Day Five – 31st August
Back at the beginning of this report I moaned about how complicated it had been planning this trip. One of the reasons for that was Emily’s work commitments and today saw the first of those as she had to check in. So I apologise in advance that today may not be the most entertaining ever spent in Orlando.
I was awake at 6.45. I had also been awake for most of the hours preceding that as my “I should really be in hospital” cold now had a full grip on my weak and illness filled body. I administered yet more drugs, some of them even legal and added some fuel to fight the disease by eating breakfast too. It doesn’t matter what I had as I couldn’t taste it.
With a check in time of any time after midday for Emily, I was keen to get her packed, out and processed leaving enough time to do some holiday stuff too, as, after all today was also my birthday, which was, quite rightly taking a back seat today. So there was a lot of rushing around getting her organised and ready to go. This wasn’t helped by some apparent drama going on back home with her boyfriend that was distracting her from her own important day and instead of packing and getting ready she was hammering away at her phone with her thumbs.
We left the villa at 10.40 leaving Rebecca and Sarah to relax and rest after a tough few days in the parks. Nana and Grandad came with us and were dropped off at the discount women’s shop Louise and I found the other day. Grandad could not thank me enough.
The first job was a “big shop” at Target to get her set up with everything she might need in her apartment. Now, you’ll know that I love supermarket shopping, especially when it’s all for someone else. So we spent a long, long time choosing duvets, looking at hair dryers and suitable food stuffs that could be made quickly and easily….with a hair dryer.
At one point I did lose my temper ever so slightly with Emily as she was more concerned with the activities on her phone than the questions we were asking her about the stuff we were buying…for her. Louise played referee and things were calmed down.
After paying the huge bill I needed a coffee and a sit down so we got both in the Starbucks at the entrance to the store. Nana and Grandad met us there and we headed back to the villa to collect Rebecca and Sarah. See, not complicated at all this is it?
On the way to Emily’s check in location, which is close to Crossroads for those interested, we dropped off Rebecca, Sarah, Nana and Grandad at Downtown Disney (it was still called that at this point!). Our need for food saw us make a quick pit stop at a McDonalds and hoover up a burger and fries before finally getting to Vista Way. If you’ve seen Monsters University, it looks a bit like that, but with all different nationalities rather than Monsters wandering about. We parked up and Emily went to do her thing.
She was only gone for ten minutes, returning with a lot of paperwork and news that she had been allocated her first choice accommodation at The Commons. The drive to The Commons took a few minutes and after getting through what is pleasingly tight security we arrived at her building. We dragged her cases up to the door and knocked. We were greeted by a young lady who for the first minute or two we thought was American. However she soon explained that she was Norwegian and we could then start to hear that her accent was not from the US but did have a very distinct American “twang” . Lisse was lovely and we chatted for a while as Emily started to unpack. We got her settled in, said our goodbyes to Lisse and headed off back to Downtown Disney to meet up with everyone.
We parked up in the new Orange multi storey car park. I needed a restroom and had remembered from years gone by just how nice they were at the House of Blues so I made use of those. We walked all the way from House of Blues to World of Disney. Oh look, a photo….
You wait all trip report for one and then three turn up.
As we met up with everyone we soon discovered that Sarah and Rebecca had spent their time and dollars wisely.
Rebecca informed me that Grandad had paid for lunch so she had used the dollars I had given her to buy a Pandora charm instead. Female logic!
We spent a large amount of time wandering around the huge World of Disney store. Whenever Louise suggested we buy something I expertly dodged the bullet by telling her we should wait until Emily has her Cast Member ID and we can get discount. It worked a charm….which Rebecca should have waited to buy too!
We left around 4.30 passing the Lego shop as we did.
For the second time this trip we were now about to con Disney for which I heartily apologise. I still contest that over the years we’ve paid for a few white lies. We drove to the Beach Club to park up as we were going to Epcot and always prefer to escape through International Gateway after the fireworks.
A quick flash of the pink thing which had been stored in my shorts and the guard simply smiled, nodded appreciatively and told us to park wherever we liked. I don’t suppose he sees too many UK driving licences.
Again, these photos tend to be an annual event but I make no apology. This is one of our most favourite places.
We walked through the lobby, remembering again just how lovely that is and then out the other side, turning left towards Epcot.
Once through the entrance we stopped in the shop there to pick up my birthday badge. Remember, it is my birthday!
Of course, our first stop today had to be the UK pavilion to have a look at Emily’s new work place.
It was beyond warm today and Grandad was very happy to spy a comfy seat in one of the shops.
As was Nana.
Rebecca and Sarah grabbed a Duffy and settled in to do some colouring.
The rest of us wandered around looking at Emily’s colleagues to be and the incredible prices of a Twix.
We left the UK and we were Canada bound.
As we made that long journey it started to rain so our progress was more hurried than it might have been. Our plan was to watch Martin Short in O Canada as frankly it had been far too long since we did. As we got to the theatre we were confused to find it roped off. We crowded together in the entrance trying to keep dry until a Cast Member appeared to let us in. That was just the start of the waiting as we then had to sit in the foyer area for about ten minutes.
Once we were in, the show was slightly spoiled by three young folks stood next to us who had obviously been sampling a few drinkies around the world. The circle vision, standing up and the skin full they were on the wrong end of made them quite disruptive. My main fear was that Grandad would get annoyed enough to do something and we’d have a full scale international incident on our hands.
Having waited so long to see the film we were now bordering on late for our dinner reservation at the Rose and Crown. I hurried off at full man walking pace to book in.
By the time I got to the front of the podium queue everyone else had caught me up. We were given our buzzer thingy and it was going off within a few minutes. We were seated on the patio outside and we were served by Rebecca…but not ours.
I sat there looking there handsome for a while.
We ordered the following –
Me and Nana – Fish and Chips
Emily – Bangers and Mash
Grandad – Chicken Tikka Massala
Louise – Steak
Rebecca – Shepherd’s Pie
Sarah – Chips! Yep, that’s all she wanted after their large lunch at Wolfgang Puck.
As ever, Rebecca left the vegetables and used them to recreate a photo we had seen years ago, at Bahama Breeze.
With it being a special occasion we all had or at least shared a dessert and we all chose the Velvet Cake. Grandad had a very unsubtle word with our server explaining it was my birthday (have I mentioned that yet?) and could they bring something out with a candle in it. All the servers singing Happy Birthday to me around that poor cast member with a candle shoved up their nose was odd.
All of this eating and singing meant that time was pushing on and darkness was falling changing Epcot into that magical place it becomes as the lights come on.
As it was now 8.35 we did consider ordering more food and or drinks so that we could tough it out and watch ROE from our table. Our server second guessed our quandary and solved it for us by offering us a spot on the patio down by the water. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and the rain that had been on and off all afternoon had the decency to stay away too making our ponchos redundant other than to keep our bums dry on the wet chairs.
It’s customary about now, just before the fireworks start that I desperately try all the settings on my camera to try and make these photos not the usual crap blurry nonsense that all the others are.
So, that worked well.
ROE was the usual incredible spectacle that we have to come expect, and any of my birthdays that don’t include it, are poorer for it.
Full of fireworks afterglow we wandered out of the park back towards the car at the Beach Club. The rain was coming back again and everyone was very tired at this point. So just Sarah, Rebecca and I walked all the way to the car leaving everyone else back at the valet point for us to return to pick them up.
For the first time this trip we dropped Emily off home at The Commons and found our way back to the villa via the I4. We were glad to be in bed by 10.20.
Till the next time…..