Perfectly Planning In Every Way

I tend to be excellent at being average. I have never excelled at any sport, which with my physique must be a shock to you all, my career does not deserve closer investigation or praise and musically I am proficient and efficient without being spectacular. On darker days I am less pragmatic and spend time assessing how woeful I am at lots of stuff to be honest.

However, when it comes to putting a Florida holiday into practice I am peerless, outstanding and just totally awesome in every way. I am Mkingdon….hear me roar!

From having no intentions or plans for a trip this year at lunchtime last Saturday, by close of play this Wednesday the whole thing was researched, booked and written down in a plan. I am the veritable well oiled machine in this regard, and believe me, my machine needs some oiling…..whatever that means.

I had spotted our flight last Saturday during my first search to be honest. It just had to wait for Louise’s holiday approval to happen before buttons could be pressed. It took almost all of Monday for that to happen, with a hilarious few moments of panic after Louise had told me I was OK to book, only then to be told a mistake had been made and she couldn’t have the holiday. Such fun. All was well, and she doesn’t have to stay at home with the dogs after all.

So as sense and tradition normally dictates, the flight is the first piece of the puzzle and that was slotted into place on Monday evening (ish)….work may read this! We are flying on August the 28th with Thomas Cook from Manchester. It’s an unusual one in that we don’t depart until 14.40. That means we don’t touch down until 7pm and the drive to the villa, already interesting with a toddler, Louise on her flight drugs and everyone else hot and tired, will be made more entertaining with it being dark, but we will be sat navved up as well as having my unerring sense of direction and years of Orlando driving experience. I bet it is raining too!

The benefit of that later departure is that we won’t need to be up at 3am to allow for female pre-airport readying. We will only need to be at the airport around 10am which is much more civilised. If Louise asks what time she needs to be ready, then it’s still 5am, OK?

Booking with only 140 days or so to go means that the seat selection was slim pickings and we are sitting nowhere of note in cattle class. Freddie will have his own seat though. He may be under two years old when we fly (by about eight weeks) but nobody deserves to have him on their knee for two eight-hour flights. The investment will be well worth the expense I am sure.

Price wise, we did OK. Kayak and similar sites were showing that flight as low as £330 but by the time you have added in your seat selection (I know you don’t need to, but with Freddie with us we need to be all together so that everyone else can pitch in to make sure I don’t get disturbed whilst watching my films), and something bigger than hand luggage it was another £100 on top of that, with a couple of hundred quid for Freddie’s ticket. Freddie having his own seat does of course mean he has full luggage allowance too which will come in handy. For direct flights in (late) August, anything in that price range is good enough.

I had to check with Thomas Cook before booking online as it wouldn’t let me buy a seat for Freddie if I entered his real date of birth. I had to make him a year older and then contact them afterwards to amend the booking. I didn’t do anything silly like phone them, their web chat worked a treat.

So that is the moment that we knew we were going and a little celebratory group chat ensued.

I had been browsing the endless stream of villas since the weekend. My main conclusion from this exercise was that someone needs to build a decent villa search website as the majority of them are absolute pants. Over the weekend and into Monday a shortlist emerged, and some quotes were requested for villas featured on sites where you can’t get a price without contacting someone. Is it 1997?

That whittled down the list a little further. Our requirements were important yet brief –

2 Master Suites

A decent pool

WiFi

An OK location.

The latter was the one thing I knew we would probably need to compromise on with our lack of proper budget. I usually treat villa locations down the US27 or near Championsgate with unworthy derision as I really like the Formosa Gardens area but these more distant developments would all be acceptable for this trip.

The quotes bore out the wisdom of this as quotes for villas in those areas were significantly cheaper, either by coincidence or not, I’m not sure.

I couldn’t decide and bite the bullet to book. The main factors here are typically that you always think are just one more search away from the perfect villa and of course, it’s fun to be looking for one. So the villa was actually the last thing to get booked. Whilst that was percolating I did the other more simple things.

Car hire was pretty easy. We always tend to use USRentaCar (not an ad, but I am absolutely open to them paying me money to promote them). I did some due diligence by using the Travel Supermarket comparison thing but anything cheaper than my usual car hire place was for off airport pick up and/or from brands I have never heard of. So a seven-seater mini van was secured with a £50 deposit, at a price of £499 with all relevant insurances etc. We only ever have one driver as most of the party are too young and Louise is barely allowed to drive in the UK after her recent run of prangs and of course I love Diet Coke. We are using Alamo as it happens this time.

