Pumped Full of Pumpernick’s.

We have two birthdays in the house today. Incredibly Emily is twenty years old. How this can be when I am still the same youthful, svelte specimen I always have been I do not know. For reasons unknown, Emily isn’t too keen on leaving her teens and has spent much of the last few weeks sulking about becoming old. This sulk has meant that she wanted minimal fuss today so there is to be no large family gathering. Presents were still gratefully received of course but she has gone out with her best friend for some food and a film.

Oli wasn’t invited even though it is his birthday too. He is four today, but if you use the standard calculation for dog years that means he is twenty-eight. So it could be worse for Emily if she were aging at the same rate that Oli is.

He seems less troubled by the aging process.

Emily’s birthday is traditionally one of the last landmarks on our countdowns to a holiday. Having ticked off Rebecca’s in May, followed by other non family landmarks such as Glastonbury, Wimbledon and the Open Golf, there is no denying we are getting close now.

When you’ve been blogging as long as I have now, I have no doubt that there has been a lot of repetition since my first post back in November 2009. At several points between then and now I have no doubt talked about the underlying reasons for my Disney/Florida obsession. I’m not going to go there in detail again, but this week my Mum and Dad found an important relic from our Florida history that goes someway to remind me at least how I fell in love with the place all those years ago.

Back in 1980, (and here I might go into the detail I said I wouldn’t) instead of going to Spain for our usual holiday, a ten-year old me was very excited to find that we actually booked to go to Miami, mainly due to the incredible cheapness brought on by a dollar rate well over $2 to the pound.

Whilst searching for other stuff in their house this week, my Mum and Dad found and brought round a menu from a restaurant in Miami called Pumpernick’s. We went several times during our first holiday and it has a lot to answer for. It exposed me for the first time to the wonderment of eating in the US, with strange foreign concepts such as good service, huge bowls of warm bread and coleslaw on the table when you arrived and desserts you would kill for. We were so gobsmacked by the whole thing that we asked if we could take a menu home with us, as nobody back home would believe us if we told them. Remember that back home was a 1980’s Bolton yet to become all exotic like it is now.

The menu is huge in every sense, and even now it makes me hungry whenever I look at it.

It had all those things you heard about in US programmes of the time, which were of course the likes of MASH, The Bionic Man and The Streets of San Francisco! Pastrami was a mysterious thing only leading men had on rye…whatever that was.

It’s funny seeing it again after all these years. The fascination it began for me has cost me endless pounds both in terms of money and weight. A bit of googling has revealed that it has long since closed, which is no surprise, but I also found out that it had already been there for years by the time we found it. Here it is in the 1950’s.



It is now a Walgreens.




It’s hard to explain now how this blast of Americana had such an effect on a ten-year old boy from Lancashire, but clearly I am far from recovered from it. The entire first trip obviously had many more aspects which have forever stuck with me, even though we only spent two days in Orlando at the then only theme park.

Look at me, all oblivious to the endless obsession that lies ahead.

So what got you hooked? Tell me your Disney obsession stories in the comments below!

Till the next time…..



14 thoughts on “Pumped Full of Pumpernick’s.

  1. The sun and shopping is my thing…

    Everything else I love too but those two are my favourites!

  2. A monorail that links parks and resorts.
    Food and dining unlike anywhere else.
    Service that makes you feel like a king.
    Thrill rides.
    Getting to visit the wondrous place I’d seen on my GAF Viewmaster twenty years earlier.

