To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Thirteen April 23rd 2017

It was very upsetting to wake at 8.30. All those days on the bloody beach when I was awake at 7am and today with a theme park in my immediate future and I had lazed half the day away.

Never let it be said that I air brush these trips and only give you the edited highlights. In the spirit of full disclosure at this point in the trip Louise and I were not on speaking terms. I won’t bore you with the trivialities of the subject matter, as to be honest I can’t really remember, but as all long-term couples know, this happens from time to time.

Suffice to say that I of course would have been totally in the right and Louise would later issue a full and unreserved apology.

After exchanging dirty looks and mild insults as we got ready, it was decided best for all concerned that Louise didn’t join us this morning. After declaring our undying love for each other, I left the room with Emily, who was all disdain and eye rolls at our mature behaviour, with me deploying full flounce and we went in search of food. Of course, for all our moody tantrums and vitriol I had made sure Louise had money and everything she needed for the day, as of course deep down we both knew that at some point in the not too distant future it would all be sorted out.

We bought a breakfast from the Beach Club Marketplace. A breakfast sandwich and a bounty platter, which thankfully did not contain any coconut, were consumed outside within minutes and we were soon on our way to Animal Kingdom after a quick stop at the All Stars for some parents. At the entrance to the car park I reclaimed some of the costs of staying on site by flashing my magic band rather than handing over $50 or whatever the car parking cost that week.

My joy was short-lived as there was a huge queue to get into the car park. It snaked all around the perimeter, its size only matched by the size of my bottom lip. As Disney tend to do, they shifted a huge number of people in a short amount of time and we dumped the car in Giraffe 46.

We didn’t have long to wait for the tram and after a bag check, scanner and a queue at the turnstiles we finally got into the park just after ten.

The first FastPass of the day was the safari, so we headed in that direction. That’s a good old walk especially with two almost octogenarians in your party but it was worth the trek.

We had a great guide and saw a god amount of stuff. I have promised myself that I shall keep returning to WDW until I can manage some non-blurry photos on the safari.

It isn’t often these days that it happens so at the first sign of a huge horn I took a photo of it.

There’s a probably an animal somewhere in that photo.

Ah there it is…..

I’d tell you that this was a hippo….But that’s just lion…..

As is often the case, my milkshake brings all the birds to the yard….

Smile!

After returning from our two-week safari, we set off for our next FastPass which was to be Everest.

Since our last visit a stadium seems to have grown in the middle of the theme park.

Dad rode Everest with myself and Emily and we all loved it. It’s one of the rides that just make you smile every time. It is a good one to ride early in the day as it blows the cobwebs off, gets the adrenaline flowing and puts you in a great mood.

When we got home and looked at our Memory Maker we had a few random photos that very obviously not taken by me.

Like these…

We walked on around to Dinoland where Mum & Dad played some of the games.

Emily and I moved on to Primeval Whirl.The stated 30 minute queue turned out to be just ten which made us happy.

We left battered and bruised and now Emily joined her Nana in battle.

No prizes were won alas.

It’s Tough To Be A Bug was next on the list and with a standby wait of just ten minutes we walked through all the queuing bits, with me trying to snap as many of the animals as possible in the tree.

It went well didn’t it?

It is quite usual for there to be screaming in this show, especially as it comes to an end due to some of the effects used. However, this show started with that too, as we seemed to have another screaming kid being subjected to something they absolutely did not want to go through. For all new parents out there, as much as the theme of this show might seem kid friendly, it is absolutely not suitable for toddlers as this poor screaming soul was demonstrating. Of course the parents didn’t take it outside and when it is still in therapy well into its twenties, it can read this blog to find out why.

It was 1pm now. We’d done a lot hadn’t we? We needed a drink and a sit down so we headed for Starbucks. It took a while to get served as we were behind a large group of teenage girls, each ordering drinks more complex than the theory of relativity. The shapes and colours of their drinks were a mystery to all but themselves.

Mum and Dad had a strawberry smoothie and I continued to order whatever Emily did and had another iced coffee thing. See how Starbucks had to really try to not spell my name with a G.

We watched the world go by for half an hour waiting for our next FastPass slot to come round. It was to be the Kali River Rapids, but by the power of the app, I discovered it was down. Instead we wandered over to the Lion King for the two o’clock show.