Now, I had absolutely no need to book theme park tickets at this stage, but with some super low deposit schemes knocking around, why not right? Disney put ticket prices up three times a week so best to strike whilst my iron is tepid. Again, a look around the internet confirmed pretty much everyone was within a few quid of each other for the 14 day ultimate, so with that knowledge, again I reverted to one of the places I’ve used a few times, Floridatix (just to say once more, if you are reading this and want to pay me money to promote you, hit me up…as the kids might say), as they offer a £10pp deposit thingy. These bookings were flowing like water at this stage. I was on fire.

So by close of play Tuesday, we were metaphorically well on our way. I was still waiting for a few villa quotes to come back, so I did a little more searching, but it was becoming clear that one was emerging as the best option for us. It ticked all of our boxes, the owner was very responsive, he had a Facebook page with what appear to be genuine reviews, I could see the address of the villa and do some basic online checks and overall it just felt right. He was the only owner to come back to me after quoting to see what I thought and if I was fixed up too.

This is the villa we are using this time.

It’s on Sandy Ridge which sounds like a problem that you may go to the clinic with, but it looks lovely, and we should be 25 minutes from WDW. Google maps tells me it is 22 minutes so with traffic that’s tolerable.

So with the exchange of a booking form and some cash, I was done before the end of Wednesday, even with taking my sweet time selecting a villa.

Of course, whilst doing all of this, I have drafted the first day by day plan and made a list of all the eateries we want to get to. Not bad whilst at the same time remaining vaguely competent at my proper job and project managing home improvements/disaster scenarios.

What became clear to me shortly after last week’s blog was that my sanctimonious gloating that we wouldn’t be stupid enough to do a WDW trip right when Galaxy’s Edge is opening was unwise as it now turns out it opens on our first full day in Florida. This just proves that my recent post on this subject was all bluster and distraction, trying to make me feel better about not having a trip planned for this year.

I have no idea how we will cope with that event and those crowds. I am trying to tell myself that this, along with Food & Wine, will spread the crowds out allowing us to easily get FastPasses for the stuff we couldn’t last time, namely Flights Of Passage and Slinky Dog. Our DHS days will need to be approached with suitably adjusted expectations. We will FastPass non Star Wars stuff and hope to just be able to wander around Galaxy’s Edge a bit, and ride something if we can.

This is a weird trip in that, in all of these years we have been going, we have never had a concrete plan to return the year after. We of course nearly always have but that was always something that was decided later. Knowing that we already have plans for 2020 for my 50th birthday trip, we can tell ourselves that it matters not if we miss something. We will indeed be back.

For fans of me pissing and moaning about our home improvements, normal service will return next week I’m sure. We are nearly done with just some blinds and furniture to arrive. It has broken me and if I have nothing else to write about next week it might break you too.

Till the next time…..

New Non Surprising News?

Sat staring at the electronic blank page of this post I’m not sure how or where to start with this week’s effort. I suppose in the natural turn of events I would have entertained you with the latest set of tragedies and woes in our remake of The Money Pit, where I, as a slightly older, heavier Tom Hanks laugh maniacally as I stare into the abyss where my bedroom and will to live used to be.

I’m sure you’ve all been looking forward to that all week. In reality, we are through the worst now. The decorator comes tomorrow, the carpet on Friday and the electrician should be returning to do the stuff he couldn’t do last time due to issues with our wiring.

Then we have to choose some blinds when the blind man comes on Tuesday night. I don’t think he has issues with his vision though. It’s a ridiculously long road for the doing up of just one average sized bedroom, but we don’t tend to do things by halves in that department.

So yesterday, Louise and I were out delivering some quantitative easing into the stagnant carpet and furniture economy and something weird happened. It had been brewing all day, being first mentioned by Louise as we were tidying and waiting for the carpet measuring man and Asda delivery. I dismissed it as playful banter at first, but the topic kept returning to our conversation all day as we wandered from shop to shop and by tea time, it had moved from fanciful nonsense to almost a reality.

An online chat including the girls in the conversation happened to confirm everything and it’s fair to say they were very shocked by this turn of events. What am I on about? Well, we now we sit staring down the barrel of a Florida holiday this summer when I would have put more money on my hair growing back just yesterday.

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I know you probably won’t be, but I’m in shock. Mainly as it was Louise’s idea and secondly that we’ve found a way to juggle stuff around and pay for it. If negotiating Brexit were as important to politicians as WDW trips are to us, we’d have cracked that nonsense in an afternoon.

