Tiers, Tears and My Third Trip in a Year

Hello again, it’s been a while since we had a normal, non-trip report post. Much has happened, most of it unpleasant and I won’t be going into a lot of detail about that stuff here.

All I will say is that most of it hasn’t sunk in yet I’m sure. We all feel like we are in some surreal alternative dimension with regular attacks of grief and disbelief.

We miss Mary and my Dad every single day and I think that’s all there is to say about that.

Anyway, before this gets too dark and depressing I wanted to clear something up. I was inundated with a question from one reader last week, desperate to know if the work we were having done out the back ever got completed.

Well, I could write a six thousand word post on this subject, covering the trials and tribulations we have been through, not to mention the enormous expense, but to cut to the chase, yes it is done!

We haven’t had a chance to “tart it up” yet with pleasantries like plants, flowers, lights and furniture mainly as it has rained non-stop here for about six weeks now, but you get the idea….

Before….from above…

and from below…

During (these give me PTSD)…

And after….

The journey to those three new tiers where once was grass resulted in more than three tears being shed. One of these days who knows, we may be able to remove the covers from the fire pit (top tier) and table and chairs (middle tier) that have barely been used in the two summers we have had them!

Being distracted by the declining health of our respective parents played a significant part in the job drifting a bit and the first set of workmen (yes, we eventually fired them), taking the piss a bit. The second lot were excellent, turning up every day at 8.30 on the dot, mob-handed and got the thing sorted in under two weeks. It only took them as long as two weeks because they had to undo most of what the other chancers had done and do it properly.

We are delighted with the results, just not so much the extended time to do it and added costs.

With that boxed off, I have just this one post before we go away again on another very indulgent trip to Florida. It is odd behaviour for us to go again so soon, but I suppose this is what the mortality and passing of close loved ones does. We are all definitely in a weird state and we’re just doing what feels closest to right, for right now.

The plan was pretty much sorted and dictated by another odd/new thing, the inclusion of a Disney cruise, so the rest of the schedule just fell into place around that. As tradition dictates, here is a rough outline of our plans. I am very satisfied with them, mainly as I managed to get a couple of “hen’s teeth” in at the last minute, in the shape of O’hana and a Fantasmic Dinner Package. Doesn’t it feel good to secure stuff like that when you’ve trying for weeks and weeks to get them?

If you didn’t know, the travelling party is me, Louise and Emily.

Monday 9th January

We fly tomorrow (still sounds weird and unreal), from Manchester with Virgin. We have for the first time booked Premium both ways.

We pick up our car from Alamo at the airport and drive to our first accommodation, Caribbean Beach Resort. This was chosen almost exclusively for the Skyliner option from there. We wanted to stay on-site, but didn’t want to pay for a Deluxe for the bulk of the trip and this option gives us car-free access to the Boardwalk area.

Tuesday 10th January

You know we will be in Magic Kingdom as it is our first full day. At the risk of becoming a bore, I have made a reservation at the Cheesecake Factory for 7.30pm for some Nachos.

Wednesday 11th January

Some resting, and the weather forecast looks OK with temperatures above 70 degrees, so we may be able to do some pool time in the morning. After many, many weeks of struggling to do so, over Christmas I managed to book us a Fantasmic Dinner Package at Mama Melrose (I would have taken one in any of the eateries) at 3.45, just to get us into the reserved seating for Fantasmic. With it just returning, we suspect queues for it will be long and this avoids that horror.

So we will pop into the park for that meal and kill a few hours until we need to take our seats around 7.30pm.

Thursday 12th January

It’s an Epcot day, focussing on Future World. We have plans to go and see Yeeha Bob again at Port Orleans in the evening so we will be leaving the park around tea time to do so. Drink may be involved.

Friday 13th January

Not due to any superstitions about the date, we are planning a full rest day today, anticipating some mild hangovers. I do have a park reservation just in case we want to bother, but the evening sees a return to Il Mulino at The Swan and hopefully a few hours at Jellyrolls.

Saturday 14th January

A full theme park day at Hollywood Studios today. Hopefully, Emily will get to do Rise for the first time. I know a Saturday at DHS may be crowdtastic but we’ll play it by ear.

Sunday 15th January

Another park day at Animal Kingdom with a dinner reservation at Yak & Yeti. We will need to pack to leave Caribbean Beach as tomorrow…..

Monday 16th January to Friday 20th January

We board our cruise.

Friday 20th January

We leave the cruise early doors and head for our final resort of the trip, our old favourite the Yacht Club. We plan to do World Showcase in Epcot in the afternoon and evening with some fireworks to finish things off. Dinner is booked at Via Napoli.

Saturday 21st January

Hollywood Studios again today, mopping up anything the crowds have denied us thus far.

Sunday 22nd January

Magic Kingdom of course for the last full day. Along with the aforementioned Fantasmic Dinner Package booking, I was very pleased to get an elusive reservation at O’haha around 8pm.

Monday 23rd January

We check out, kill some time at Disney Springs no doubt and head to the airport for our flight home.

I do have some trepidation about the WDW parks after our experience last January, but I am hoping things are a little more settled, with less “catch up” travel following the pandemic and Genie+ having a year under its belt to sort itself out. I see that from Jan 1st, the change to only allow Genie+ bookings on the day will be in effect so that may help?

Anyway, we have much to do today, starting with me checking in for our flights as soon as I post this. Louise has been really ill this week with a flu-type thing so the packing and prep have been a struggle. Hopefully, she is through the worst now and she doesn’t forget anything of mine or there’ll be trouble!

As ever I’ll use the Mkingdon Facebook page to share stuff along the way, and I’ll see you back here in late January.

Till the next time……

5 thoughts on “Tiers, Tears and My Third Trip in a Year

  1. Do you have a football field in your back garden like Rod Stewart?
    The work done is fantastic would love to have that space around me. Enjoy your trip hope you have great weather.

  2. Garden looks lovely. I hope we get a fab summer for you to enjoy it! Your trip is exactly the trip that is on my bucket list. My deepest condolences to You, Louise, and the family. Life can be so cruel sometimes! Enjoy every minute of your hols, have a safe flight. Life is for living after all so they say! xx

  3. Oh thank you for the garden update, I feel very proud to have been the person who asked 😉

    Have a great holiday. I really hope the crowd levels are better. We flew out a year ago today, expecting low crowd levels and as we both know it wasn’t!!!

    Have a great time and will look forward to hearing all about it

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