilling activities like whitewater rafting and hiking, to immersing themselves in the breathtaking beauty of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, their trip was filled with adrenaline-pumping challenges and rewarding experiences.

Listen as they recount their heartwarming encounters with fellow travelers, overcoming initial apprehension and forming deep connections that will last a lifetime. Learn how the exceptional guides of Adventures by Disney curated an itinerary that exceeded expectations, with safety as their top priority. Dusty and Kasey, the guides with a wealth of knowledge and storytelling prowess, made every moment magical.

Get ready to indulge in the culinary delights of Wyoming, including a surprise dish featuring bison that left our guests savoring the flavors and proclaiming it the best thing they’ve ever eaten. And for those with dietary restrictions, hear how Adventures by Disney went above and beyond to provide delicious options without compromising flavor or inclusivity.

As our guests bid farewell to their extraordinary Wyoming adventure, they invite you to journey alongside them. Discover the hidden gems, the sense of community, and the attention to detail that Adventures by Disney is renowned for. And don’t miss out on their exciting discussion about potential future trips – where would you like to go next with this incredible group?

Whether you’re already a fan of Adventures by Disney or new to the experience, this episode is a must-listen. Immerse yourself in the laughter, camaraderie, and awe-inspiring moments that defined this unforgettable journey.

Buckle up, hit play, and let Lou Mongello and his guests transport you to the scenic wonders of Wyoming on this remarkable episode of WDW Radio!

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Explore Wyoming’s remarkable landscapes via outstanding Disney adventures.
  • Learn the secret to fostering authentic relationships and a sense of belonging among travel groups.
  • Experience the best in hospitality and dining across your journey.
  • Uncover the pivotal role of Disney Guides in making every trip memorable.
  • Ignite your wanderlust for future Adventures by Disney to places like Europe, Canada, Costa Rica, Norway, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Egypt.

KEY MOMENTS:

  • [00:00:00] – Introduction and Overview
  • [00:01:13] – Guest Introductions
  • [00:04:21] – Choosing the Wyoming Trip
  • [00:07:47] – Exploring Wyoming
  • [00:11:20] – Unique Aspects of Wyoming Adventure
  • [00:14:40] – Exceeding Expectations,
  • [00:15:53] – Surprises and Apprehensions,
  • [00:18:53] – The Power of Group Dynamics,
  • [00:23:23] – Overcoming Introversion,
  • [00:26:36] – Creating Lifelong Friendships,
  • [00:29:48] – Love for Jackson, Wyoming,
  • [00:30:55] – Brooks Lake Lodge,
  • [00:31:48] – Scenic Beauty,
  • [00:35:02] – A Different ABD Experience,
  • [00:36:59] – Emotional Connection to the Landscapes,
  • [00:44:27] – The Most Memorable Adventures,
  • [00:46:12] – Safety and Expertise,
  • [00:49:56] – Pushing Beyond Limits,
  • [00:52:06] – Downtime and Individual Activities,
  • [00:57:05] – Enjoying Downtime and Making Connections,
  • [00:58:44] – The Importance of Connecting with Others,
  • [00:59:50] – Solo Travel on Adventures by Disney,
  • [01:00:22] – Hotel Experiences on the Trip,
  • [01:03:25] – Memorable Dining Experiences,
  • [01:08:51] – Favorite Meals and Food Discoveries,
  • [01:13:28] – Exceptional Service and Accommodations,
  • [01:14:52] – Abundance of Snacks,
  • [01:15:53] – Importance of Adventure Guides,
  • [01:19:29] – Guides as Friends,
  • [01:25:46] – Memorable Guide Moments,
  • [01:29:45] – The Coordinated Efforts of the Disney Guides,
  • [01:31:24] – The Magic of Backstage and Onstage,
  • [01:32:35] – Funny and Memorable Moments,
  • [01:34:33] – Bonding Through Poker,
  • [01:38:54] – The Overall Experience and One Word to Describe It,
  • [01:45:03] – Would You Do Another WW Radio Group Adventure?,
  • [01:46:02] – London and Paris Adventures by Disney,
  • [01:47:00] – Future Adventures and Destinations,
  • [01:48:35] – Recommended Destinations,
  • [01:49:33] – Nat Geo Expedition and Christmas Market River Cruise,
  • Traveling with a group of like-minded adventurers adds a unique and memorable dynamic. It’s a chance to connect and form lifelong friendships in the most incredible destinations. – Lou Mongello

Where would YOU like to visit on a future WDW Radio Adventures by Disney vacation?Share your thoughts in the WDW Radio Clubhouse at WDWRadio.com/Clubhouse, or call the voicemail at 407-900-9391 (WDW1) and share your story on the show.



Comment and share your questions, thoughts, and tips in our WDW Radio Clubhouse Community on Facebook or call the Voicemail and be heard “On the Air” at 407-900-9391

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Episode Transcript

Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

Lou Mongello [00:00:00]:

It took us more than three years, almost to the day. Actually, almost four, if you go back to when we first announced, it a lot of patience. Thank you, COVID. Although some things are worth waiting for. Planning. Thank you. Mouse fan travel. And in my case, carb loading. But on July 19, 2023, we finally set off on our WW Radio adventures by Disney to Wyoming and a week of new friends, new destinations, a lot of adventure, even more laughter and, I think, a lifetime of memories. So this week, we're going to look back at our adventure, not just where we went and what we did, but I think also really looking into what makes Adventures by Disney and traveling as a group unique and memorable. And, of course, I did not do this abd alone, so I also cannot recap and review it on my own. So I want to welcome some of my fellow friends and adventurers to the show or back to the show. First, I want to welcome Stella and Ethan Suib to the show.

Stella Suib [00:01:10]:

Hi.

Lou Mongello [00:01:13]:

Nikki Ostraski. Good to see you again. Been a long time.

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:01:17]:

It's been a very long time.

Lou Mongello [00:01:20]:

Cameron Althouse.

Beci Mahnken [00:01:22]:

Hi.

Cameron Allshouse [00:01:23]:

Good to be here.

Lou Mongello [00:01:24]:

Greg and Linda Haas.

Linda Haas [00:01:27]:

Hi.

Lou Mongello [00:01:28]:

And I normally do ladies first, but, Doobie, you know the rules. I have to save the princess for last. Dubie Mosley from Laughing Place.

Doobie Mosley [00:01:37]:

So happy to see all these faces again. Thanks for having me.

Lou Mongello [00:01:41]:

Yeah, brother. Good. Doobie and I, we've known each other a very, very long time. But this is your first time ever on the show, isn't it? Yeah.

Doobie Mosley [00:01:47]:

It's usually Jeremiah's job, so I'm happy to be here.

Lou Mongello [00:01:50]:

And, of course, none of this happens without the lovely and talented Becky Manken from Mouse Fan Travel.

Beci Mahnken [00:01:59]:

It is great to be here to talk about this because all I have in my mind is you on a horse, so I'm sure we'll get there eventually.

Lou Mongello [00:02:08]:

Don't know why you're so fixated on me on a horse.

Beci Mahnken [00:02:13]:

No idea how many people were private messaging me going, did you get the video of Lou getting on a horse? Was lou on a horse. Did Lou fall off the horse?

Lou Mongello [00:02:21]:

There's so many more embarrassing memories. There's a lot more embarrassing pictures and videos of me than just the horse. But that's fine. We will get to it. I want to thank you guys again. It has just been a couple of weeks, but in some respects, it seems like it was just yesterday. In other respects, it seems like it was a lifetime ago. And I thought we would do something a little bit different on this recap roundtable. And rather than do a day by day, chronological activity by activity recap, I really want to share instead some of our personal reflections and reactions as a whole, while I think highlighting some of what made this trip special for us individually and I think collectively as a group. But in order to sort of frame it and give context to this adventure first. And then I want to talk to you guys individually. I want to give a quick overview of the high level look at the itinerary, and then we'll dig a little deeper to it. So the adventures by Disney to Wyoming took us to multiple stops on the Seven Day Adventure, where we started in Jackson Hole, moved on to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, jackson Lake Lodge, the West Thumb, Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Inn. We went to Yellowstone National Park again on day four, the Lower Loop excursion, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone hike, and then arrived at Brooks Lake Lodge for a few remarkable days of adventure and outdoor activities. A little bit of late night poker, but we'll get to that as well before our adventure wrapped up. But what I want to ask first, now that we've sort of given context of the trip, is who has done an Adventures by Disney before? Which of you have done an adventure by Disney before? And if any, which was the adventure? Or Becky? We know you have 712 Adventures by Disney under your belt. Everybody other than Becky, who has done an Adventures by Disney before?

Greg Haas [00:04:29]:

Greg here has with you guys.

Lou Mongello [00:04:31]:

So which is the one that we've done together?

Greg Haas [00:04:33]:

Yeah, you and I, we went to Southern California, did backstage magic. It was amazing.

Lou Mongello [00:04:38]:

And that was back in 20, 15, 18 time flies. Anybody else? Anybody else ever done an adventure by Disney before? Was it always something that was on your bucket list, or was it this trip that sort of brought you into the idea of doing this type of a vacation experience? Anybody?

Linda Haas [00:05:03]:

Well, for me, I've always wanted to do an invention by Disney and with you because I've done the cruises and this was just when I was available being a teacher.

Greg Haas [00:05:17]:

Yeah, she was just summer got to do the California one that she didn't.

Linda Haas [00:05:20]:

Get to go, and I can't wait to do another one. It was amazing.

Lou Mongello [00:05:26]:

So each of you sort of go around the room, as it were. Stella and then Nikki, Doobie, and Cameron. Why this trip? What was it about this trip to Wyoming that prompted you to decide to join us on it?

Stella Suib [00:05:42]:

Well, for us, and I'm going to speak for you until you tell me not to. For us, it was a chance to see a part of the country that I had never seen. I've seen 15 countries around the world, but nothing past the middle of our country. So it was that. And it was also to take my Lukewarm, Disney fan husband and lure him with what I already know. He loves the outdoors and hiking and adventure. And then, oh, and by the way, it's an Adventures by Disney.

Beci Mahnken [00:06:26]:

So that's what it was for Stella.

Lou Mongello [00:06:29]:

It's almost like going taking a non Disney fan to a disney park. You have to sort of find their entry point into doing it and then introduce them to everything else that either the parks or in this case, an adventure by Disney has to offer.

Stella Suib [00:06:43]:

Right. Like, I got him to love going to Epcot with me with the food and wine festival and whiskey tastings and all those things. So now he'll look forward to that in the fall.

Lou Mongello [00:06:56]:

Nice.

Stella Suib [00:06:56]:

But this know to plan a big vacation under the Disney moniker and convince him that it's really going to be great, when I sort of was on the fence, is this going to be great? These are things he loves. I think I'm going to die on that raft, but I'll try. I don't want to get ahead of us.

Lou Mongello [00:07:19]:

Right. So is it a combination of because I think you are not alone. I think there is a large segment of this section of the country that we as folks who live in America, we travel a lot. Maybe we'll hit the west coast. But there's this sort of segment in the middle that we don't necessarily go to. It's a part of the country, I think, that we've thought about going to explore, but maybe we've never had reason or occasion to go. Nikki, what about for you?

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:07:47]:

So this was actually all of my boyfriend's planning. So he's followed you since he and I met five years ago. And his number one bucket list trip was Jackson Hole. And when he saw that you guys were doing Wyoming, he's like, we have to go. And I was like, what? I'm so confused. Because normally he's like, me, we do Disney trips. We'll go to California. We just went to California and we've been to Disneyland, Paris. But he's like, no, we have to do this. We have to do this one. And I'm like, okay, whatever floats your boat. And I mean, for me, it was like, oh, hiking perfect. We can do outdoor stuff. And he was like, yeah, but I just want to see it because I mean, the pictures and everything in movies don't do it justice. And I was like, okay, we'll do it. And so we called sue. And sue was like, this is his idea. I was like, yeah. So yeah, I give all the credit to him for picking this trip out.