So we have our dates mapped out. The complexity of agreeing on dates is more challenging than a moon landing. The NHS give out holidays to staff like gruel to workhouse kids so we have to wait until tomorrow for Louise to get official permission before we can press the button. I have Mustard gigs already booked to avoid disrupting and all of that and more is before I wandered into the minefield of finding flights with acceptable prices. It’s been a busy last few hours.

We *think* we will be going on the 28th of August. The party is me, Louise, Emily, Rebecca, Tom, Freddie….and of course Ryan, and I am just beginning the villa search. It will be as budget as these things can be. Disney parks only, hardly any or no on-site dining, instead grabbing counter service stuff or enjoying our wide range of off-site favourites and no extras such as MNNSHP etc.

Flight wise, it looks like Thomas Cook have direct flights for much cheapness. I say that, as on Kayak they show at £350ish, but by the time you’ve added luxuries like a suitcase, a meal and a seat reservation it’s back up to the £450 mark I would have expected. We’ve made the decision to get Freddie his own seat, even though he will still be just under 2 when we fly. 16 hours in economy with him on laps is a horror not to be entertained.

I know we’ve done the whole, “we definitely aren’t going this year” bait and switch a million times, and I am probably much more shocked than any of you, but this one really did come out of the blue.

There is much now to do, so leave me whilst I spend far too many hours obsessing over every small detail that could be better spent elsewhere…..NOT!

So unless the NHS holiday Gods deny us, we should have a relatively short countdown to our next adventure. Fancy coming along, virtually, of course? I mean you are welcome to go to Florida at the same time, but I’m not paying for you.

Let the planning, countdown and diet commence, we are going home!

Rebecca Beaches and CreamBeach Club

 

Till the next time…….

Yo Motha’ Lovers

It doesn’t happen very often, maybe only once every five minutes, but last week I was wrong. It came to me a few hours after posting last week’s blog that it had all been based on a non-truth. Those photos we discovered were actually from 2001 and not 2003. I understand that this makes little difference to sentiment of the post, and of course that you don’t care but my confession is an attempt to satisfy my “things have to be correct” demon.

Those of you who have been around a while, reading these weekly word vomits may have thought, if indeed you think at all about this corner of the internet, that this week would just be me whinging about the troubles and hassle of having workmen in all week. Well, you’d be right. It’s been everything I expected and more.

We’ve done enough of this now that this should not have been a surprise, but it’s a bit like childbirth, yet more painful. You forget how bad it was last time and decide to do it all over again.

On Monday alone I was summoned upstairs several times to be consulted on minor decisions and major emergencies. Every such consultation of course meant more cost, hassle, time and cost. The week continued in that way and we stand now at the crossroads of any such job, where the demolition and destruction is done and now we start the process of putting the room back together. Looking at it now, I am struggling to imagine ever having a habitable bedroom ever again. It is freshly plastered, with the remains of our old carpet knee-deep in plaster blobs and dust. It’s grim.

We timed the work with Louise’s planned trip to Rome with her work colleagues and during that time I was holed up in the spare room, sleeping amidst the piled up crap from our bedroom. Originally by now we had hoped to have the room back in a good enough shape that we could sleep in it, alas with all the scope creep and disasters, work is taking longer than we imagined and we are now both enjoying the smaller bed and lack of floor space in what was Rebecca’s room.

The plan now is that tomorrow will see the chaps return to do the joinery stuff, such as skirting boards, doors and other wood based activity along with the electrician to fit our new lights ‘n’ stuff.

We had booked the decorator to come tomorrow, but with the delays he has had to be pushed back to next week, so our pain will endure a little longer.

All this detail is I’m sure an essential part of your Sunday!

In more positive news, assuming we can find some clothes in the crap mountain in the spare room, later today we are off out for a family meal to celebrate Louise’s birthday and the awesomeness of the various Mothers in our family. It’s the same place we went for our Christmas meal last year and my ever growing belly is alive with anticipation.

Louise’s verdict on Rome by the way was that it was lovely and fascinating. It is literally dripping in history. It was slightly marred by lots of beggars and dodgy folks trying to sell tat on the street, but overall she had a lovely week, filled with walking, pasta and interesting tours of old stuff. I recognise that is not up to trip report standards of detail, but firstly, I didn’t go and secondly she only got back late yesterday so I’ve only seen a few photos and had a quick debrief (not a euphemism).

