Look, I Am Your Father…

Happy Father’s Day to me! I have awoken to some lovely presents and social media messages from Emily and Rebecca, along with my first card from Freddie. I would spend the day with my feet up, but the shopping arrives shortly, the dogs need walking and we have a new tumble dryer arriving later. If that isn’t a homage to Dads everywhere I don’t know what is.

It won’t surprise you to know that most of my cards and the photos posted online by the girls are WDW related. Our lives are catalogued by a series of photographs stood in front of a lot of the same stuff and I don’t see that in any way as any sort of a bad thing.

I would also like to wish my Dad a Happy Father’s Day, but I always feel a bit silly doing it online as he lives next door and it would just be rude not to pop in and say it in person, so I’ll do that. Thanks Dad for everything you do, have done and will do, as I need some DIY advice again but I’ll wait until you’ve opened your card and present.

Last week also saw a birthday in our household as Bean turned two.

It’s safe to say it wasn’t my idea to get another dog, and in some ways she makes my life harder work, but she’s a little love and we’re stuck with her now and she with us.

As the girls have had the nerve to grow up into adults I now find myself being Dad to Bean and Oli and I’m not sure if that is in any way easier than raising humans. I’m still clearing up poo, breaking up jealous squabbles and taking them to emo based gigs. Oli and Bean are all over Paramore and My Chemical Romance.

So to all Dad’s out there, well done. Keep up the good work, and produce the best little humans you can. In a world where people on Love Island become celebrities, making a sex tape is a route into a multi-billion dollar career and Coldplay sell millions of albums, it is up to you to show them the way.

In reality, like me, you will bumble and stumble your way through it, making loads of mistakes and wrong decisions as I continue to do and just hope that they pick out your best bits and ignore the rest. Oh and take them to Walt Disney World as often as is humanly possible. They’ll turn out all the better for it and so will you.

Here endeth the patronising Dad advice. Right I have too much to do to be rambling on here, that’ll have to do for this week.

Till the next time….

Toddler Transport Tackled

I don’t want to calculate how many blog posts I have written since this nonsense started in November 2009. It’s too early on a Sunday for that.  It’s a good number I imagine. In that time seldom have I had a reaction as I did to last week’s post! Forget writing novels, doing trip reports or any family event. Chat about transporting babies around and my comments blow up. I love it.

Thank you so much to everyone who responded to last week’s post. Not only was there a lot of it, but the quality was tremendous. You have sorted us right out, educated me on my woefully poor thinking on some points and I can now say we are well and truly sorted.

It became clear very quickly that the best way to go would be to take our own gear. Many folks suggested very good rental options for strollers, but the overwhelming theme was that having the stroller with you at the airport at both ends was the only way to go. Beyond that, I even got many suggestions for the stroller to go for. In the end, we went for this one which arrived this week….

Freddie popped round to test drive it and gave it his seal of approval. For anyone considering a similar purchase, it is an iSafe Visual 3 Apple Slice Three Wheeler Stroller. Not that it had any bearing on the buying decision, but it has a slot in the hood for an iPad so that when he is chilled out and lay back he could watch his favourite programmes. We added a rain cover to it as we’ll encounter some for sure and we can use it whilst the stroller is parked up to protect against any sudden down pour whilst we are off doing stuff.

We will also be taking Freddie’s car seat with us, and my  original plan of taking a bin bag to put it in was upgraded with this recommendation.

This is a Baby Caboodle Car Seat Travel Bag.

It is, as you can probably see just a huge rucksack. Whilst no competitor to Ryan, it is impressive in its size. Should you ever need to dispose of a dead body then this may be the buy for you.

Look at the size of it….

So Freddie’s transportation needs are taken care of, thank you dear reader. I can’t say I am really looking forward to collapsing that stroller and getting it onto the tram into the parks. That of course will be Tom’s job but I’ll be watching in a supportive manner. Freddie makes that small hardship worthwhile of course.  He’s a little ever smiling superstar and I can’t wait to show him our special place. He literally has no idea what is coming his way.