Doobie Mosley [00:08:45]:

No, I've never really had much interest in doing an adv. I love cruising. And if I'm going to do something, I want to go on a cruise. But this opportunity came up when you guys were doing it back in 2020. And my boss Benji gave it to my wife and I and Gideon as a gift I didn't even have to pay for. This was a combination 50th birthday, 25th anniversary gift back in 2020. And of course, just like a cruise, which I never had any interest in prior to that. And now I'm hooked on cruising. Now I'm hooked on Abding and it's really sad. But no, it's not an experience I even thought twice about. It's not something I wanted to do. And now I realize why people do 100 of them and I'm going to be broke forever.

Lou Mongello [00:09:30]:

Broke forever, but worth it, right? It's one of those things that we'll talk about this too. It certainly isn't investment, but it's that sense of, did I feel like I got my money's worth? Or I know for me with Abd and why I hate sort of calling it a product, but why I like the product so much is like Disney. It continues to sort of exceed my expectations. Cameron, what about for you? And you came not alone, you came with your whole family.

Cameron Allshouse [00:09:56]:

Yes. So I learned about Adventures by Disney several years ago, and it was kind of a dream to do an Adventures by Disney trip at some point. We've been to Disney World a number of times with our two kids, and last August, we went with my sister and her family to Walt Disney World. We had a great time, but I said, you know what? There are other places that we need to visit in the United States. So we're not allowed to go to Walt Disney World for two years. And then in January, I got an email saying, hey, there's one room left for this trip to Wyoming with Adventures by Disney. And it just seemed like a great opportunity. Also, one of my kids loves camping. The other one does not like camping. One loves being outside, the other one doesn't like being outside so much. And I thought this would be a great mix of being able to stay in nice hotel, having nice meals, but also having outdoor activities, but activities that were guided and we knew we'd be safe and we wouldn't have to learn about the wildlife in Wyoming ourselves because there'd be guides taking care of us every step of the way. So I thought it would be a really nice mix for all the members of my family. And it was fantastic.

Lou Mongello [00:11:04]:

Yeah. And Becky, you've obviously done many, many more than I have, but together, and as a wWdo community, we've done a number of Adventures by Disney. We've done domestically what was originally called backstage magic in Disneyland and Southern California. We've done China. We've done Japan. We've done Italy. But this one is unique, not just because it's domestic, which I think especially for people who are maybe thinking about their first one, is sometimes more accessible. But I think Wyoming really sort of puts the adventure in Adventures by Disney, because, like Cameron said, it is this wonderful balance of not just sort of going to luxury hotels and wonderful meals and guided tours, but there is really a sense of adventure and outdoor exploration that comes along with this one.

Beci Mahnken [00:11:57]:

Yeah, it's one of those situations where you never really play tourist in your hometown, so there's always something in your backyard that is fun to go see, but you never do it unless you have people that are coming over to stay with you. That's kind of like what happens with these domestic ABDs. People are kind of like, well, on the backstage magic. Of course, if you're a Disney fan, that's Mecca. You have to go on that sometime in your life. But to go to Wyoming, it's kind of one of those things where you think about putting all your kids in the back of the station wagon and driving to go see the national park. But the way Adventures by Disney does it, you get to see places and do experiences without thinking, which is the wonderful thing. You know, the itinerary that they're going to put together are the things that you need to see in that place. Wherever you're going, you're not going to miss anything because they're going to make sure that you're not going to just drive past something that you didn't happen to see on Google Maps as you're going through. And then the mean, you wouldn't know that Brooks Lake Lodge existed unless you had this itinerary put together. You might just go to a hotel along the way. So Adventures by Disney really does plan that. Itinerary perfect from start to end. You don't miss anything, and you get those wonderful accommodations, and you get to travel with some great people that are now your friends.

Lou Mongello [00:13:26]:

Yeah. So I want to sort of take a step back, especially for those of you who have never adventured before. I want to know what were sort of your expectations going in, in terms of what Adventures by Disney was going to offer? The itinerary, maybe what were you most looking forward to before you went and was what you anticipated the thing that you ended up maybe enjoying most? We'll reverse the order this time. Cameron, what about for you in terms of expectations and what you were looking forward to?

Cameron Allshouse [00:14:02]:

That's a good mean. I was looking forward to spending time outside. I was looking forward to being in Wyoming. I was looking forward to being with my family. Work was extremely busy this year, and honestly, one of the reasons we decided to go on Adventures by Disney was because when I plan a trip, I put a lot of time into planning, and I did not have time to do that this year. And so going with Adventures by Disney, I knew everything was going to be planned out for us, and so I was really looking forward to that. And then family time was great, and then I was a little nervous about traveling with a bunch of people I didn't know, but it worked out really well because everybody was amazing. So it really exceeded our expectations in every way.

Lou Mongello [00:14:44]:

Dubie, what about for you in terms of expectations?

Doobie Mosley [00:14:48]:

I had such low expectations. I'm not an outdoors person at all. And for someone who runs a Disney website. I knew remarkably little about adventures by I just my expectations were to endure this trip and just pat myself on the back for going outside my comfort zone. I had no idea the luxury involved. It's funny because my friend Benji, the aforementioned Benji, was on the around the world adventure and we were chronicling that on our website. So I was looking at everything he was doing every day and going, oh, my goodness, they were treating these people like kings. I did not realize how similar our experience was going to be to theirs. I did not know Abd was a luxury experience. If I'd known that I'd been looking forward all my life because I'm a luxury kind of guy.

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:15:31]:

I was actually looking forward to Brooks Lake Lodge just from reading the itinerary beforehand and I mean, it surpassed my expectations there. I know Alex was looking forward mostly to Jackson Hole, but his favorite ended up being Brook Lake Lodge as well.

Lou Mongello [00:15:46]:

Not a surprise, and I'm sure we'll talk more about that. Stella and Ethan, what about for you?

Ethan Suib [00:15:53]:

So I was mostly looking forward to the outdoor stuff because that's what I do. But what I was really surprised about is how much I connected with everybody on the trip and came home with people I consider friends. I was truly surprised, pleasantly surprised, happily surprised about that.

Stella Suib [00:16:11]:

Yeah, we were a little nervous, truth be told. Our kids have flown the coupe, we have an empty nest and we have one cute dog. And since we're retired and only 50 something, most of our leisure time during the day is spent together, just the two of us. So most things that we do, it's just the two of us. I know my husband said we're not joiners, but we don't tend to do group things like this. And so I was really apprehensive. I was looking forward to it, but I was scared. I'm going to say not apprehensive. I was petrified of having to walk into a room with people I didn't know, who I'm going to be forced to have fun with for the next week and think of something to say that that's worth, really. That was the most uncomfortable going into that first dinner. And then I met Rebecca in the hallway right before and she saw me roll my eyes or something and she said, oh, my gosh, I feel the exact same way. I feel like it's the first day of school and we're like waiting to see is the teacher going to be nice and am I going to have any friends? And I felt like, I know this wasn't the case, but I felt like everybody already knew each other there and I was the only one who didn't know anybody. So when I met Rebecca in the lobby and we said, OK, we're going to do this, and we walked in and we sat together at dinner and from that very first day, I felt like, okay, I can do this, I can chat with somebody and then chat with somebody else. And by the time the end came, I was shocked. But I was so overwhelmed, I was crying, saying goodbye to these people that I literally have only known for seven days. And I thought, who are you? Why are you so attached to these people? And I miss them. I see these faces now and I'm like, oh, yeah, there they are. I wish we can go back and do it again. If I had the feeling I have now on that very first day, I wouldn't have wasted those few moments at the beginning worrying so much about it, because it was by far the best part. I mean, the activities were great. The bison was the best I've ever had and only but it's really that that I came away so moved by all these people. And we made a conscious effort, especially at Brooks Lake to choose a different group or family to sit with at every meal so we could talk to them and find out something about their life and they can find out something about our life. And that made all the difference. And I remember the first day at Yellowstone. No, the lodge, the Geyser one. Old Faithful Inn hotel.

Lou Mongello [00:19:36]:

Yeah.

Stella Suib [00:19:36]:

Old Faithful inn. We had dinner with Nikki and Alex. We didn't know them. They literally turned up and we were like, oh, we don't know them. So we had dinner together, the four of us, and it was so much fun that you would think I had known these people, but I literally have known them for 12 hours at that point. So to me, yes, all the activities were great. The fact that I never had to carry my own suitcase was great as a Celiac traveling, that I never had to worry about anything or think about anything. I was never hungry, so I couldn't even think about it. It is the people, by far doing it as this group that made all the difference for me.

Lou Mongello [00:20:22]:

So I agree and I'm happy that you brought that up because I think the group dynamic can be both intimidating at the very beginning, but it's also such an important part and really can significantly impact the overall experience. I will tell you the same way the first time I did one of these, and even when I've done cruises and things like that before hosting, like, you worry, like, is everybody going to get along? It's like getting the whole family together at the holidays. Is the whole family going to get along? I come from an Italian family. It doesn't always happen that way around Christmas. But even with a large group of people who have never met before, I think it's interesting. And I'd love to hear from everybody else about your feelings about the camaraderie with fellow travelers throughout the adventure. And thoughts about going together as a group because, yes, you were going this is different because you're going with people that you don't know, but that you know you have at least something like WWE was sort of like the common factor right there's, the common thread between how did you feel about the group dynamic as a whole? Greg you've done it before. Linda, you hadn't done it.

Linda Haas [00:21:35]:

No.

Doobie Mosley [00:21:35]:

Yeah.

Lou Mongello [00:21:36]:

So what was your quick thoughts about the group dynamic?

Linda Haas [00:21:40]:

I think for me, that was one of the things I was looking forward to because I've been on the cruises before that you were just talking about. And I knew how when we get together as a group, how much fun it was. So I was really kind of looking forward to that. And I was looking forward to just being seeing the Rockies, seeing Grand Teton and seeing Yellowstone and Old Faithful was just that was something I was really looking forward to. And at the mean I could feel myself, like when we were like, oh, what was your best part? I was kind of choking up. And it was because of the people.

Greg Haas [00:22:20]:

That we went we did we also made an effort to go to a different table each night when we're at Brooks Lake and try to sit with different people because we didn't want to be the same people every single meal.

Linda Haas [00:22:31]:

Although we liked we wanted to meet.

Greg Haas [00:22:33]:

Everybody, don't get me wrong, but we just wanted to mingle. And I mean, I'm a very introvert. I'm not like that. My wife's definitely more like that because she's a teacher and she's dealing with people all day long. So it's good. She kind of pushes me out of my comfort zone anyway for that kind of stuff.

Lou Mongello [00:22:51]:

Well, and I think we'll get to the Guides later, but I think the Guides do that as well. It's one of the huge pros about having the Disney Adventures by Disney Guides there. And we'll talk about sort of what some of the other things that they bring to the table because they see that right, they see the dynamic. They will help people not sort of be introverts and sitting at a table by themselves or just sort of eating with the same people. They do a lot to very seamlessly and easily effectuate sort of the group dynamic. Nikki. What about for I?

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:23:25]:

Am I'm similar to Greg. I'm an introvert and Alex is very social. He's the social butterfly of and, like, same thing. I love how Stella and Ethan touched on the first night because you ever.