Let’s hope for a better week construction wise so that you may have a better blog experience next Sunday….but it is not within my gift to promise that.

Till the next time…..

My Wardrobe Is A Time Machine

I’m not sure how your Sunday started. Perhaps a lie in, breakfast in bed, a pleasant stroll in the spring sunshine or a hearty brunch somewhere. Mine? Oh I just had my cocker spaniel’s anal glands milked. There’s no need to be jealous. All you have to do it mix six-week old milk with fish guts and close your eyes and you too can enjoy that experience.

Bean was at the vets for a check up as she had developed some sort of eye infection last week and they were making sure everything was in order. Whilst she was there we asked that the other end be addressed as the odour was becoming offensive.

So, happy Sunday…..

You will know as I have done nothing but moan about it for three weeks that we have work starting tomorrow. Nine tenths of the house look like one of those TV shows which show hoarders and their houses. The remaining tenth is now our bed room which is almost completely clear of all the crap we had crammed into our wardrobes. It has been a process as painful as I expected and to say I am not looking forward to the next week or two is the biggest understatement since someone said Coldplay were turgid music magnolia makers.

Anyway, whilst pulling dusty stuff out of cupboards, we have of course stumbled across many things we deemed important enough to keep, but had of course completely forgotten we had. Amongst that, and a few dozen trips to the tip, we happened upon some good old-fashioned proper photos from earlier Disney trips. When I started doing trip reports, we were right on the cusp of the whole digital thing and I think for the first report in 2003 certainly we were analogue.

Many of the photos are now long-lost, although we will probably find them when we renovate the next part of the house in the year 2070 (I’ll be ready to go again by then), however a few fell into our laps and I will of course share them now.

The quality is poor, as they are photos of a photo, but it does also show how far technology has come in sixteen years that all of our phones are now capable of much better photos than even the moderately expensive analogue stuff I used to cart around. I’m not sure the girls could now comprehend or contemplate not being able to see a photo they just took until you’d been to Max Spielman weeks after the holiday. As an aside, we also seem to have about half a dozen undeveloped rolls of film knocking around the house. Surely they will be beyond developing now? I’m not sure how long they survive in that state, but we should try to get them done and see what is on them I suppose.

I think all of these I’m sharing today are from that 2003 trip. Rebecca was four and Emily six. Look how Mickey was just wandering about near International Gateway. Now, you need a FastPass, security clearance and retina scans to meet the main mouse.

This one is from the Garden Grill. We were having breakfast I think and we have video footage of this somewhere. That also reminds me that we have hours of such footage that I need to edit and upload somewhere before it gets lost forever.

Here is some young handsome chap stroking a goat. This photo is also likely to upset Rebecca as it features her favourite hat that we lost somewhere in Mexico (the pavilion, not the country) and she cried for about three weeks about it. I should point out that the genie wasn’t in this photo. Many of these were made into a collage that was hung for a while and we had chopped up a photo with him on it for said collage and now if I remove it, the main photo will be damaged. Make sense?

Ah the days of autograph books…..this was taken in MGM Studios, on the steps outside what is now the Frozen sing a long thing. I can’t even remember what it was then. Anyone?

Here, we display exemplary parenting skills. Clearly Rebecca was being blinded by the sun, but the photo needed to be taken regardless.

More Chip and Dale, this time in Animal Kingdom, on the pathway down to what was Camp Minnie Mickey. Nobody mention that hat. The junior bum bags though, matching of course, were another crime of parenting.

 

The thing that strikes me in all of these is how happy the girls look, even when stood next to a giant Pooh.

And we’ll end where we began, with the meeting of Mickey at International Gateway.

Such lovely memories of a time that feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago in equal measure. If you really wanted to, you could go back to that first 2003 report and see if you can match the photos to the actual events. I would….but I’ve got a bedroom to finish clearing and some more stressing to do about two weeks of disruption. Did I mention that?

Till the next time……

 

Freddie Fun and a Few Other Fings

I do try and prevent this blog from becoming the equivalent of the bloke at work who keeps showing you photos of their kids/grand kids. It’s hard at times as of course Freddie is the most special being on the planet and my track record for not sharing stuff like that is poor as I have spent every year since 2003 writing about the girls on our holidays, but I think I’ve done OK.