I have raved about this show every time we have seen it, and this shall be no exception. What a stunning, talent filled feel good fest this is.

I have the same photographs of it many times over so I decided to just sit back and watch it this time…oh apart from doing a Facebook live…but that took no effort.

As I wandered around today I noticed quite a few folks staring at my torso. Now, this is pretty normal when you have a physique like mine. But even for me, today it was noticeably more frequent.  Disregarding the usual number of pestering females undressing me with their eyes, I think everyone else was admiring my T-shirt, which is one of my faves.

You’d think after all our visits that I would know the official name for all the rides and attractions. I don’t. Apparently according to my notes we did the “Gorilla Trail thing”.

and eventually the trail led to an actual gorilla.

For the first time in many years next we took the train up to Rafiki’s Planet Watch otherwise known as the place where you pet goats.

However, as nice as the goats were, this guy was my favourite by a mile.

Next, we stroked a cow with horns, which is not a euphemism.

During our safari, our guide had told us that the restrooms at Rafiki’s Planet Watch were the best in all of the theme parks. I therefore felt duty bound to test that theory. I’d give it five minutes if I were you.

They may be the best but they still had that huge gap at the bottom of the door which mean that passers-by could see my knees. Spladosh!

We caught the train back and headed for Yak & Yeti. Louise had been in touch and said she would meet us there. This was no doubt as she had realised he error of her ways and realised her undying love for me. Either that or she really wanted to eat at Yak & Yeti.

As we made our way there, I demonstrated one of my top tips. If you see a huge queue to meet a character, simply take a picture of it with a random child and save yourself half an hour of waiting.

For those of the nerdy disposition, these, I think, are the projectors used for the new tree show thing. They are huge.

As we approached the restaurant, Louise and I spotted each other from a distance and ran in slow motion towards each other, meeting with an embrace and from somewhere romantic music poured out over us.

We waited for about twenty minutes before being seated upstairs.

We ordered some appetizers of Egg Rolls…

and Dad had some Firecracker Shrimp, which I think was due to some tight shorts.

Various strange lemonades and some wine for Louise arrived as we ordered….

Me – Combo Lo Mein

Dad – A Salmon Thing

Mum – Sweet & Sour Chicken

Louise – Teriyaki Chicken

Emily – Honey Chicken

The food was superb again. It was $225 including a healthy tip.

We consulted the app to plot our next move and seeing the safari was just a ten minute wait we decided to do it again for the benefit of Louise. See, I am so kind and considerate ever when she has been totally in the wrong.

There weren’t as many animals out and about at this time which frankly serves Louise right.

You lucky lot, getting two lots of blurry safari photos in one day!

We then walked all the way back to Everest. Louise, Emily and I rode using our recently acquired Fastpasses and then I let Emily and Louise use Mum & Dad’s FastPass to ride again. Again, how lucky is Louise?

As dusk approached we had to get ourselves in place for our first viewing of Rivers Of Light. We thought we could just wander across from Everest to the entrances we could see but no, they were for folks who had made a FastPass for it. Instead, we had to walk about six miles to the other side of the park to the muggle entrance.

We sat for just under an hour waiting for the show to start. That was fine as we were tired and it gave Louise more chances to apologise to me. Having just eaten obscene amounts of Chinese food we had a thirst that was life threatening. It was also very hot of course. It was a bit gutting not to see one drinks vendor wandering about. If I had wanted to buy some plastic tat that would light up, I had vendors walking by every few seconds. But if I needed life saving water, I would have to wait it seems.

There are few better places to be on the planet than a Disney park at dusk.

The show itself was very good. I suspect we’ll need a good few viewings to take it all in.

After the show we spilled out into Dinoland and we immediately bought lots of water and drank it as if we’d be wandering in the desert for a few days.

Louise needed to restroom so we sat for a long while waiting for her to release the chocolate hostages. Once she had returned we wandered slowly through a now quiet park.

We trammed back out to the car and dropped Mum & Dad off at their hotel before heading back to the Beach Club. We read and phoned for a while until sleep took us.

Minor domestics aside, that was a properly good full theme park today. We left satisfied that we’d done a lot.

Till the next time…..


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To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Twelve April 22nd 2017

We’re coming home, we’re coming home, we’re coming,

Yes we’re coming home!

OK, there was enough singing at the start of the last day so I’ll leave it there, but yes finally we are Disney bound and I am all sorts of happy about it.