Beci Mahnken [00:23:36]:

Like, well, let's fly by the seat.

Cameron Allshouse [00:23:38]:

Of our pants and see if they.

Stella Suib [00:23:39]:

Want to sit with us.

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:23:40]:

And so that was awesome. And then same thing. We did make the initiative to sit at different tables at Brooklyn Lodge and just to get to know people better. And kind oh, where are you from? And how did you find and and then it just kind of broken down from there and just to just talk with people more and get to know them better.

Lou Mongello [00:24:00]:

And Cameron for you know, with your husband, with kids and you have sort of this family unit, it can sometimes be easy just to sort of insulate yourselves and do things on your own, but you guys the same thing too. I think what I loved seeing was that same everybody sort of interacting with everybody the entire it was it was really nice.

Cameron Allshouse [00:24:21]:

I mean I've listened to enough of your podcast to know that you seem to attract nice people so I was certain everybody on the trip would be nice but yeah, I'm an introvert but I do like being with people but it can be hard for me. Just like Stella was saying to walk into a room of people I don't know and then my 16 year old Jasper needs a lot of downtime but everybody, all four of us just got comfortable with everybody really quickly. Even the second night at Brooks Lake, jasper wanted to go back down to the main lodge and brought his notebook and was drawing. I mean, that says a lot that we were just so comfortable with the group. And there was a nice mix of having meals where we sat with other people, but then there were also some meals, like at Old Faithful Inn where we ate by ourselves. So there's kind of a nice mix of the family time and then this extended adventure family time. So it was a really nice mix for us.

Lou Mongello [00:25:14]:

Doobie, same for you?

Doobie Mosley [00:25:16]:

Yeah, I'm the extrovert in the family so I wasn't nervous about the dinner at all. But my wife is very introverted. I did not even know about her seeing you beforehand Stella, so I just told her. That made me so happy. But yeah, we sat at that table with you guys the first night and then later on you guys were talking about how you guys are such introverts and I'm like that didn't come through at all. You guys were hilarious that first night. The group was just awesome, the people is what made it and just what everyone else said. The activities were incredible but when I think about this trip, all I think about is all these faces and all the stuff we did together much more than the activities.

Lou Mongello [00:25:54]:

You would never know. I will be very transparent. I am actually an introverted extrovert. I'm very introverted and I imagine myself sometimes coming as a guest. The same thing especially I travel a lot by myself. There's a lot of times when I travel by myself I'm eating by myself or I'm doing things by myself. But I loved how just organically the groups and the people come together and I know it's obviously very much by design and know we've done enough of these together to see I think the very first time I did. It was like, Becky, we've hit lightning in a like, there's no way we could do another one of these and everybody's going to get along the same way they did on this first one. And everyone has sort of been a similar type of repeat people forming bonds and relationships and lifelong friendships. And yes, there are a lot of wonderfully emotional tears after spending six and a half days together. It's incredible to see those types of bonds form so quickly.

Beci Mahnken [00:26:58]:

They do such a great job in the recipe of the design of these trips, how they pull people together. And I loved it, too. As Stella was talking, all I could remember, Stella, was your face at the airport. You just looked at me and you were in tears, which I had heard the story about how apprehensive you were to join the first night and to see that complete transformation in literally six nights was amazing to me. I love the way that they find that common string that every family and I've been on other adventures by Disney that wasn't a group like this, that we're kind of already ahead of the game because like you said, everyone's got WDW radio in common, most on some of these other trips. At the very least, you know that you love Disney or you love that location, but how they pull it together and just throw in a pinch of this and a splash of that and stir it together and create a family at the end of a week is amazing to me and it happens every single time.

Lou Mongello [00:28:06]:

And if you've never done an adventures by Disney before and the way that Becky and I, when we do them and plan them and sometimes even Becky helps to customize them, we're also very intentional in terms of the size of the group, right? We never want the group to be so large that it's easy to get lost in. I think this group was 29 people, which was a really perfect number. We were all on the bus together. We all sort of ate in the same areas together, even in places like the Old Faithful in. So I think that really does help the group dynamic. We're talking about how this abd and I know, especially for me, is very different than ones I've done in the past. Going to Wyoming is very different than going to China. It's very different than going to Italy, certainly very different than going, know, pink's hot dogs in Southern California. And I think part of the appeal and the beauty of this abd is the beauty of the destination or the destinations plural. And Wyoming is known. And now I understand why for its stunning landscapes and certainly the national parks, which location, which one of the locations that we visited along the way or parks left the most lasting impression on you and why? I'm going to mix things up a bit and. Doobie, you can go first.

Doobie Mosley [00:29:34]:

I mean the obvious answer is brooks lake lodge which was really heaven. But honestly I look at the downtown jackson webcam multiple times every single day and just want to teleport myself back. Love. I love the combination of small town yet touristy. It's just right up my you know, every both mornings I was there, I got up early and just walked around the town when it was really quiet and I love Jackson, Wyoming and cannot wait to just go back. There and sneak into back into the Ward Hotel and just spend more time in that little city with the little shops and go back to the local and see that crazy server we had. I love Jackson, Wyoming.

Lou Mongello [00:30:21]:

I agree 100%. I see why people go and visit and for those who can afford it will get a vacation home there. Greg and Linda, what about for you? Which location sort of left the most lasting impression on you and can't even.

Linda Haas [00:30:42]:

I love Jackson for the same reason. I love the shopping. I love walking around, I love the play, I love the cowboy bar. I love seeing old faithfuls. But brookslake lodge, it was so relaxing.

Greg Haas [00:30:59]:

And you could do nothing or everything. It was amazing. I got to say, pictures do not do Wyoming justice. You just can't capture it in a picture. It's just so pretty everywhere.

Linda Haas [00:31:09]:

I was just thinking today, I think one of the things I like the most about this trip is there was a perfect amount of we're on the go and then there was enough time to relax and play poker at night.

Lou Mongello [00:31:25]:

Which is not on the itinerary just to be clear.

Linda Haas [00:31:30]:

There was just enough of like let's get going and let's relax.

Greg Haas [00:31:36]:

I mean, I got to say, the scenery everywhere was so gorgeous. Grand Canyon, the elephants, that whole hike we took, everything was beautiful. There's no scenery that's ugly. It's just beautiful. Mean, I always wanted to see all faithful. I got to see know, I started erupting twice.

Linda Haas [00:31:53]:

Friends are getting bored at my pictures.

Lou Mongello [00:31:56]:

But you're right, the pictures and the videos and anything that you see on the big or small screen cannot do this justice. And we all said it, I think more than once there would be vistas that we'd be looking at and going this looks fake. It looks like something I was going to say it looks like soren but the screen is so curved. It actually looks more fake than the real thing. Cameron, what about for you?

Cameron Allshouse [00:32:22]:

I loved seeing the grand Tetons. I just could not get over it. It just was amazing. We were saying, yeah, it looked like a backdrop. We sent some pictures back home to our family in Massachusetts and they were saying it looks like you're in front of a backdrop. But they were just amazing. There was still snow on them. I didn't know there were glaciers in Wyoming. There are glaciers. Yeah. They were just stunning from every angle. We saw them a number of different days, and that was amazing. And then I'd heard of Old Faithful, but I did not know there were that many geysers in that area. Like, everywhere you looked, there was steam coming out of the just yeah, that was amazing. I hadn't known about that part of the geography there, so that was really neat as well. And then the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone was phenomenal. Yeah, I hadn't expected that I was.

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:33:11]:

Going to say, Cameron stole mine, because I was like, saying, biking against the Grand Tetons, it looked fake. And I sent video to my parents. They're like, that doesn't look real. And I said, oh, it's real, and that's real snow. But yeah. And I know Alex loved Jackson so much he wants to go back again. And it's funny because I've already been pinged through a bunch of different races in the area, and I'm like, dang it, man, don't do this to me.

Ethan Suib [00:33:41]:

To me, it's almost impossible to mean the beauty out there. So we split our time between upstate New York and Florida. And where we are in New York, we're surrounded by mountains. We've got the Adirondacks to the north and the Catskills to the south. We have the Berkshire Mountains to the east. So we're literally surrounded by mountains. At least I thought we were surrounded by mountains. And then you get out west, those are mountains. I mean, they're stunning. Standing at the top of Brooks Lake Mountain, that view, I may never see something like that again. And while that was completely awesome, the alien landscape of geological features in Yellowstone paint pots.

Lou Mongello [00:34:33]:

Yeah.

Ethan Suib [00:34:33]:

Mud pots and hot springs and geysers. And not just one, not just Old Faithful, but they're everywhere. It's amazing. And to me, it's really difficult to pick a favorite. There were just too many.

Lou Mongello [00:34:51]:

Becky, I'm going to save you your breath. Becky's going to say Brooks Lake Lodge for all of the reasons.

Beci Mahnken [00:34:57]:

I was actually going to take a different turn on this for a second, which you might appreciate. Besides the fact that there were over 500 geysers in the area, which was really cool to look at, I was actually going to take a different tactic on it because I want to compare for a second the ABDs that we've been on, especially the ones recently, are go, go. You get there and you're up at 06:00 in the morning because you have to have a breakfast at seven. You got to be on the coach by eight, and off you go to see all the amazing things that they have planned that day. This particular, itinerary really let me breathe. So we weren't getting up at 05:00 a.m. And running around like crazy. We were getting up at seven and having breakfast at eight and then going to do whatever we wanted to do. And yes, okay, fine. Brooks lake lodge FYI just to go ahead and say, yes, you're right. But it was the fact that we all had so many options available to us, and somebody had touched on this earlier, that this particular itinerary really allowed you to do as much and be as active as you wanted to be or as slowed down and peaceful and relaxed as you wanted to be. So there were a lot of options, a lot of choices, a lot of amazing things to see and do, especially when you're standing on a caldera that could blow up and take out the earth at any given time.

Lou Mongello [00:36:22]:

That's not necessarily in the marketing materials, by the way.

Beci Mahnken [00:36:25]:

Exactly. I know, but just the fascination of the entire thing. But to be able to sit on the well, you guys were off doing things. Just sitting on the grass at brooks lake lodge and throwing a ball for the dog for an hour was just amazing to me. So a lot of things really hit home, but, yeah, all right, fine.

Lou Mongello [00:36:46]:

Let's take know for me, I was very fortunate as a kid. We traveled a lot of the country by car. My mom didn't fly, so we drove through a lot of the country. And even one summer, we went from new jersey, sort of across the top of the country and then down some of the western states and then across, but never really hit this part of america before. And I loved being able to see it this way. And I will tell you honestly, through a lot of really, I think at all of the destinations, there were moments for me that I got very emotional, like looking at these landscapes and things I had only seen in pictures, things I only seen encyclopedias before, things I had only seen in pictures before. And to have the privilege of being able to go and see it and breathe that incredibly clean air and be at altitudes I had never been at before, I did. I'm an emotional guy. I got emotional, and I said at sort of our farewell dinner, I said, this country may not be perfect, but my god, it's beautiful. And it is. And it really gives you an appreciation of just how spectacular and how different different parts of the country are. We don't have mountains in florida. We have speed bumps. That's about it. That's about as high as the mountains go here. So it was a remarkable experience.

Beci Mahnken [00:38:25]:

Yeah. I just got to throw in the amazement of your daughter when she found out that she was actually standing on top of a volcano, literally running around in circles going, why didn't anybody tell me that this was a volcano? Nobody's told me that this thing could erupt. It was absolutely hilarious watching her go through that realization.