So you’ll forgive me I hope a couple of short videos from last night. We had the pleasure of Freddie’s company for a few hours whilst Rebecca an Tom went to the cinema. We did all the things that grand parents are supposed to do, like let him refuse to eat his tea and instead fill him up with yoghurts and chocolate, no doubt making him difficult when he went home. It is the circle of life.

You can see from video one that he may have had some previous experience with his Mum and camera phones. Also, I know that the music is annoying, but you only get a few seconds of it, not the whole evening.

And in this second video, ignoring any recent revelations about the artist, he does like a bit of a dance and MJ is one of his favourites.  You may also spot him attempt to shout at Alexa. It is amazing what they pick up, and he is obsessed with technology, buttons and fiddling with things he shouldn’t.

I resisted the urge to measure him and then try to calculate how tall he will be in late summer 2020 for our next trip, for now.

The week just gone has been a blur. Busy, stressful, problem ridden and wet, and that was just the commute. That does not sound like a set of ingredients for a week of joy and indeed it was not. Having to work for a living does place serious limitations on my ability to enjoy day-to-day life.

I am vexed that this eating of my time has not allowed me yet to investigate any of the villa tips many of you sent me a few weeks ago. I mean, time is tight, we are literally now only eighteen months away from our intended departure. This shall need to be addressed promptly. I should also thank you all for the many comments and thoughts last week on the Star Wars Land opening. It was a real mixed bag, but I think almost everyone had big concerns over crowd levels.

I do wonder, with my “I want to be a Disney Imagineer” thought bubble on, how they plan and consider these things. You see, those are some meetings I would like to be in and not spend half of it wishing I wasn’t. My mind boggles at the data analysis, planning and general interesting stuff that must go into just the opening of such a thing, never mind the building of it.

Almost every part of WDW will be affected, from hotels bookings and obvious things like that, but how do they accommodate the costuming requirements for all the new cast members and characters, where do they store them, are the car parks going to cope, what impact might there be on the other parks, which merchandise is de-ranged to make way for the new stuff in the shops as again they have finite amounts of shelf space. It’s no wonder Disney employ so many folks. Think of all the project plans in play at once for this stuff.  Imagine being the person responsible for the thing being ready on time. That must involve a few sleepless nights.

I’m sure my tiny brain can’t even come up with 99% of the considerations for this type of thing. The number of moving parts in play just to facilitate folks like me going on a few rides is unfathomable.

Right, with this post meandering around aimlessly I should probably go and be more productive elsewhere. At the back of my mind, my stress levels are being enhanced by the impending arrival of workmen to destroy and then reconstruct our bedroom. We have to empty the room before that, and find places to house all that crap until the work is done and then it’ll be weeks before we are totally finished. I do hate this disruption and it makes me stress more than it should for any sane person. I’ll address it today, not by getting on with the work of emptying the room of course, more by watching the football and doing things that will make me forget it’s happening.

You know it makes sense.

Till the next time…..

Ride Or Ride Not, There Is No Try

As you will know by now, I like this blog to be right on the bleeding edge of Disney news. I understand that many of you count on it as your one and only source for all things Disney related, and as such I spend every waking hour researching and being one step ahead of every other Disney blog on the planet.

So, I can now reveal, way before you will have heard it anywhere else that the opening date for Star Wars Land has been announced. I know! Exciting stuff right, and I appreciate that this breaking news may take some time for you to digest.

Had we been going this year (and I never say never, as those lucky lottery balls may yet drop in our favour) this would not have been the welcome news you may think it might be. The date of the 29th of August is slap bang in the middle of our usual touring time, and an opening like this is enough to ride the proverbial coach and horses through my laminated spreadsheet.

Having seen what happened when Toy Story Land opened, those wait times for Slinky will seem like the blink of any eye once the Star Wars lot descend upon Hollywood Studios. Had we been there this summer, at opening, I think it would have more or less wiped DHS off our plans to be honest. That opening week will be like a scene from Ghandi, and I don’t mean that everyone will be wearing a bed sheet and sandals.

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The crowds generated by Disney vloggers (Hey Guys!!) alone would be enough to fill Wembley Stadium three times over and the chances of getting anywhere near a ride would be less than me growing a fringe.

So it’s good news that we have no trip planned for this summer right?  Right????

Ironically, the nominal date I have plucked from the ether for our potential travel in 2020 will be the one year anniversary of the opening, so that should mean that those at the back of the queue on opening day will just be leaving the gift shop as we get there, hopefully armed with FastPasses galore.

In the grand scheme of things, this opening is of course a good thing for many reasons.