Don’t get me wrong, for all my faux outrage at being at the beach for so long, Siesta Key was lovely. You’ve seen the pictures. It is idyllic and we have been lucky to have spent a week there. But, you know, as of today, we are at the Beach Club, so there is no competition.

I was awake and as bright as a button at around 7am, excited to be heading for the big WDW. Packing was finished quite quickly, which couldn’t be said for the task of getting all the luggage into the car. With all the “bits” we’d been buying, plus Louise’s astronomical spend on bathing costumes, the car was at breaking point as was my patience as our inability to get everything into the car was causing us a delay in our departure.

After a quick brew and a bagel we were finally on the road by 8.20. The next two hours or so looked a lot like this…

and we only saw something worthy of photography again when we were getting close to Orlando.

We had a slight traffic delay around the junction where the I4 splits to the US27 but we were pulling into the Beach Club just after 10.20 all smiles and needing a wee.

It has to be said there have been better photos taken of this landmark.

A sight so good, it deserves showing twice….

We left the cases in the car fully expecting our room not be ready and indeed the intention was to check in later after some time in Epcot, but as we entered the lobby several members of the party went for the earlier mentioned much-needed restroom visits and so I took the chance to get it done now.

We were attended to by Kirt. If you imagine a more camp John Barrowman, you will be someway to knowing how he was. He made some frankly quite scathing comments about our FastPass+ choices as he printed our itinerary and then more or less gave me a huge bollocking for not bringing our previous Magic Bands with us. Listen matey, for the amount I’ve paid for the room at the Beach Club I am expecting a gold plated band and a free helicopter.

Ten minutes later we were all done, including our new Magic Bands, but of course our room was not yet ready. No matter. We wandered out towards the view of the Boardwalk, feeling finally at home. We’ve been to lots of different places on and off site over the years but there’s little to beat this warm, welcoming cuddle once in the embrace of Disney for the first time on any trip. Feeling like we belonged, even among the wealthy inhabitants of the Deluxe resort, we drifted on a cloud towards International Gateway.

I make no apology for the overkill on the pictures here. It is absolutely one of my favourite spots on the planet.

At the entrance we encountered the new scanners for the first time, having to open my bum bag into a tray along with my phone and coins and pass it through in a tray, more or less needing to be naked to get through without setting off the buzzer.

April is not a normal time for us to be in WDW and as such we had never seen the Flower and Garden Festival. I have to say it was lovely and it made a really welcome change to see the park looking a little different. We wandered past the UK & Canada on our way into Future World.

I’ve not seen a bush this impressive for many a year….

Or a big green Pooh since the girls were newborns…

Oh yes, another thing Kirt commented on with all the acidity of Joan Rivers in her prime was my choice of Magic Band…. “How very colourful”, he sniped….well he is American so he would have said “How very colorful”.

In a usually empty grassy bit, a child’s playground had appeared. I was just grateful I no longer had kids young enough to require me to spend any time in it.

The whole place looked glorious.

We found a butterfly enclosure just before Future World and wandered in for a look around and to take some spectacularly poor photographs.

Failing to capture any butterflies with the camera I resorted to more familiar subjects..

and larger butterflies that were a damn sight easier to photograph.

It had now been many minutes since we last purchased anything and in the absence of a supermarket, we entered Mouse Gear. Louise felt compelled to buy some shiny ears.

As we were heading to ride Mission Space with our first FastPass, we left Mum and Dad shopping. Mum had ridden it once and had never forgiven me.

We were a little early for our slot so we wandered into the Festival Centre, which was the place where the Making of Me scarred the girls for life about a decade ago.

If you are a keen gardener then this place would have been very interesting. As it was, we did a quick loop and left.

As we left we took the chance to take a better picture of the excellent bush on display. To get a shot of it clear of other annoying folks we had to wait quite some time. Top tip – Once you have taken your photo of something people are waiting to take a photo of, do not stand in front of it looking at the photo you just took.

It was now time for our FastPass to see Gary Sinise’s hair. We chose the Orange option, but it still looked brown to me on the video he is in.

Once we were given access to the natural phenomenon which is Sinise’s barnet…

We still had a longer than expected wait to board our space craft. Our suspicion was that somebody had ejected their lunch all over the cockpit. The appearance of several senior Cast Members and a telling smell pretty much confirmed our thinking.