Doobie Mosley [00:38:43]:

Do we real quick? Yeah. So I've been telling people, people are like, oh, what part of wyoming did you go to? And I'm like, I have no idea where I was in Wyoming. I really feel like I got on an airplane, got off on a different planet, because nothing that I saw resembled anything I've experienced in my life, and then seven days later got back on the airplane and came back to Earth. That's how different and incredible this was compared to everything else I've done in my life.

Lou Mongello [00:39:08]:

Yeah, like you, I had never seen any I didn't know what a mud pot was. I didn't know what some of these different geological formations were. And you can go to Wilderness Lodge and see their version of Old Faithful. But it's different when you see it with your own eyes and are standing there among new friends and being able to experience it together and then go off and explore on your own and really come to appreciate just the beauty of nature, I think, in a way that you don't get to do before. Becky says becky says she has the Jackson Hole webcam up. I may or may not have opened it up a couple of times myself. I don't know.

Beci Mahnken [00:39:51]:

He said that. I'm like, oh, my God, there's a webcam. And I like, poke that in there and it's on the other screen, and it's really cool to look at that and see all the excitement, and I wish I was back.

Doobie Mosley [00:40:02]:

Right.

Lou Mongello [00:40:02]:

And to say, like, I was there, right? I was there. And somebody had just said, yeah, brooks Lake Lodge has one, too. But in addition to just being outside in nature and exploring all the natural beauty that Wyoming has to offer, there were so many different activities that you could and what I love about, especially this abd, too, is you could choose to do what you felt comfortable. Some of us chose to do things that made us uncomfortable. We'll get to that as well. Or just to do nothing at all. So we talk about things like whitewater rafting and horseback riding and archery and having a ranger, right, a ranger come along with us and guide us through some of these natural landscapes to explain to us what we were seeing. The guides taking us on hikes of different elevations and different levels of stress and strain on our little bodies. We'll get to that as well, too. But what do you think was your favorite activity or highlight from this trip? In addition to sort of enjoying the natural landscape, what is the thing that you did, the activity that we did together as a group that really maybe was most memorable for you, Nikki?

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:41:22]:

Probably the large hike to Brook Lake Mountain. That was pretty cool. I was very worried for Alex. I was very worried for you, Lou.

Lou Mongello [00:41:33]:

And a couple of other people, and.

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:41:34]:

I was like but it was just cool to see the view at the top and know that you accomplished going from 9000ft to 11,000ft in altitude, and it was just amazing. I would highly, highly recommend it.

Lou Mongello [00:41:50]:

Greg and Linda, what about for you? What highlight or activity was your favorite?

Linda Haas [00:41:55]:

I think I liked the raft.

Greg Haas [00:42:01]:

Okay. Yeah. She didn't do the white raft. We did the float.

Beci Mahnken [00:42:04]:

We did the float.

Greg Haas [00:42:05]:

Beautiful, Becky. That was fun.

Linda Haas [00:42:07]:

Yep. And I'm, like very proud of myself for doing the hike.

Greg Haas [00:42:14]:

The one from Yellowstone. In Yellowstone. Right. What was it called? From lula falls to artist point. That was a nice hike.

Lou Mongello [00:42:22]:

Thank you.

Linda Haas [00:42:23]:

Nikki.

Greg Haas [00:42:24]:

There was a few switchbacks there that were a little tough in the middle of the hike, but it was still great and it was just beautiful, too, so it felt like a real sense of accomplishment when we were done.

Linda Haas [00:42:33]:

Yep.

Lou Mongello [00:42:34]:

Doobie. What about for know, I didn't do.

Doobie Mosley [00:42:38]:

This big hike and I go back and forth between kicking myself and patting myself on the back for still being alive. The whitewater rafting really full. Day one, I was nervous as heck. And I appreciate so much our other guide, Casey, for kind of calming the nerves. And then once we actually got out there was incredible. And then especially for my son, who I was really nervous for him and thought he might be miserable to take to it so much that he got in the water. Yeah, it got off to a great start. Whitewater rafting was incredible.

Lou Mongello [00:43:09]:

Yeah. Love Gideon. Everybody loves Gideon. He was awesome.

Cameron Allshouse [00:43:13]:

I'd have to say, whitewater rafting first, that was really fun. It was exciting to go through some rapids. It was fun to be in the little mellow parts where we could jump out of the raft and swim. My family was some of the first to jump in that freezing cold water, so that was really fun. And then we went horseback riding, which we hadn't done before, so that was really fun as well. And Jasper was a little nervous about it. Brennan was excited to try it, but afterwards my kids loved it. They were really excited to have that opportunity. And then the brooks mountain hike was amazing. So I can't pick just one. But whitewater rafting was really fun.

Lou Mongello [00:43:46]:

It's hard because each one offered something different, whether it was the views, whether it was something a physical activity. I know with the horseback riding at brooks lake lodge, you're sort of in this valley of incredibly high mountains that just seem like they are so high and so far away. And when you get to the top of it on your horse and you look down and you see the lodge and then come back to the lodge and go, I was up there. Like I made it up that mountain by horse.

Cameron Allshouse [00:44:18]:

We did the horseback riding one day and we rode the horses by the bottom of brooks mountain, and then the next day we hiked to the top of the cliff at the top of brooks mountain. So that was pretty amazing, seeing it from the two different perspectives.

Stella Suib [00:44:31]:

For me, we hike in real life, too. So I loved hiking and I was very proud of the fact that I didn't die on the Brooks Mountain hike, even though it was tough. But I have to say, for me, the most memorable had to be the rafting, because I think that's what I was most afraid of. And I thought up until that morning, I almost talked myself out of it up until that morning. And then I decided, when am I ever going to do this again? So I'll just do it. So I did it. And I was sandwiched I don't know if you remember, Lou, I was sandwiched in between you and Deanna behind me, so between you making me laugh and Deanna counting. So I knew when to row and when to stop. I felt very cared for and I had so much fun. And when Marion sat on the end of the raft and she was really like, it's so fun, just do it. What's the worst that could happen? So I did it and it was so fun. So that to me, was the most out of my comfort zone physically, that I was. And it's the most memorable because I can't imagine I'll get an opportunity to do that again. So I'm very glad that I did it.

Lou Mongello [00:45:55]:

So there's a couple of really important points there, right? First and foremost, like in the Disney parks, anywhere else, safety is always number one, right? So you know that anything that you do is going to be the safest possible thing you could do anywhere. So if you are thinking about doing whitewater rafting or you want to do a hike, this is the time and place to do it, because you are surrounded by people who have expertise where safety is a priority. So I never worried about that, right? Because I've done the ABDs before. Normally I'd be like the nervous parent, like watching my kids, even though my kids are like 19 and 18, the nervous parent with their kids in the whitewater rafts hitting class two and class three and sitting on the end and jumping in the water. But there's this recurring theme as we're talking and really and I noticed as the abd went on, which was this idea of pushing beyond your limits, I think many of us took on our own individual adventures, whether it was horseback riding or going outside your comfort zone and doing the whitewater rafting hiking. I was so excited for what I thought was going to be like, nice, calm, simple, like majestic, cue the music hikes. And it was going to be like, all downhill and there'd be snack stops along the way. It wasn't like that. And as the abd went on, we were doing more. I was so happy that I was able to do these things individually. Do them with my family, do them with you, my extended family. And all along, we're sort of hearing whispers about the hike at Brooks Lake Lodge, like the big hike at the end. And it's funny because I noticed sort of like the temperature of the conversation was, it's really challenging. This is really going to be a challenging hike. And I'm like, oh, maybe I shouldn't do, like, no, if you could do whitewater rafting, you can do the hike. I'm like, okay, I can do this. And then my kids are into it and Deanna's into it, and everybody else is like, yeah, I'm going. And they're like, you know, it's a challenging hike. Right. I will admit again, this, for me, was the most physically challenging activity I've ever done. I wouldn't have done it, nor would I have been able to do it without the group. Right. The group is so supportive. The guides are wonderful. I am embarrassed and not embarrassed to say that maybe I was bringing up the rear of the pack a few times here and there, and you have these moments like, I can't do it. I just can't go any farther. But this idea, Stella, of this is the only time I'm going to be able to do it, and I need to sort of push myself. And the guides are so wonderful. Again, we'll talk about Dusty and Casey a little more. Of course, they're also liars, too, because it's like running a marathon. Like, oh, you're almost there. No, you're not. You're not almost there. They'd be like, I remember they said you're almost to the meadow. And I'm like, oh, the meadow, I'm assuming, is the top of the mountain. And I'm pushing myself to get there, and I'm hyperventilating, and I'm snacking along the way, and I get there and I fall back onto the grass, and I'm like, this is beautiful. And it's like Sound of Music. And there's all these wildflowers, and they're like, yeah, come on. Only three quarters of mile more to go. I'm like, Wait a minute. You just told me we were there. But the rewards were worth it, right? The payoff of doing all these things and pushing outside your comfort zone was absolutely worth it. And I think that's one of the things that Abd, the way they structure these, allowing you to choose what you want and having the help and the support and the safety and security is what I think, too, abd and the guides bring as well. And Becky, especially for some of the places that we've traveled, we know sort of how important safety and security really is.

Beci Mahnken [00:49:56]:

Yeah, that safety factor is huge. They vet every single provider, every single person that you come in contact with. We know that there's going to be added pieces of security. Yeah. There's a reason why I didn't take that hike with you. There's no way that I could have made it on some of those with my wonderful knees, which is why I stayed back and found a love for archery, my inner merida kind of took over. You guys were hiking. I was just checking in every once in a while because, of course, they're communicating back to the team at the lodge, and they're like, yep, no one's died yet. So I'm like, okay, good. I'm going to shoot people, mangello's.

Lou Mongello [00:50:38]:

Close, but not yet.

Beci Mahnken [00:50:39]:

Exactly. It's like, darn. So they were giving us updates of what was going on, but I went and I found the two things that I loved most of all, and I didn't realize I was going to love archery the way I did. I stepped up, took a couple of tries at it, didn't do all that well. The girl looked at me, said, adjust this, and I was just like, one after another after another, and I felt really good doing it. So that was wonderful. My second most favorite activity that we did, and I'm sure we'll talk much more about this, was the poker nights.

Lou Mongello [00:51:14]:

Again, not on the official itinerary.

Beci Mahnken [00:51:17]:

Not on the official itinerary. However, anybody can grab a deck of cards and sit down and play poker at the lodge. Again, another option, if that's what you'd like to do. But those are the two things that.

Cameron Allshouse [00:51:27]:

I love the most.

Beci Mahnken [00:51:28]:

Plus, of course, congratulations to all of you who took on those challenges. Whether it be that hike or Dewey getting into a white rotter raft or Stella walking into a room for dinner, it's just amazing to hear the stories from all of you of how you kind of took on a challenge. And Lou, I know that hike was not the easiest thing for you, and it was awesome that you did it along with everybody else, so that's great. But they do have medical things. They do have training. They do have that safety and security of being surrounded by that little bit of a Disney bubble, even outside of the parks. It's such a great way to travel. And as you mentioned, like, places like China or Egypt or places that you may not think that you want to visit on your own, abd is a great, great way to take on that challenge.

Lou Mongello [00:52:20]:

And big or small, I think we all had some of these I did it moments. Like, I'm so happy that I canoed. I did this thing with my son, my wife, my husband. I did this thing on my own.

Beci Mahnken [00:52:32]:

Threaded a knot with an arrow.