  3. Florida had never been on my radar, we’d camped in Swanage for my entire childhood and I’d only been abroad once at 18 (Magaluf). Then my MIL said “Let’s go to Disney” and we did!! We went in 2008, I was 22 and it was just out of this world for me… The flight, the food, the parks, the beaches, Walmart 🙂 even the hotel (pop century) We fell in love instantly and knew it was the only place we wanted to go to for the rest of our lives!! We went every other year, twice more, and then a mortgage and baby happened in 2013 so it is on hold for a few years for now. We are planning on DLP for my 30th in Nov and maybe a cruise next summer (how else will we see the rest of the world) and then I hope we can get back into the swing of returning home every other year, maybe ever year one day, for the rest of our lives 🙂

  4. It was our first visit to DLP that got us hooked we loved it so much we returned a week later and another twice the same year. It was fairly inexpensive then and we lived near the euro tunnel
    We have of course learned the error of our ways and are gearing up for visit number 11 in four weeks. Our daughter will celebrate her 16th birthday there on 31st August, which is, I believe a great day for a birthday! Hope to see you there xx

  5. Craig my first visit pre dates yours 1978. I was 18 and my dad was a B.A. Employee. I was totally overawed by the whole trip. Everything from the constant asking “are you from Austrailia”? To that first trip to the Magic Kingdom. I thought I was a cool 18yo far to cool to enjoy this glorified “fun fair”but that first trip to the Magic Kingdom awakened the child in me again and it’s never left. It’s still my families No1 choice for a holiday.

  6. We camped for our holidays as a child. But my auntie was from Florida and she took my cousin to visit her family when I was 7 and they went to Walt Disney World. I was Sooooo jealous, Iwanted to go to and I vowed that I would one day. I didnt get to WDW in Florida til I was 31, but it was worth the wait!!! I had been to Disneyland in California for one day a few years before, but although I lovediit, it just didn’t grab me as Florida did .I love everything, the heat, the storms, the food, the shopping, but my main love is Disney .I cant explain, I just feel happy there. I cry when I arrived and again when I leave. Although it sounds strange, it touches my soul and I think it always will .

  7. We went for the first time because my mother in law had a brain haemorrhage and decided to treat us as you have to live for today. The boys were 4 and nearly 2 and melted our hearts with how they look at the characters etc. we went 5 years later so they were old enough to do rides. Our youngest cried on the way home as he wanted to know he would ‘go back as a kid’. So we had to go again, and again and again. It’s a place we all love and have such amazing memories and each time make new ones and discover new things. Now we have to keep going cause it feels like home.

  8. For someone who hates rides faster than a slow boat to China, walking in hot sunshine, and who hates flying, I promised my girls, then 10 and 16, for all their help and support throughout my degree and PGCE, that I would take them to DisneyWorld in Florida. So I booked 3 weeks and whiled the countdown away until it had been and gone and I could get back to my sunbed, beach, reading and pool holiday the following year. That was never to happen. I don’t know what got me hook line and sinker but I was well and truly caught. I cannot pick just one thing. The whole experience from getting off the plane to my last burger at Burger King at MCO was magical. Yes that’s what got me…the magic of it all ✈️🇺🇸❤️. I am here right now for my 8th time and I still don’t do major thrill rides, but I love everything else 😀

  9. 1982 and stayed in vero beach, but my addiction started with the smell and warmth as the plane doors opened in Florida, the visits to the big orange for orange juice, and still to this day the use of No-Ad sun cream and aftersun, the smell instantly transports me. An endless addiction.

  10. It was something we planned to celebrate Colm’s 22 years service in the RAF before he embarked on life in civvy street! Little did we know that a certain Dibber’s trip reports would hook us and reel us in to not only Disney but exploring the wider Florida – the kids loved attending a Baseball game last time and in 3 weeks time we will be cheering on the Lakeland Tigers! Four trips later, top of Colm’s list is the now infamous Donut Burger and I of course, as a long term admirer of Louise will be chilling by the pool with a glass of vino 🙂

  11. Oh-for God’s sake! *How did that dog get pony-sized (?!) & that lil disney lover can’t be 20 already (?!) And now ur gigging. AND headed back to DW. Can’t leave ur scene for a single second, or forced to play catch-up. Y’all insist on this constant dream~fulfillment, happiness~chasing, ambition~nessing. SO fun to see. Also? I’m writing because the restaurant story/menu/google deal u put down here was utter ridiculousness, & total perfection. I laughed until I cried. I mean, *tears*! so damn funny. If that was a first draft, then ur superhuman. Thank u 4 sharing, as usual~

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