I have ridden this thing many times now, yet as I stand waiting to do so, I always question why. I spend that time thinking back to how odd it makes me feel during the ride and how for the next hour I feel like I had twelve pints of mild the night before. Still, it was good fun.

Next we made our way across the park for our next expertly planned FastPass. We were to chat with Crush.

The weather was glorious.

The photography still less so….

We had a five minute wait to enter during which time we were entertained by a baby screaming at a decibel level reserved for aircraft taking off. Even though we are very much out of practice with the whole baby thing, within about five seconds Louise and I looked at each other and mouthed “it’s tired”. Still, what reason had the parents not to insist on taking it into the show and letting it shriek from start to finish?

None it would seem.

We said a quick hello to the manatees…

and headed out towards The Land. Soarin’ was to be our next FastPass.

You may wonder why I take random photos of people I don’t know like this. Well, at least this one is almost in focus. Being honest, I take these sorts of photos as it helps me remember what we did as I write my notes up later.

Same with ones like this….

We had to loiter at the entrance for seven minutes before waving our bands and walking in. We had a ten minute queue which is quite respectable for Soarin’ based on previous trips. Alas, we were in row three, so had everyone’s legs dangling above us. Louise was quite chuffed though as she doesn’t like heights and when we get row one she needs a Valium to cope.

The new film is awesome. Too short of course, but any longer and the standby queue would be measured in days not minutes.

It was now 2.55 and we were walking towards Figment when we spotted something very strange. A queue!! It was out of the door.

Bamboozled by this odd happening I engaged my brain, opened the My Disney Experience app and secured us a FastPass for 3pm allowing us to bypass said queue and walk on. I have my moments.

With that done it was now time to head out of the park. We had to get Mum and Dad to their hotel and checked in before getting ready for our ADR at Sanaa later.

As we walked back to International Gateway, World Showcase looked very busy. Back at the car we liberated our luggage and Louise and Emily got that to out room whilst I drove Mum and Dad to the All Stars.

Having had a moment of genius getting that FastPass for Journey Into Imagination, I made up for it now by parking up in the check in car park and then wrestling Mum and Dad’s luggage from the boot and dragging it to reception to check in. Of course, they were in building seven which is a good drive from reception so we had to lug it all back to the car, put it back in the boot and make our way to their car park.

Once they were in their room I made my way back to the Beach Club.

For the next few hours we just chilled out a bit to be honest. We napped, read and just appreciated being where we were for a while. It was lovely.

Eventually showers and readying happened, yet not early enough to prevent the usual friction as I hurried Louise and Emily to be ready before they would naturally be so.

We picked up Mum and Dad at 7.45 and drove onto Kidani Village and parked in their underground car park. We found our way somehow from there to the restaurant and only had the buzzer in our hands for about a minute before it went off summoning us to our table.

We had two servers, as one was Earning Her Ears. Louise and Emily ordered a Mai Tai which had a touch of the Del Boy about it….

and then we moved on to the reason we were here…..the bread service.

Holy hell it was good. So good we polished it off in record time and they brought us some more.

Emily and I had Butter Chicken

Everyone else had steak….

Everything was tremendous and however much it was, and I forgot to write that down it was worth it.

We left at around 9.45.

and wandered back through the resort to the car…

Mum and Dad were tired so we dropped them off before heading back to our home.

We had planned to do Jellyrolls tonight but Emily wasn’t feeling great so we, as the Americans say, took a rain check and just had a short wander around the area.

Have I mentioned that I love it here?

We were in bed around 10.45 dreaming of more Disney delights to come.

Till the next time…..


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To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Eleven April 21st 2017

Sing with me….

 

One day more!
Another day, on the beach for me.
This never-ending road to meet Mickey;
These days of beach are much maligned
They’ll surely end I know its time.
One day more!

How can I write about today?
When I wish we had departed?

One day more.

Tomorrow we’ll be on our way
Our time in Disney World just started!

One more day is all I know.

Will we ever ride again?

One more day so tricky sharing.

I was born to be in queues.

What a life, how dare I moan.

Till we’re there it’s what I’ll do!

I can’t wait until we’re there!

One more day of beachy yawns!

I can’t wait to see the shows

One more sandy day of tedium.

Till I see my Ariel there

Where they serve the dogs of corn

I’ll eat two and I won’t share

The food I have is just for me!!