Lou Mongello [00:52:33]:

Yay. But it is it is that wonderful sense of accomplishment and then coming back together and then sharing the stories with one another. But one thing that you mentioned we talked about, I think that is a plus that I really like, that Abd does, is I love that in addition to what is planned out for you. And there is a lot and just as a quick know, when you go to these destinations and this really hit home, when we did the adventures by Disney to Italy. We stayed an additional day in Venice and I remember waking up that morning going, let me just look and see top 20 things to do while you're in Venice and hit some of those things that we didn't do. Every single thing that was on that list we had done. And I was like, wow, they really do make sure to hit the highlights of all the locations that you go to. But I love that in addition to that, they do build in time for you to spend on your own. However you would like, either alone with friends in the group, relaxing, doing another activity. Talk to me a little bit about how you spent some of that downtime that off time, a favorite thing that you did or found or restaurant that you went to, or just taking time to relax, however it was that you spent that time on your own.

Linda Haas [00:54:00]:

Greg and Linda, I liked the cowboy bar.

Greg Haas [00:54:06]:

Cowboy coaster was fun too.

Linda Haas [00:54:08]:

The day we oh, yeah, that was fun.

Greg Haas [00:54:10]:

That was Deanna's suggestion. She suggested going there, you gotta go, you gotta go.

Linda Haas [00:54:14]:

That was fun.

Greg Haas [00:54:15]:

That was great time.

Linda Haas [00:54:17]:

And I like the poconites.

Greg Haas [00:54:21]:

Especially the final one.

Lou Mongello [00:54:22]:

Yes. It's only because you won. Linda won the poker tournament, so that's why. I'm not saying that you hustled us, but would you start calling Linda the nickname Lou?

Beci Mahnken [00:54:38]:

You're just mad because I called your bluff. That was awesome. I will always remember that face because now I know.

Lou Mongello [00:54:47]:

Cameron, what about for you in terms of things that, you know, you individually or you sort of collectively with your family in some of the downtime in.

Cameron Allshouse [00:54:57]:

Jackson, the first day we were there or second day we were there, we got there a day early. We found an arts building there and there were some people outside by some art installations and they said that there are, I think 22 might get that number wrong, 22 murals around Jackson. And they gave us a map. And so it became my mission to try to find all 22 murals. I think I got to 20 of them. My kids got burnt out after a few, but I kept going and that was a really neat way to see different parts of Jackson. And they have all kinds of sculptures around there and little quirky things that if you're really looking around, you know, see we found a little metal moose sculpture on the side of a signpost and it's just really a cool town. And then at we have we had a really good time playing on the shuffleboard table. So anytime there's downtime, we'd usually end up there. That was really fun.

Stella Suib [00:55:52]:

I played a lot of shuffleboard myself in the bar and I had a nice sauna time at the little Spa building. And I believe there was a group in the hot tub at one point.

Ethan Suib [00:56:05]:

Jackson is a very walkable little town we're coffee drinkers. We hit at least three different coffee shops while we were there.

Lou Mongello [00:56:12]:

Cowboy coffee. Cowboy coffee.

Stella Suib [00:56:14]:

Coffee.

Nicole Ostrowsi [00:56:16]:

The second night or the final night in Jackson, we got up early in the morning, had breakfast, and we walked around the whole town, checked out a couple of the bookstores and different shops. And then at Brooks Lake, we would do hiking in the morning and then we would go in the bar in the afternoon because Alex refused to we need to relax. So we made friends with the bartender and she gave us all the local beers to try. And we talked with Ian, who was the chef, and learned all about where he sourced all the meat from and all the food and cooking techniques.

Lou Mongello [00:56:54]:

So that was a lot of well, we'll talk more about I guess we'll get to food at some point. Doobie, what about you and your family and some of your downtime?

Doobie Mosley [00:57:05]:

So I'll speak for my family, too. I know Rebecca enjoyed the hot tub enough that she went to it twice. I think that first time it was you and Linda, or she and Linda that were there and she talked, how much she liked that. Gideon, I guess this is maybe technically activity, but not really. After horseback riding, he just had some downtime and he ran into Dusty while all you crazy people were off hiking. And he and Dusty went canoeing together for an hour, just the two of them. And Dusty has a background. He still works at Disney World and Entertainment. So he and Gideon talked Disney. And I know that will be one of Gideon's greatest memories of his life, just spending an hour talking Disney with someone like Dusty on a canoe. I'm so happy that happened. And then for me, I enjoyed walking around Jackson just by myself every morning. But nothing's going to be poker night, which poker night was everything. I had so much fun playing poker all three nights with you guys, I can't even tell you.

Lou Mongello [00:58:02]:

And I'm going to use this time to announce the annual wWdo Poker Tournament coming soon. Let's do do. We really love Jackson? We really love Jackson. We also got in a day early. I highly recommend getting in a day early before any adventure by Disney because you just never know. But it also gives you time to sort of unwind get acclimated, sometimes even getting acclimated to the altitude. In places like Wyoming. We too, we walked the town, we shopped, we had an inordinate amount of cowboy coffee and we did the coaster up the mountain. This was like the most active, non relaxing vacation. And I mean that in the best possible sense. I didn't really have a lot of time that was just sort of sitting down and relaxing, but like loved, you know, that one day we went out to lunch with my family and your family and we've known each other know more. Than a decade, but I think this is the first time that we really just sort of sat down and chatted and got to know you and your wife and Gideon a little more. And throughout the weekend, throughout the week, being able to do that with everybody, being able to spend time individual with everybody, and getting to hear your stories and getting to know more about you as well was some of the downtime that I really enjoyed most. We've mentioned I'm sorry, guys, I'm sorry.

Doobie Mosley [00:59:30]:

I just want to say, because we've talked a lot about the friends and stuff, and I just wanted to mention, in case anyone's out there, some people have asked me, is this something you can do alone? And we had one person, Becky, you weren't really alone. We had one person on our group who really was alone, jackie. And I just love the way that everyone made Jackie a part of their family. You never would have known that she was actually on this abd by herself. I looked at so many pictures where she is in the family pictures. If anyone out there is thinking, is abd a good thing to do on your own? I can't imagine a better vacation to do if you're a solo traveler.

Lou Mongello [01:00:05]:

Yeah, that's a great point. We have the same thing happen when we do group cruises. We have a lot of people like, can I should I come alone? Can I do this alone? And I think it's just the nature of the group, and we use the word community a lot, but it's true. We are community, we are family. And I love seeing that nobody is left out and certainly nobody got left behind, which is why I made it to the top of the mountain very quickly. We talked about some of the destinations and places that we went and visited, and we'll get to the places that we ate, but we stayed at three different hotels. The Wart Hotel in Jackson. A 1941 small boutique hotel. I think it's 50 or 55 or so rooms. The legendary Old Faithful Inn, which, yes, go into Wilderness Lodge and you clearly see a lot of inspiration. It's one of, if not the largest. I know at one point, it was like the largest log style structures in the world built by just 50 people in 13 months, which is crazy. It's spectacular. And Brooks Lake Lodge, which again, I don't think any of us would have heard of had it not been for this adventures by Disney, but this wonderfully secluded lodge that we had all to ourselves that has just, I think, seven rooms in the main building and then eight out cabin. Which of the three let me do it this way. Who does not feel that Brooks Lake Lodge was your favorite of the three resorts that we stayed in? And why he's sheepishly raising his I.

Doobie Mosley [01:01:47]:

Mean, obviously, when you take everything into account, brooks lake was the best. But just looking at the lodging itself, especially since we ended up in a main room by our choice, so I'm not really like the Ward Hotel. It's such a fun hotel. They used to be a casino, and all the decor around there, the food was really good. And obviously being right there in Jackson. I even went down to the gym one morning. So I really like the Ward Hotel. I do. Really nice, real metal hotel. I'm going to stick up for the Ward Hotel, even though, obviously, Brooks Lake Lodge is the winner.

Lou Mongello [01:02:30]:

I'm with you. I love the I really, really like the Ward Hotel.

Beci Mahnken [01:02:34]:

It told this story really well because you're going back to the Old West. And yeah, when they handed me the metal key again, it's like, what do I tap this on? I forget how to open my have. Because you have to move the key thing that's over so you can't tell that there's an actual hole to put the key in. So you're literally going, Where do I put this thing? And then you realize that you could move it. So, yeah, but I love the history of that building. And again, some of the doors that had this ornate carvings in it of cowboys and Native Americans and scenes and buffalo, and it really kind of was a great way to start the adventure. It set the tone and for the story to come.

Lou Mongello [01:03:18]:

So one thing we haven't talked about really yet, although we've alluded to it a little bit, and you're probably hi, I'm Lou. Surprised it's taken so long to get here. But dining experiences on adventures by Disney are often a memorable part of any Disney adventure. No matter where you go, disney really makes sure that they select locations and dining experiences that are just that they are true experiences. Not just because of the cuisine, but maybe where it is that you're eating, whether it's the Jackson Playhouse and the show that we got to see after what was for you the most delicious or unique or memorable or outside your comfort zone meal that you had on the trip? Stella's saying stella's going no. So I'm going to call on Stella first.

Stella Suib [01:04:11]:

I'm saying it's no contest. I, in no uncertain terms, would ever choose to eat bison, to search out bison. But I have to tell you, in all of my 53 years, that dinner at Brooks Lake Lodge, that was bison with that magical sauce. I don't know what voodoo existed in that sauce, and it wasn't even mine. It was his. I didn't get that. But I was eating that because Ethan chose it. And it was by far the best thing I have ever eaten, ever. That's one of the first things I told people about this trip, which was magnificent, was about this bison. So that aside, since I have celiac mealtime comes with its own stress when you're traveling someplace you've never been or places you don't know. But this trip was so seamless for me that I never had to ask more than once, if ever, oh, is this gluten free? Is there something in the sauce? Everybody knew. Everybody was prepared. And when I say prepared, I'm not like, they threw me some iceberg lettuce and a rice cake. This was good food specifically made gluten free, and it was amazing. I never felt like I'm looking at all of you having these great dining experiences, and I'm, oh, well, I'll just eat my rice cake over here. I felt a part of it without feeling like a big spotlight was on this very inconvenient thing. I was never made to feel like that. And it took a whole stressor out of mealtime, which, when we travel, it's often like, my suitcase is half snacks because I never know.

Lou Mongello [01:06:22]:

So is mine. Don't feel bad. My suitcase is half snacks, too. And I don't have celiac disease. That's just the way I travel, right?

Stella Suib [01:06:28]:

So I came home. This is the first time I came home with as many snacks in my suitcase as I brought, because Casey and Dusty, every time I turned around, they were trying to get me to eat a gluten free cookie or gluten free cupcake or a protein bar. So I never had to go into my own personal stash, not once. But the best thing was that the food wasn't just a substitute. It was incorporated into all the experiences, even at the playhouse. It was so great for me, but the bison was the best thing I've ever eaten, hands down.

Lou Mongello [01:07:07]:

I'm with you, Sister Duvy. What about for you?

Doobie Mosley [01:07:12]:

So when we got to the Brooks Lake Lodge, everyone had been building up the Brooks Lake Lodge. This is, like, going to be the greatest thing in your life. And we get there, and I'm like, this is nice. I'm not an outdoors person. Okay, we get inside, we get the orientation. I'm like, Carrie, I'm on vacation. And they are laying down the laws of the land. This is what time we eat. Make sure you get activities the night before. And I'm like, Why is everyone so crazy about this place? But then we had that first dinner, and he gave us tortelloni, which I did not know was distinct from tortellini until that night, but he gave us the summer squash tortoloni. I'm a vegetarian, so I have this dietary restriction as well. And that summer squash tortolone is the best form of pasta I've ever had in my entire life. And that's when I realized brooks Lake Lodge actually is something special. And it opened my yeah, that summer squash tortellini. Opening night, Brooks Lake Lodge. And also, I will give an honorable mention to the very simple salad that was on the lunch menu. I think it was a peach salad, but it was just a salad with peach and tomatoes. And I think goat cheese in the middle, and there's no reason a salad should be that good. I can't say a salad is the best thing I had on the trip, but if I could say it, I would.