  1. DHS has been half a park for long enough whilst they built the two new lands so it is fantastic to see those plans completed.
  2. I love Star Wars
  3. Nearly every park (come on Magic Kingdom, get that Tron ride built) now has new headliner attractions and it will spread out the crowds and FastPass desires of guests meaning that some of the current bottlenecks and frustrations around the likes of Flights Of Passage and Slinky will be alleviated.

The parks are in good shape, and with plans recently announced to renovate and modernise the Epcot entrance area, as ever Disney aren’t resting on their laurels, which is one way to justify their prices to myself.

There is a slight anxiety that big new stuff brings of course. The planner in me finds it easiest when I am scheduling stuff we’ve done before. With so much new stuff, I am poking around in the dark a bit hoping for success, although that is something I am relatively familiar with if I am honest. It doesn’t come much bigger than a whole new land, and as I sit in the comfort of my armchair this August, watching the absolute carnage that is Hollywood Studios, I shall be grateful for two things.

  1. I am not in those crowds.
  2. The internet, that will allow me to watch other folks navigate it and enable me to have a better stab at planning our assault on it a year later.

Over that time, there is much to do, not least trying to get Freddie to watch all the Star Wars  and Harry Potter films in readiness for our trip. That may well be a challenge at his age, but I’m sure his Dad will look after the Star Wars side of that bargain.

So if you are going this year after the opening I’d be interested to know how you feel about it. Are you happy or has it put a bit of a cat amongst your planning pigeons? Let’s be honest, I wish we were going too and I’d deal with whatever carnage that created, but if I can lie to myself that there are some benefits to not having a holiday then I shall cling to them like Rose did that piece of wood in Titantic.

Comment away folks….

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Till the next time……

Sense and Sensibility

As we bid a fond farewell to summer for another year, it has at least served its purpose and allowed us another American Adventure. Clearly, being a grown man, with a job that almost matters, bills to pay and real life day-to-day issues I have this week done absolutely none of the following –

  1. Researched if it’s better to stay on site at Universal or to buy the Front of Line passes instead.
  2. Checked hotel prices for our on site stay.
  3. Spent a not inconsiderable amount of time working out our departure date, based on pesky work schedules, flight prices, the ability to do MNSSHP again and my inability to wait longer than I absolutely need to.
  4. Looked at several menus for restaurants we may eat in eighteen months from now.
  5. Browsed some villa websites.

Nope, I didn’t do any of those things as that would have just been silly.

If I had been that silly I would have discovered that Universal wanted £1500 for Front of Line passes for two days for our party. That is of course is in addition to our tickets to get into the park. This, Universal, is madness. An on site stay for the same number of folks in two rooms, (suck it up Emily, you’re sharing with Mum & Dad), was about £500. I guess the method in their madness is that they want you to stay on site as they hope you’ll spend more than the difference when you do.

So, on site it is. I would suspect, had I researched prices, I would have decided that it will be the Royal Pacific again. We love the Hard Rock, but it’s about £300 more and as we’ll probably only be there for one night it seems silly. However, when we come to book at a time more sensible, we shall see what deals are around. I mean, what idiot would be looking so far away from their travel dates?

As if he somehow knew what was being planned, Freddie recently took part in a photo shoot, and naturally it had a strong Disney theme. Indulge me sharing a handful of them here….

He’ll thank his Mum no doubt for that Mickey costume when these are shared at his 21st!

Again, if I were an idiot, I might have had an extended conversation with Emily about how tall Freddie might be when we go and which rides that might mean he can go on. Thankfully, I am not that stupid.

Sticking to my declaration last week that I won’t over plan this trip will be a test of my resolve, mainly as it is a long way off and but also because I am a sad act.

I mean, how silly would it be for me to ask both my readers to send me their suggestions for any nice 4 bed villas they know of in developments around Sunset Lakes, Emerald Island, Lindfields and Formosa Gardens. If I had given it any thought at all, I would know that we only want to be staying in that area. Don’t be suggesting me stuff ten miles down the 27 that claims to be “15 minutes from Disney”, this isn’t my first rodeo.

Thankfully, such silliness has not taken place, and I am proud to see nobody else in our travelling party has indulged in any such nonsense. I mean, had I been an obsessed over excited idiot, I might have sent my daughter a text just to tell her that Caseys’s now do a foot long Corn Dog only to have her tell me that my other daughter had already messaged her the day before to tell her the exact same thing. They make me proud every day.

Till the next time…..