Tomorrow’s when the day is here

One day more!

One day more till we can have fun,
Aim for rope drop like we should!
We’ll be ready two hours later,
And my strops will do no good!

One day more!

Watch us run a muck,
We’re gonna ride ’em all,
We’re gonna meet a duck
By the Epcot ball,
Here’s a little tip
You never have too much
We’ll stay beyond all others
And not give two….hoots!

One day to a new beginning

Raise the expectations high!

Where a bumbag is a thing

A bumbag never is a thing!!

Disney World is for the winning

There are rides that must be done

Do you know of what I sing?

My place is there, I ride with you!

One day more!

I will be a Disney hero
All will follow where I go
We will use my little secrets,
We will use the things we know.

One day more!

One more day till we will have fun
We will ride all that is good
Must be ready, pert and well poised

Tomorrow we’ll be on our way,
Tomorrow is the Disney day

Tomorrow we’ll discover
What our time in Disney has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!

Yep, it’s our last beach day!

I was awake early. I took the chance to have a chat with Rebecca who updated me on some of the work we were having done to the house whilst away. You know the work I was blogging about before we went that would “definitely be finished before we left”. Anyway, it was close now and I was pleased to see it from thousands of miles away.
I rose at 8.30 and breakfasted in a cereal manner.

You will of course know that I then went to the supermarket for our lunch and “bits”. It took longer than usual today as I had to say my farewells to the staff. They were genuinely upset, mainly as they weren’t sure how they would pay the rent next month without my expenditure and the goodbyes were tearful.

We made it over to the beach at around 11am minus Mum & Dad, as my Mum needed to be close to certain amenities in the house if you know what I mean. Today was to be a day of serious tan acquisition. At home we see sun all the time, on the TV, so we knew that today may be the last time there was a chance to lie in something warm for a while unless we wet the bed.

Louise was either sunbathing or had too much vino last night.

I took some random beach shots so I could look at them during the bleak mid-winter and curse myself for wishing away our time at the beach so that we could go to Disney.

Here’s a sandy Ryan.

Don’t worry, these are the last of my body parts you should see today.

After Mum and Dad arrived bearing lunch we all ate. My Dad then immediately went into the sea, making a mockery of all those years he told me as a child that if I swam after eating I would undoubtedly die.

Our last afternoon passed as all the earlier ones had until a couple started to toss some balls in front of us.

I read a lot more, finishing another book and starting a new one that I had found in the house. It wouldn’t have been my first choice but it was either that or start reading the back of the sun cream bottles…and you know we had enough of those to have kept me going for a few days.

Louise went for a stroll, Dad swam a bit more and for the final couple of hours we went crazy and put the umbrellas down, allowing the sun to do its worst in our last throes of beach time.

Emily gave up first and wandered back to the house. Mum and Dad were next, leaving just Louise and I to soak up the last moments of our time on Siesta Key beach.

Eventually I dragged Louise kicking and screaming off the beach, her fingernails making a lovely trail all the way back to the house.

Everyone showered and we started the packing for our move tomorrow to the Beach Club (for us) and All Stars for Mum and Dad. Once ready we walked to the bus stop for our journey to the village.

Having had a curtailed experience on our last visit to The Hub due to Dad feeling ill, we decided to give it another go. It certainly seemed the most popular eatery and we had a wait of around half an hour for a table.

We sat outside and had a look at the menu.

We all cocktailed to soften the blow. It’s a lively place but tonight was even more so due to a very loud and large birthday party. They were one of those groups that like to make everyone see and hear what a great time they are having. I was delighted to see them leave.

Louise and Emily shared a pitcher of Margaritas and I had a Coronarita.

My drink had clearly confused my Mum.

Dad had two Isle Have Anothers. I couldn’t tell you what was in it.

We started with Nachos….as we tend to do a lot.

I had a Pork Enchilada…..but surely we had a cream for that by now!

Emily and Louise had a burger.

Mum had Fish and Chips

Dad had seafood pasta.

Just for a change we were all really full. We paid the bill and I forgot to write down how much it was. It was worth it anyway.

Imagine the delight and celebration in the supermarket when we visited them again. We needed “ointments and bits” according to my notes. We left with several members of staff clinging to my leg as I dragged them towards the door.

Luckily the bus arrived just as we left, they accepted that I had to leave and returned to the store to begin the process of boarding up, ready for their inevitable closure.