Lou Mongello [01:08:23]:

Yeah, you know the rules. You cannot say a salad is the best thing on the trip.

Cameron Allshouse [01:08:27]:

Well, we love food in my family, so we were excited about most of the food options, for sure, if not all of them. The favorite meal I had was the first night at Brooks Lake Lodge, and I ordered the prawns, and I don't eat a lot of seafood, but I thought, well, may as well give it a try. And they were amazing, and I just couldn't get over how delicious they were. And they melted in my mouth. And I've heard people say that before, and I never experienced it, and they did. They melted in my mouth. It was phenomenal for Jasper. Jasper's a vegetarian, and it was so nice that Casey or Dusty would always make sure Jasper had something that he liked. And I think the first night, it was at the welcome dinner, jasper was kind of eyeing the buffet line and thinking, well, I guess this is going to be a salad and bread kind of dinner for me. And then Casey came out of nowhere with a plate of gnocchi, and Jasper said it was just delicious. So Jasper really appreciated that. And Brennan and Eric liked to eat anything and everything, so they were happy. But we were excited that they could try bison and different things like that that they'd never had before. And they also said the bison was yeah.

Lou Mongello [01:09:36]:

So, Nicole, tell us why Brookslake Lodge first night meal was the best meal.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:09:42]:

That bison, man, let me tell you. And we found out that all their meat is from Snake River, which is huge in the food and beverage industry, because I work in the beverage industry, and Alex previously worked in the food industry. And when we talked with Ian, the chef, where he got the meat from, we were like, oh, this makes a whole lot of sense now. And he explained where everything was from, and I was like, oh, yeah, we're good. We're set all week.

Cameron Allshouse [01:10:08]:

We're good.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:10:09]:

Whatever this man cooks, we're fine. We won't starve at all.

Lou Mongello [01:10:13]:

Greg and Linda was Brooks Lake Lodge. Especially that first meal. Was that it for you?

Greg Haas [01:10:19]:

Yeah, that bison again, like everybody else says, the bison steak was amazing. And she had the prawns, so would.

Linda Haas [01:10:25]:

You I love the prawns. And I tried his bison. I'm a very picky eater, and I tried the bison. And then the other night, we had elk. That was fantastic. But I think my favorite meal was the playhouse. I liked the playhouse.

Lou Mongello [01:10:42]:

The Playhouse was a lot of fun in Jackson. We had dinner on our last night in the Jackson Playhouse, which through the years has know it's been at jackson, like, since the very beginning, and you're served a meal in this authentic sort of old saloon and then brought into the playhouse where they performed Annie Get Your Gun. What we didn't realize as it was happening was that our servers were also the performers, like, doing double and triple duty, which was amazing to see. Like, wait a minute, annie Oakley was my server. She just brought me iced tea. But it was it was a wonderful meal. But going back to Brooks Lake Lodge and Gideon even said dewey said gideon talked about having the elk at the lodge, which is not Gideon's what, 1415? Not always. Sometimes the most adventurous eaters saying, dad, I think I'm going to order the elk. But everybody that first night got up from dinner, and it wasn't sort of being hyperbolic. Like, this was the best meal I've ever had. And it's not like they starved us the entire day, which is why it tasted so good. It's a scratch kitchen. It is clearly made with love. That bison was remarkably good. And my daughter, too, can sometimes be picky every single meal. She just was head over heels about becky, I'm sure you feel the same is this is clearly a Brooks Lake Lodge love fest.

Beci Mahnken [01:12:17]:

It definitely is. And what I love kind of about our little extended family is that we all aren't shy about sharing each other's food. So somebody can order the prawns, which I did, and somebody ordered something else, and somebody had the tortellini. I personally don't want to eat or pet the fluffy cow, so I did not do the bison personally. All right, don't laugh. You're going to laugh, but don't laugh. I had, for lunch at Brooks Lake Lodge, the best grilled cheese sandwich and salad on the planet. I'm serious. It was like this mixture of four different awesome cheeses. And then they had this great salad on the side with this most amazing blue cheese dressing that you can tell was just handmade with love. But seriously, I fell in love with the grilled cheese sandwich and then had to have it the next day as well, because the food was just that good.

Lou Mongello [01:13:14]:

I love going out with Becky, and especially dining with Becky, because it literally is like the beginning part of the scene from When Harry Met Sally. Okay, so I'll have the bison, but leave the bison off. Just bring me the lettuce, but put the dressing on the side. And also bring me some toast, but put some cheese on it and grill it together. Somehow she makes the bison into a grilled cheese way off menu.

Beci Mahnken [01:13:38]:

The hard part here is that you're not wrong. I'm not going to argue with that whatsoever, because you're right. However, it was really and they accommodated.

Lou Mongello [01:13:49]:

They were so incredibly accommodating. The service was exceptional.

Beci Mahnken [01:13:53]:

That, too. Especially with an adventures by Disney, not just the one that we're on. As many of you had food allergies and or food restrictions. They're so good about it. No matter where you are on the planet, they're very careful about making sure that everybody in the group family feels like family and is not left out. And we on our side from a travel agency side, give them all the information up front, so even when they do their shopping before the adventure starts, they're thinking about what you need. They think about the gluten people, the celiacs, and the vegetarians, and making sure that there's something there for everybody so you don't feel singled out, so you don't feel like there's not going to be anything there for you there to enjoy. I love the way they put such a huge emphasis on that so everyone can dine as a family and enjoy without worrying.

Lou Mongello [01:14:52]:

And what I love most about Adventures by Disney is the snacks. It's like, there are snacks all the time everywhere. You never have to worry about getting a bottle of water or getting us. They literally had, like, Mary Poppins bags just filled with unending varieties of snacks, whether you're on the coach, whether you're on the bus, whether you're on an adventure, or you somehow make it to the top of the mountain. They had Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, so there was always a snack. And they were always what they were doing was they were always taking care of you. And like Disney, right, everybody there are no VIPs because everybody is a VIP. And I really want to sort of save this until close to the end. And talking about the adventure guides. Dusty, who Becky and I, we've known before, and Dusty's been our guide on Adventures by Disney to the past, including Italy this past February, and Casey, who I had never met before. Look, I think it's difficult for us to convey to somebody who's never been on Adventures by Disney what this experience is like. It's what we're trying to do here. I think it's even more difficult to convey just how important and special and exceptional the guides are. You're given oftentimes and on this Adventures by Disney. There are two Disney cast member guides who oftentimes have had adventured before. Casey is an adventurous adventure guide. She is very much an outdoors person. But they bring so much to the experience. Not just in terms of guiding you along, taking care of you, making sure every single detail is taken care of for you, thinking five steps ahead and planning five steps ahead, individually and collectively for the group, their expertise, their experience, their storytelling skills, the wealth and the breadth of knowledge that they bring, especially Casey. So many historical and cultural anecdotes that she shared during the trip. And then oftentimes you'll have a local guide, too. We've done this in International Adventures, and even here when we were in Yellowstone National Park, we had a ranger with us the entire time on our coach and guiding us along. So we had not only the quote unquote local guide, but the adventure guides as well. I would really love to hear from each of you, your thoughts, your experience with Dusty and with Casey, Greg and Linda.

Linda Haas [01:17:42]:

Well, when we first got there, we were bringing our luggage into the court, the Wart Hotel. And Casey was coming in, helped us with our luggage. She goes, oh, adventures by Disney. I'm going to be your guide, one of your guides. So we met her as we walked into the hotel the day before the.

Greg Haas [01:18:06]:

We came there a day early, so she actually helped us bring our carry ons up to our room. And we had those with Was.

Linda Haas [01:18:15]:

She was amazing. And then I'm like, oh, the other guy's not going to be anywhere near like this one. And then we met Dusty. What a mean. He and Nikki were the reasons I was able to do the Grand Canyon hike. The Grand Canyon hike. And they were just amazing. And when Becky was saying about the grilled cheese, I ordered the grilled cheese the next day at lunch because of.

Lou Mongello [01:18:45]:

Seeing Becky having it, because of Becky.

Linda Haas [01:18:48]:

And when we were at the Yellowstone, when we had lunch in Yellowstone, all of a sudden I think it was can't. Dusty comes to me because I'm a picky eater and hands me like, plate of chicken fingers and fries.

Greg Haas [01:19:03]:

And that was with the day they gave your son the cake.

Linda Haas [01:19:06]:

It was like, okay, I left it and shit. But it was like, that was nice of him. They just went out of their way for everybody.

Greg Haas [01:19:16]:

Yeah, they're wonderful. I don't just they're exceptional people and they are in the right job, let's put it that way.

Lou Mongello [01:19:25]:

Dubie, what about for you and your family experiences with the guides?

Doobie Mosley [01:19:29]:

Oh, man, the guide to everything. So we already talked about how great Dusty was with Gideon, but one thing I like, they always feel like they're friends of yours, even though they are clearly there to take care of. You know, when you're on the cruise, which is my favorite thing in the world, the people on the cruise ship feel like they are there to take care of you. They are your, quote, servants, whereas the guides become your friends throughout this. And that's just a much nicer experience. Casey was incredible. There's something about her personality which was just very steady, very calming. And her combination with Dusty, I can't believe, if I'm not mistaken, they've never worked together before. The two of them together were just a perfect combination. I love Casey. I told her after that. I'm not sure I've ever met someone that just impressed me so quickly as you just I love Casey. And then the Yellowstone guy you mentioned was Rich. I came to love Rich. Rich had some stories while you guys were off doing the Artist Point hike. A few of us stayed in the bus and got to talk to Rich, ask Rich some personal questions. And I love Rich. He was just great. Disney not only picks great adventure guides, they picked the great on site guides. And yeah, the guides are everything.

Lou Mongello [01:20:42]:

It was which we learned all about Rich's favorites. And Rich don't take no grief from no Rich. Rich takes his job very seriously, and I love that about him. Stella and Ethan, what about you and your guide experiences?

Stella Suib [01:20:58]:

They were unbelievable. We met Dusty first in the lobby of the Wart, and again I was like, okay, group travel. Here he is, the cruise director. He's so energetic, and he was a lot. And I thought, uh oh, I can't keep up that energy. And by day, the end of day one, I felt like I had known him all along. And Casey was so remarkable. Like, she had a story about everything that we were encountering. She was so entertaining, yet so organized and so warm and so encouraging. Where doing all those things out of our comfort. Well, for me, out of my comfort zone, she had a way of making you believe that you could do this, you can do it, it's fine, it'll be great. And you believe her, so you do it, and it's amazing. And they seem to be able to solve a problem for you before you realize it's a problem. So, like I said, I never was hungry or thirsty or lost or anything. They were there and spraying our faces on the bus.

Lou Mongello [01:22:31]:

So great toner time was like my face.

Stella Suib [01:22:37]:

Who does that? No one does that for me. So I found that to be a memorable Dusty ism that I will carry with me. And what about you, honey?

Ethan Suib [01:22:50]:

I thought they made a great team between the two of them. Dusty was the entertainment.

Lou Mongello [01:22:58]:

And Casey was.

Stella Suib [01:22:59]:

The adult in the room.