All of these planning details are being nicely ticked off as we edge ever closer to departure. Next of course will be our FastPass+ stuff, which, being inferior off-site folks this time, will only be done at 30 days out. I suspect some tough choices will need to be made and some rapid changes to the plan may be required to maximise our options, but I am ready for this challenge.

I paid the villa balance last week. It is one of the few purchases of that magnitude that I pay for with glee (and money). I took the opportunity to revisit the villa online to get me through a turgid few days at work and if you wish to as well then fill your boots by clicking the image below.

Emerald Island Vacation Rental

Is it only me that does that looking at the villa thing in times of need?

We also sorted out the doggy day care for Oli and Bean last week. Our nephew Jack will be staying at our house with the demanding duo. Between now and departure I need to write down all of their quirks, habits, routines and foibles. If I start right now, I may be able to email it to him from the plane. They are a cosseted, spoiled and special couple of dogs and he will have his work cut out for sure.

Is it August yet?

Till the next time…..

Planes, Babies and Automobiles

I have a recurring dream, or more accurately, nightmare. It probably originates from the huge sense of responsibility I feel when planning a WDW trip for everyone I allow to join me.

It goes something like this.

It is the end of a Florida holiday and somehow, for reasons that never become clear, we’ve done nothing. None of my plans have come to fruition, and we are about to head for the airport to go home. The feeling of having had a holiday slip through my fingers turns my stomach and brings me out in cold sweats.

It is a subliminal reminder to make the most of every second of these holidays of course and is probably some important message about life in general that I am missing the point of. I only mention it as I had a week off last week and I sit here on the cusp of returning to work feeling exactly like that. It vanished in a puff of smoke before I knew it was happening. I didn’t have any plans for my week off and that was intentional. Well, my plans were to do as little as possible to be honest, and bearing that in mind it was a success and yet I still feel that I’m only now ready for the time off and I need another week to do it properly.

I did manage to finish the West Wing and felt actual grief that it was over. I think I was one of the last few people on the planet not to have watched it, so if you are one of the others then do give it a go.  If you don’t fall in love with Martin Sheen then you should see a doctor.

We’re in June now somehow and this holiday hurtles towards us at great speed. I took the opportunity last week to get one of the final pieces of the jigsaw sorted by booking the hire car. As ever, I used US Rent a Car, mainly as you can secure it with a small deposit and pay fully a few weeks before. With the size of our party I have of course booked a mini van thing. When we get sent to the row of cars to choose from we’ll be looking for the one with most room of course as we have six adults and a car seat to cram in plus all our luggage. Those journeys to the airport and back are always hot and sweaty fun with suitcases on knees.

I think the plan is to take a car seat with us rather than rent one from the car hire folks. I’d appreciate any advice from those having done it but this seems to make sense for a few reasons…

  1. We will need it in the taxi to the airport at this end and on the journey home
  2. It costs an arm and leg per day to hire one
  3. You can’t be sure of the quality of whatever you rent

My thinking is that we will have Freddie in his normal car seat in the taxi to Manchester airport and then once at the airport we will label it up and send it through with the luggage. Am I missing something here which makes that a bad plan?

Maybe this is the answer? 🙂

Stroller wise I think we’re still in two minds. One option is to not take one and at the airport poor Tom will transport Freddie around in a harness, risking permanent damage to his back as Freddie is going to be a bundle by that time. We would then either use the one provided in the villa or buy a suitable one from a supermarket for day-to-day use. The other option would be to take a lightweight one with us and keep it until we get to boarding at the gate. I can see the benefits of that as Freddie can have a kip before we get on the plane if he needs it and we’d have it from baggage reclaim at Orlando too.  Hmm, not sure on that one. What is your advice dear reader?

Steer us in the right direction please if you have handled these logistical challenges.

Having had two gigs this weekend, resulting in two very late nights I am going to sign off now and rest my weary bones. As I type this nonsense, I am enduring Love Island as Emily is catching up with the previous episodes in preparation for the new series tomorrow. It is probably best that I don’t start expressing my views on this programme as I have to go to work tomorrow and I’d end up being short of time. My blood pressure may also suffer.

Have a good week.

Till the next time…..