We were in bed for ten.

Tomorrow, we Disney!!!

Till the next time…..


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To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Ten April 20th 2017

For the love of all that is holy, will this stay at the beach never end? At the time, I had no such feelings. Now, trying to make the same notes for the sixth day in a row somehow different is driving me insane. This must be how Coldplay feel every time they start a new album!

This is, I suppose, why normal folks don’t write trip reports for beach holidays.

Today, an alien space craft landed on our roof and shared with me the secret of time travel. Or not. Maybe instead my notes look just like yesterday’s.

But wait, what’s this. They say I was awake at 5.15. It turns out my phone rang at that time with a call from an 0151 number. Being pretty sure that nobody in Liverpool needed me that desperately I declined the call and went back to sleep until 8.15. A bagel and a brew were taken on board and Dad and I of course went to the supermarket. Today’s shopping list included lunch, a sun hat for Mum and some cold sore cream. Whilst in the pharmacy an elderly Floridian chap asked me to help him pick out the correct dental floss. This wasn’t due to him admiring my stunning dentistry, rather a symptom of his lack of sight. I put on my best Hugh Grant impression, as I feel compelled to do whenever I’m speaking to Americans, and got him what he needed.

Once back home we loaded up for the beach, crossed the road and dug in for the day, with another stiff breeze threatening our brollies.

Hey, look there’s Ryan!

Sitting, resting, reading, lazing, sunbathing and chilling were just a few of the activities undertaken until 12.30 when I walked back to the house to pick up lunch. In a radical departure from earlier days I had a salad and not a sandwich. It had walnuts and cranberries in it and was really exotic. A few days on the beach and I think I’m Peter Ustinov.

As had happened every day so far, just after lunch the direction of the wind turned 180 degrees. You could set your watch by it. So we had to move the umbrellas and dig them in again pointing the other way. Such a hectic day!

Drastic measures were being taken to tan the bits that needed tanning but cover the bits which had already been burned to a frazzle. Louise had sellotaped a couple of brillo pads to her nipples to prevent further burning.

I read a lot in the afternoon and ate an unfortunate amount of crisps. By doing so I made friends with this chap who by the end of the afternoon was pretty much tame and sat on my knee. Oh hey, there’s Ryan again.

He liked crisps almost as much as I do.

By 4pm the burn was becoming too much and we wandered back to the house. The rule is that no matter how early we leave the beach to get ready, the departure time will still be the same. The time taken for readying expands to fill the time available.

During the readying we heard a large bang from our bathroom. It turned out that Louise had fallen in the shower bruising things unmentionable here. Add that to her burnt boobs, cold sore and the cut on her foot that she picked up from the door as she had entered the bathroom and she was entering the territory of having to be put down to prevent any further suffering.

Tonight’s dinner was to be at an Olive Garden, at which we pointed the sat nav now and set off. Twenty minutes later we arrived at South Tamiami Trail. Our wait for a table was to be twenty minutes, but they softened the blow with a half price voucher for the bar.

Louise had a red wine, Dad a G&T and sodas for everyone else.

Once seated we browsed the familiar menu whilst we waited for the salad and garlic bread. Our server had asked if anyone wanted soup. After ten minutes of laughter and scathing sarcasm she understood that we preferred the salad. To be honest salad and bread sticks are the main reason we come here.

Our server noticed that all the bread had gone before she had finished putting the basket down on the table so she went and got some more. I can confirm I ate too many of them for my own good.

I then had Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo

Emily & Mum had Lasagna. This is pretty much Emily’s favourite food on the planet.

Louise had her “usual” of four cheese Ziti but this time with meatballs.

You may notice it was meatball singular.

Dad had Chicken Marsala.

Everything was superb as it always tends to be here.

As we were getting into our eating stride by this stage of the trip, desserts were done too.

Emily & I had Tiramisu but I’m sure CVS do a cream for that.

Mum had Apple Pie Thing (that’s what my notes say!)

Dad and Louise had chocolate cake.

They were all as good as they look.

With more wine, two lattes and a cappuccino we were confirmed as greedy gits and asked to pay just £135 plus tip for all of that.

We wandered across the parking lot to a nearby Publix for, you guessed it, bits. I noted another potion was acquired and Dad bought a white toothpaste as he didn’t like the blue one he was using. It was only after checking out that we pointed out that one was blue too.