Ethan Suib [01:23:04]:

And besides those two, Rich was great. Brad, who was one of the guides on the hike that we did, was a Forest Service guy who taught me what minor socks are for anybody who went on that hike or didn't go on that hike. Minor socks are a type of wildflower, which I said it several times on the trip, and I think maybe somebody mentioned it here. But that was actually something that really surprised me about Wyoming, is the amount of wildflowers, the variety of wildflowers, the brilliant colors everywhere we went. But minor socks are a particularly stinky flower that we encountered on our hike. They actually smell like minor socks.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:23:51]:

I cannot say how much they made this trip a breeze. So we came in late and we actually missed the dinner at night. So they met with us at 09:00 at night, did a full run through in 15 minutes. And of course, Alex has to ask a million and a half questions, and I just go with the flow at that point. And he's just like, what about this?

Lou Mongello [01:24:15]:

What about this?

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:24:16]:

And I'm like, oh, Lord, here we go. And they were so patient with him. And I'm like, okay. And then, of course, Alex is like, to Dusty, where are you from? He's like, Georgia. And I was like, oh, no, here we go. Georgia and Alabama, god help us all. And they just were bantering back and forth. And Casey and I looked at each other, I'm so sorry. And she's like, oh, no, this is funny. And then they literally came to our rescue the night we were supposed to fly back. Our flight was supposed to leave at 07:00 in the morning, and it then got delayed. So Dusty was frantically on the phone changing around the van times. And I know, Becky, you mentioned this makes your life so much easier because they take over for you. And I was like, this is nice. I'm not panicking about having to rearrange an Uber or a car to come pick us up. This is fantastic. But again, Dusty and Casey made the trip seamless, and I didn't have to worry because, again, I'm a planner, so if something doesn't go right, I'm like, oh, crap, I got to rearrange everything. What do I need to do? And they're like, oh, no, no, we got it. And I'm like, okay, sounds good.

Linda Haas [01:25:30]:

But yeah.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:25:32]:

I'm just shocked they've never done this together because they just were so cohesive with one another.

Lou Mongello [01:25:39]:

Cameron, what about for you?

Cameron Allshouse [01:25:42]:

Yeah, Dusty and Casey were amazing. I mean, I agree with everything everybody said. They were a fantastic team. They were fantastic individuals. One thing that we haven't talked about yet is that they took pictures of all of us. A lot of pictures, which was great because when we travel, we hardly have any pictures of the four of us together because I'm taking pictures of Eric and the kids. Or nobody wants to stop and get a picture taken, but Casey would say, all right, this is a picture spot. Everybody line up. Family one, family two, you'd get in place, they take your picture, you'd move. The next family got in, they'd take their picture, they'd move. And they'd get all of our pictures taken in any special location, like we stopped at the Yosemite or the Yellowstone sign on the way into Yellowstone and all kinds of other scenic and iconic places. And so it was really special to have all those pictures of the four of us, which again, rarely happens, and then pictures of our whole travel family, which was really special, too, to get those big group pictures. So that was really an added bonus.

Lou Mongello [01:26:38]:

For sure, and that recap video that they do. Spoiler alert at the end of the adventure by Disney for you. And we get to sort of see that for the first time together. But I think a lot of you brought up a really important part because I think part of the charm and appeal and I think sometimes almost aspect of Adventures by Disney that is overlooked because it does happen in the background is the seamless planning and logistics that takes place. These behind the scenes efforts of the guides and obviously Mouse Van Travel and the travel advisors beforehand with the trip, too. But even as the Adventures by Disney is going on, Nikki, your story is indicative of not the exception, but the norm. I tell the story over and over again because I think it's important. When we went to China and we were becky I don't know if we were going from Shanghai to Bei, we were going from somewhere to somewhere, and we were at the airport, there was a problem with the plane. We didn't know about it. They came over to us, gave us vouchers for food, said, Go get something to eat, come back in an hour. In that time, they rebooked us on a new flight, got our bags moved, told the hotel we were going to be arriving late, took care of the transportation. We came back from eating lunch, we boarded the plane and knew nothing different. Imagine if we had to handle that ourselves in a foreign country with a language barrier. God only knows where our luggage might have been or ended up at that time. I repeat that story because it's remarkable. And it's when something goes wrong or when something needs to happen. And I don't like calling it like the insurance policy, but this sort of warm, comfortable, protective huggable blanket of Disney that the guides provide is very comforting. Like, it makes a huge difference. And when you need a special dietary requirement, when you need an extra Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, when Casey needs to help the old man at the back of the pack push beyond his limit and get up this mountain, that he would not have done otherwise and not make me feel awkward or weird or bad or uncomfortable about it and was sharing stories like it did. It was very, very impactful for me. And I think they were this wonderful yin and yang, martin and Lewis combination of guides that really was sort of the perfect becky you know, it's not just Dusty and Casey. This is something that we saw not just on this abd, but knock on wood, it's why these guides are sort of the best of the best of the best, because it's a consistency and it's a reliable consistency on all the adventures.

Beci Mahnken [01:29:38]:

It is incredibly consistent. Every single one that I've been on, the guides have been top notch. And as many of you mentioned, it's amazing how well they work together. It's the very first time they met, I was in the room when they met each other to say hello, and I'm and this is what you're going to do. And this is what you're going to do. Every single venture has that consistency across the board. And I always kind. Of think of them as the ducks on the top of the water. They're just floating, but you're not seeing the little legs going 100 million mile an hour underneath the surface. And it's meant to be that way. It's like at Disney, there's backstage things that are going on behind the scenes in backstage, and there's the show on stage. So we as guests, get to see the show on stage, not only from the theme parks, but on Adventures by Disney, too. They're not going to bother you with these little details because that's the piece we don't have to think, we just get to enjoy. Which is one of the reasons why I love doing ABDs, because, as Nikki mentioned, yeah, I'm kind of a hood ornament on these. They involve me. They tell me what's going on just so that I'm aware. But I'm not running around like a mad person like I normally am on some of our group things because I'm doing their job. And it's wonderful to see the cohesiveness of the two, the constant communication. If something is going wrong or if there's a guest with a challenge, they're discussing it, they're talking about it. How can we make this easier? How can we make this experience more magical for this family who might be having this challenge? It's such an amazing thing to see both sides of the backstage and the onstage and to see how it so beautifully comes together. And again, it's across the board with every Adventures by Disney I've ever been on. So while you're in love right now with Desi and Casey, you might go again and meet a couple of others. You're like, oh, my gosh, these guys are the best guys ever. But so were they. How are you going to reconcile this? They do such a great job of casting this role, and they work so well together, and it makes a great experience for us at the end.

Lou Mongello [01:31:48]:

Yeah. And like you said, it's the Disney guides, and it's the local guides, too. I still keep in touch with Tomomi, who was our local guide in Japan. Because you do you form these not it's not a manifested one, just for the of, you know, you bond with them as well. I won't put anybody on the spot, but does anybody have there were so many wonderful moments. There was a lot of laughter, there was tears. There was all these different things. Do you have one sort of standout funny or heartwarming or memorable moment that happened during this trip that you will take with you and remember for years to come? Becky raising her hand quickly?

Beci Mahnken [01:32:35]:

I do. Only because I have to tell this really fast, because it's still the thing that sticks in my head. So, Rich, our wonderful guide in Yellowstone, he was really amazing and a wonderful storyteller. And we're on the bus and he's telling us about this Philius W. Norris guy, right? And how crazy. He sorry. Slash eccentric. He was one of the superintendents of Yellowstone, one of the very first was telling us about how he only dressed in deer skins, and he would walk through the forest and through the smoke of the forest fire sorry, the campfires to scare people and then sit down randomly with people he didn't know and tell him stories. And he was just going on and on about this guy, and apparently he's a pretty big deal in Yellowstone. And I've had to do some research since because you guys went all on that wonderful hike, and several of us stayed on the bus, and I posted to Facebook and, you know, here's some pictures of Yellowstone. Have you ever been here? And in comes my mother in law who says, yeah, I've been there several times, and, oh, by the way, my great great great grandfather is this Phillies W. Norton guy, Norris guy, and I'm sitting there going, great, I'm related to the crazy guy. And so we sat there and I talked to nice Lou.

Lou Mongello [01:33:52]:

I can see the I'm nodding on video.

Beci Mahnken [01:33:55]:

Yeah, you are, definitely. But it was just so cool to put that together, and Rich was amazing with that because then it became, you've got to be kidding me. Well, let me tell you more about this guy. And it was just so great to see the passion that they hold about the history and the things that they're doing. So Rich was amazing. I'm related to a crazy guy, and it was one of the funniest moments of the entire trip besides taking you down and calling your bluff at poker. Moving on.

Lou Mongello [01:34:28]:

Anybody else?

Linda Haas [01:34:33]:

I think I just like, with everybody and meeting everybody, I think that was my favorite part. And I've always wanted to see Yellowstone, so I like that.

Lou Mongello [01:34:44]:

Doobie, what about for to I know.

Doobie Mosley [01:34:47]:

We'Ve mentioned poker a couple of times, but I wanted to make sure it got its proper due. All three nights? All three nights at Brooks Lake Lodge, the poker table came out the first night. Your son had it, nick had it. I don't know if it was his idea, but it came out, and immediately we're like, yeah, let's play poker. And we had the table filled with eight or nine people all three nights. Played a full you know, you lose your money, you're out. You get a winner on both the second and third night. Lou won the second night. Linda won the third night. Becky played hard to the end on every night, but always got defeated. I have never laughed so much.

Beci Mahnken [01:35:26]:

You're a horrible bluffer, by the way. I know your tells.

Lou Mongello [01:35:29]:

Do, we don't lie. Do we don't lie. Do we don't bluff. Sorry. Do, we don't bluff.

Beci Mahnken [01:35:34]:

Linda's a liar. Doobie don't lie.

Lou Mongello [01:35:37]:

Got it.

Doobie Mosley [01:35:38]:

And it's a great way to get to know people in something that's just such an informal way. Your daughter, who I probably would not have probably talked to. Other than that, it was nice to get to meet your daughter, Lou and Linda, I talked to you anyway, but you were just so meek over there and yet you took us all out that last day. It was just great. So if you take an Abd, Wyoming, you go to Brooks Lake Lodge, pull out the poker table. Trust me, you don't even have to know how to play. I've never played Texas hold him in my life. You'll figure it out and you will have a good time. That is my tip for the day.

Beci Mahnken [01:36:09]:

The competitive spirit between all of these people was just shocking to me. It was, hey, let's have a friendly little game of poker. It was what you're projecting. Whatever friendly little game of poker. I'm going to remember that.

Lou Mongello [01:36:28]:

Anybody else funny or a memorable story or just a memory of Cameron?

Cameron Allshouse [01:36:33]:

Well, one thing I hadn't expected was on the three hour drive on the coach from Yellowstone to Brooks Lake Lodge, towards the end of the trip, Dusty and Casey decided it was time to play trivia. And so they split the bus up into two teams and that was way more fun than I thought it would be. They had all kinds of different categories, including Disney and things specific to the trip, know, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole and different topics like that. And it was just really fun to play that with our friends who had only known for a couple of days, but they made that a lot of fun and it really helped pass the time for the end of that three.

Lou Mongello [01:37:13]:

Hour drive and the moose.

Greg Haas [01:37:20]:

Drawing.

Lou Mongello [01:37:20]:

But I mean, that's what it is, right? When we talk about this and try and compare and contrast an adventures by Disney experience to other travel and vacations you've had in the past. It's different. It's its own very different, very unique animal that I started this conversation off by talking about our expectations going in and what we thought it was going to be. And as we come out on the other side, if I'm reading the room correctly and certainly reading the feelings of myself and my family is abd does not meet expectations. It far surpasses them. It is full of surprises and aspects that exceed what you anticipate when you're going in. And I think it's the reason why it becomes so emotional, so memorable, and the emotional pendulum swings both ways. There was incredible amounts of laughter and wonderful tears at the end. We could talk about this and sort know, dig even deeper all night long. But if you had to use one word to sum up your overall WDW radio adventures by Disney to Wyoming experience, what would it be and why? I will randomly pick a name out of the hat. Doobie raised his hand. So, Doobie, you can go first.