Back to the car now and we drove to Siesta Key village and parked up for a wander around the shops. We didn’t go for a drink anywhere as our bodies could not accept any form of food or drink at this stage and Emily had left her ID at the house.

We were back home at 9.30 and asleep just after 10 with a bit more reading done.

Till the next time…..


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To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Nine April 19th 2017

Sooooo…another beach day to write about……O…K……this week at the beach is truly testing my ability to make very similar days sound different. You’d think after all these years of stretching the same half a dozen gags over all these trip reports I’d be fine. Let’s see how we go.

We were up early at around 7am. We had arranged to Facetime Rebecca and Louise’s Mum at 12 back home. Having dragged my tired sack of bones from my bed to chat, once that was done I went straight back for a bit. There was no theme park queue to be at the front of after all.

Once up for a second time, guess where I went? Yep, the supermarket. I was picking up the usual stuff for lunch but I also needed a book. I don’t get much time to read in real life but on holiday I tend to devour books at an alarming rate. However, it would appear that the population of Siesta Key are either illiterate or all own Kindles as it took a very long search to find a shop that sold them and then the choice was pretty poor. Having picked up a fairly standard holiday thriller I returned home and got us over to the beach at around 10.30.

There was a lot of wind today, but with all this rich food we were eating, that wasn’t too much of a surprise. After such a strenuous morning we all rested until around 12, avoiding direct sunlight and trying to keep our umbrellas from blowing down the beach. Emily and I went for a wander up the shoreline.

I’m not sure how far we walked but it was the furthest we’d walked since we last saw a theme park.

We encountered some strange and wonderful beasts, native to the area…

These are probably called the orange billed black heads or similar…

This one, probably has a latin name such as hugioscruffygit.

Whereas this creature I think was called something like Mutton As Lamb With Cheesewire Up her Arse.

 

When we reached this it felt like a natural place to stop so we did.

We had a sit down for a few minutes taking in the smell of our skin crisping nicely in the midday sun.

Then we walked all the way back.

Emily resumed her place under her umbrella and I nipped back to the house to get our lunch. We endured doing lots of nothing for the rest of the afternoon. There was literally nothing worthy of a photo or me making a note of it. Some might say that’s an ideal afternoon.

At around 4.45 we headed back to the house and everyone rested and readied whilst I made some notes. As I opened up the camera to look back at our very eventful day, I noticed it had ever so slightly completely broken.  The large LCD display on the back looked like a kaleidoscope. Having experienced a very similar issue at Vero Beach some years ago I diagnosed it as having sand inside it and being irreparable. It did still take photos, as this classic proves.

But clearly a new camera was required.

Once everyone was ready we headed to a Best Buy which I had located online. I left everyone in the car and made a very swift trip inside to pick up the cheapest point and shoot camera I could find. The Canon Powershot was the one I walked out with, having exchanged it for $119. I have to say, the photos from here on in are much better. All these blurry ones weren’t my fault after all!!

We stopped for gas and filled the car with $30. Not actual dollar bills you understand. I swapped that amount for an appropriate liquid. Tonight we were following our sat nav to Applebees.

It was just a five-minute wait to be seated at our table….

and this was done by a young girl with EMO tendencies and an impressive fringe which made me all sorts of nostalgic.

As we perused the menu, drinks were ordered…

Emily had a Blue Long Island Iced Tea…

Louise had a Sangria…

and clearly I now had a camera that worked!!

We shared some Mozzarella Sticks for appetisers…

Then we entree’d as follows….

Me – South Western Steak Salad…

Emily – Burger

Louise – Steak with Garlic Mash and Broccoli

Dad – Chicken and Shrimp

Mum – Who clearly couldn’t wait for me to take my photo….a cheesey chicken thing. I’m sure that’s exactly what it said on the menu..

More cocktails followed and I ordered the Deep Fried Apple Cake thing…

Everyone else said they didn’t want any but I asked for extra spoons and sure enough I had to fight everyone to the death to stop them eating more than me.

The bill was $135 plus tip. Our way home was only interrupted by our daily pharmacy stop, this time at CVS. I didn’t make a note of what we bought other than “more bloody ointments and potions”. Our lovely beach house was beginning to look like a classroom at Hogwarts.

We excelled ourselves tonight by being in bed at 9.30.

Till the next time……

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