Doobie Mosley [01:38:54]:

All right. People wanted to think, but I'm ready. I'm channeling dusty. Here it is. Family. The word is family because I went to this thing and I made, if my count is right, 24, maybe 26 new family members. And ultimately that's what life's all about, isn't it? I'll go with that.

Lou Mongello [01:39:12]:

That is an appropriate and great word. Nikki?

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:39:17]:

I was going to say relaxing.

Lou Mongello [01:39:20]:

I know.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:39:20]:

The first couple of days I'm like, we were go go, but Brooks Lake LODs was just the cherry on the top and it was like a vacation finally kicked in and we're going to actually relax.

Lou Mongello [01:39:33]:

Who relaxed? It was exhausting. I was sore for two days.

Beci Mahnken [01:39:37]:

Well, that was your choice. You could definitely relax. Totally relaxed. It was great.

Lou Mongello [01:39:43]:

I wouldn't call that hike relaxing, but it was worthwhile.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:39:47]:

I mean, we drank and we watched Becky shoot archery and like Fred A. So we were very strategic. Hike in the morning, drink in the afternoon.

Lou Mongello [01:40:00]:

They went off script. That was on there. They created their own adventure. Greg and Linda, what about for you guys? One word.

Greg Haas [01:40:07]:

For me, one word would be quality. And it's just the high quality of what you know, just it's worth the know. It's just things you get to do that you couldn't do on your own and they make sure it's a very high quality experience.

Linda Haas [01:40:24]:

I would say it was like the best experience.

Greg Haas [01:40:27]:

Okay.

Linda Haas [01:40:28]:

The best. I just felt like we had the best guides, the best people who planned it. Thank you, Lou. And Becky. The best family.

Greg Haas [01:40:40]:

I never hesitate to travel with either of you.

Linda Haas [01:40:43]:

I can't wait to do an abd again.

Lou Mongello [01:40:47]:

We'll get to what's coming next before we wrap up Stella and Ethan.

Stella Suib [01:40:55]:

For me, I think the word would be unforgettable from the people, the places, the things I did. Mostly the people. But what about you?

Ethan Suib [01:41:08]:

For me, it will be outstanding. It really did exceed my expectations going into it.

Stella Suib [01:41:15]:

And we joke that he's the CFO of our family, so if he can see the value could we have done this cheaper? Maybe, but I do all the work when we travel and I didn't want to do that. So to me it was perfect. Unforgettably perfect.

Lou Mongello [01:41:39]:

Cameron.

Cameron Allshouse [01:41:42]:

My word has to be amazing because I just kept saying that throughout the whole trip. I mean, amazing people, amazing scenery, amazing activities, amazing food, amazing lodging. It was all amazing.

Lou Mongello [01:41:56]:

Merida. Becky?

Beci Mahnken [01:42:00]:

No, see, I really needed a moving target. It would have been great if you would have just put a little target vest on you and ran around a few times.

Lou Mongello [01:42:06]:

It could have really arrows becky is.

Beci Mahnken [01:42:09]:

Talking about, well, they were pretty dull, just FYI. My gosh, family is a good one. Value is a good one and value is kind of where I was going for a second there in hopes of kind of telling that story. But I'm going to say memorable because I think at every turn there was something memorable whether it be the food, whether it be the activity, whether it be your faces, whether it be the stories, whether it be the stupid moose pictures, the elk. That was not an animatronic, by the way, that was on the right hand side of the bus. And I posted a picture of the elk and someone's going, that's the coolest animatronic ever.

Stella Suib [01:42:50]:

It's not.

Beci Mahnken [01:42:51]:

It's a real moose. I think standing there and waiting for 50 minutes for Old Faithful to decide when to go off, all of those things were just wonderful memories that I'm going to hold with me forever and every adventures by Disney that I walk away with. Some of the best stories of travel come from Adventures by Disney. So I'm going to say.

Lou Mongello [01:43:18]:

You know, I'm going to go with the first thing that came to mind. And I know I'm like a sappy guy and follow me around the room with this. The word that came to mind first was love. And I know you're like Whack really bungelo, but I did. I travel a lot for what I do, both on the Disney side and on speaking and things like that. And I often travel alone and there's nothing like traveling with family. I was able to travel for the first time in a long time with my entire family and you my extended family. And the love that you shared amongst each other and with me made my experience. It's not the places you go, it's the people that you get to experience it with. Had I done this trip alone or with people I didn't know, it would be very different. So I loved the places I loved you. I loved the guides, the authenticity, the idea of creating your own adventure, the story that it's hassle free learning to do more than you thought that you could, and the camaraderie and tea time and cowboy coffee and the edutainment and the going outside your comfort zone and the laughter and the fun I did. I just loved every aspect of this. And it's the recurring theme when we do these ABDs and we do them not as a group, but when we do them as a family. And hopefully this has sparked in you a little inspiration to do future adventures. We talked about this a little bit on the abd, but for any and or all of you, is this something you would want to do again? Would you consider doing another WW radio group? Adventures by Disney? And if so, where would you like to go? Do Be first to raise his hand. You're such a good student.

Doobie Mosley [01:45:28]:

So not only would I do it again, it is the only way I want to do it. So you need to go places I want to go to because I love the WDW Radio abd. And now, for the first time, I have an interest in doing a WD radio cruise when I never really did before. So, Lou, you're doing your job. I want to go to Europe. I want to do the London Paris. You've probably done it already, but do it again for me. And then, of course, I want to go to Japan, because I think that's probably the only way I would be willing to go to Japan is through Abd. So those are my choices for you, Lou.

Lou Mongello [01:45:58]:

Either order good news and semi good news. So we are going to London and Paris. I knew Becky was going to say it. I knew it. We're going in May of 2024. It is currently sold out. So Becky in the chat goes back to back, back to back abd, london, Paris, we can talk about that offline. We are planning on going to Japan again in 2025. We don't have timetables as yet, but it is something that absolutely loved and want to do again. And I know a lot of people have asked about going to do Japan again, and we got some cruise stuff in the works, so stay tuned. I love listen, I told you I love you and I love your family. That goes not just for you, Dewey, but all of you as well. Would love to vacation with you again. Anybody else want to do another Abd? Cameron?

Cameron Allshouse [01:46:57]:

Yeah, we definitely would love to do another Abd. It'll probably have to be a WDW Radio Abd, because it was amazing being with you all. So other than England and France, I would love to go to the Canadian Rockies and Rica.

Beci Mahnken [01:47:15]:

Oh, those are my two.

Lou Mongello [01:47:18]:

I'm making notes.

Beci Mahnken [01:47:22]:

Oh, I am, too.

Lou Mongello [01:47:23]:

So, just very quickly, what is it in or at or about Costa Rica?

Cameron Allshouse [01:47:29]:

I went to Costa Rica on a chorus trip in college, and I'd love for my family to experience it because we got to go to a volcano and go to the rainforest and went whitewater rafting. And it was neat being in such a different culture.

Lou Mongello [01:47:45]:

Nice. Greg and Linda, I saw your hand shoot up.

Linda Haas [01:47:50]:

I have to go with Cameron. I would love to go to Costa Rica. And I'd like to do the one in California.

Greg Haas [01:47:59]:

Oh, Abd. We did southern California.

Linda Haas [01:48:01]:

Yeah. The Southern California with backstage.

Lou Mongello [01:48:04]:

Yeah.

Greg Haas [01:48:04]:

Well, once you retire, you'll be able to and I I would love someday to get to Norway to see the fjords and possibly know those type of areas. I mean, that's my dream, to go to them someday.

Lou Mongello [01:48:17]:

Becky is texting me going, don't you dare say anything about our plans to do California again. All right, I won't. I will not say anything about any of that. Forget it. Nikki.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:48:31]:

You did Egypt and Morocco. I highly recommend Turkey. Turkey is fantastic. So if you did, like, a Mediterranean Turkey, greece and Italy.

Lou Mongello [01:48:43]:

Again, just some noodling, egypt is very high on the list, and I think the only way I would do Egypt would be through adventures by Disney.

Beci Mahnken [01:48:53]:

I completely agree. That's one of those itineraries that I think we need to do. But only an Abd is going to have that safety and security.

Lou Mongello [01:49:05]:

We have obviously, we have our Danube River cruise, our Christmas market river cruise coming up this December. Becky I think we still have some availability for some staterooms.

Beci Mahnken [01:49:16]:

Yeah, there's still can that's one of those ones that we can sell it up until the time we sail or until the cabins sell that's.

Lou Mongello [01:49:25]:

It's not Abd, but it's Nat Geo. It's the first time we're doing a Nat Geo expedition, which I am going to assume I'm going to go out on a limb here. It's going to be a very similar type of experience, a little bit more intimate in not like being on a giant cruise ship, but on one of the small river cruises and being able to hop on and hop off. And everybody keeps telling me, gingerbread and sausage, gingerbread and sausage. And Christmas market and black licorice.

Beci Mahnken [01:49:49]:

And black licorice, seriously? And mold wine. There's so much and yeah, there's only like 110, 120 people, most on these. So there's, I think, 70 cabins total. Small, intimate time to hang out together. It's a great experience. And wrap in Christmas markets.

Lou Mongello [01:50:09]:

That's what I love about the things that we do, right? We do these sort of intimate experiences together that create familial relationships and friendships that will hopefully continue on beyond the week that we spent together on the adventure. Listen, I cannot thank you enough, not just for spending time tonight, recapping and recounting and sharing some of the laughters, but sharing some of the laughter. But I told you this at the very beginning of the Abd, and I mean this sincerely. I know that it is investment and you can choose to spend your time and spend your vacation and spend your resources going anywhere and doing anything. And it means more to me than you know that you have that trust and confidence in me. And certainly none of this happens without Becky and everything that happens sort of behind the scenes with the travel advisors at Mouse Fan Travel. But I really, sincerely appreciate you and I thank you for helping to create a vacation that I will never, ever forget. So I thank you for tonight, thank you for the memories, and I look forward to hopefully adventuring with all of you again soon.

Greg Haas [01:51:28]:

You, too.

Linda Haas [01:51:29]:

Thank you.

Lou Mongello [01:51:30]:

Thank you, Becky.

Nicole Ostrowsi [01:51:32]:

Thank you.

Greg Haas [01:51:34]:

Thank you all.

Lou Mongello [01:51:40]:

Just quick, any last word, last thought.

Beci Mahnken [01:51:41]:

Anything we missed, go shuffle the cards. We got a deal.

Doobie Mosley [01:51:47]:

Bus driver Wade thank you, Wade, for not getting us killed on this.

Beci Mahnken [01:51:50]:

Bus driver Wade, the number one coach driver in the nation.

Doobie Mosley [01:51:56]:

I was so scared. I have recurring dreams about going over cliffs. And when they said that about him.

Beci Mahnken [01:52:01]:

I got so calm, especially taking that bus up to Brooks Lake, like 9 miles of nothing but one lane road all the way up.

Cameron Allshouse [01:52:12]:

The whiskey tasting.

Lou Mongello [01:52:13]:

That was fun for me so much.

Greg Haas [01:52:21]:

I enjoyed playing Connect with Gideon also.

Doobie Mosley [01:52:24]:

Oh, yeah, so much Becky taking care of. Are we still recording?

Lou Mongello [01:52:31]:

Oh, I'll stop. Okay, recording again.