Handmaid’s Tales and Grandparent Fails

This is happening a little later than normal as we’ve had a bit of a lazy day. Normally, weekend days are just a series of tasks and chores that need to be done, but today we’ve ignored them so far, and spent our time binge watching stuff.  We are currently knee-deep in The Handmaid’s Tale. We like to be right on the cutting edge of the latest releases! Next, we move on to Bless This House.

There’s a tip run that should have happened as we have our old blinds and a microwave which exploded spectacularly during the week to get rid of, but they sit outside our back door making our house look like Steptoe & Son. It’ll do no harm. I mean, I’ll go tomorrow when it’ll be nice and quiet…..on a Bank Holiday Monday, right?

Speaking of nice and quiet, this week Disney announced that Hollywood Studios will be opening at 6am from the 29th of August for a few days. That’s our first day in Florida, so technically, with the typical first morning wake up in the early AM, we could be there for that. Not a chance. We shall we making our way to the Magic Kingdom which will hopefully have the crowd levels of an Accrington Stanley reserve game. I think that time is only for on-site folks anyway, but regardless, down that path lies a perfect example of how not to enjoy a theme park.

I suspect DHS will be carnage for our entire two weeks, but we will strategically dip in and out to hopefully do stuff and specifically Toy Story Land, hoping that will be quieter than our last trip and we shall retreat gracefully to somewhere else should we encounter the cast of Ghandi.

Our countdown as of this morning sits at 114 days, so two weeks today we shall be gliding gracefully into double digits. Bring it on.

In other news, wedding plans continue to be made. Cake tastings happened this week. That I have to say has been one of my highlights for obvious reason. Less interesting (to me) conversations are ongoing about bridesmaids dresses etc and I think there’s a suit try on looming on the horizon. That’s all fine, but it’s no cake tasting is it?

Louise also had some good news this week. Ages ago, she went through the application process to return to study, this time, to move into midwifery. After weeks and weeks of waiting she heard this week that she had been offered a place. It’s a mighty fine achievement as the competition for places is very tough, so all things being equal, on our return from Orlando she will be back at Uni, at UCLAN, learning how to get babies out of women. I think that’s the correct technical term.

To finish the brief trip through our week just gone, I shall leave you with a masterclass in grand parenting. Yesterday, whilst Rebecca and Tom went to the cake shop to return with the samples I hoovered up, we were looking after Freddie. Louise nipped out to the shops to buy him more stuff we could spoil him with and I was in sole charge. We were playing, and he was doing his usual thing of wandering around the house fiddling with stuff and pressing every button he could find. I was with him of course, and as he made his way to the washing machine I thought I’d get my phone out and take a picture.

Here it is.

The button he was to press one second later actually started the washing machine with a loud whoosh of water. It shocked Freddie so much that he jumped backwards and in complete slapstick style landed bum first into the dog’s full bowl of water.

His little face was a picture of shock and horror as he sat there waist deep in cold water. I whipped him out immediately of course, which was not easy when laughing so much. He was stripped off and wrapped up cozy on the couch watching Paw Patrol by the time Louise got back a few minutes later.

There’s no need to involve social services.

Till the next time…..

Veggie Plight Sandwich

I am pleased to report that I have been strong this week and no further ADRs have been made. I applaud my own restraint.

One change and planning consideration on this trip is that Emily is now vegetarian and I was very proud of myself for remembering to order her a vegetarian meal on the flight! She has been busily scouring the menus of our favourite haunts looking at how well she will be catered for. Most places of course accommodate veggies very well, but a couple don’t seem to have recognised them as a customer base. Teak doesn’t seem to offer much to them (we’re still going though, she can have a salad!) and the biggest sacrifice Emily will be making for the sake of animal kind is to miss out on the lasagne at Olive Garden.

This dish is Emily’s most favourite thing on a plate on the planet and there is no veggie version.  So if any of you are seasoned Orlando veggies I am sure she will be delighted to hear of any tips, recommendations and advice.

One new place we have added to the plan is Sweet Tomatoes. We’ve heard good things about it for years and yet never been. Recognising that this place is very likely to be appropriate for Emily’s veggie needs, it looks like it would still offer enough stuff to interest the carnivores in the party. A lunch here is on the cards which means that if any of us are feeling meat deprived we can make up for it during the evening meal!

It’s been a bit of a busy work week despite its four-day nature. Louise worked the bank holiday Monday and has been doing the same every day including this weekend. That’s a tough stretch. I mean it’s very tough that I have had to do the washing and tidy the house completely unaided this weekend. I have also done a few finishing touches to the bedroom, glossing some bits that were added post decorator to remedy some of the snag list stuff we noticed. I hate doing it but I do seem to have managed not to destroy the entire room which is always a positive when I pick up a tool of any kind.

I know I haven’t shared any photos yet. I will but we are still waiting for some things to get it 100% complete. Our blinds, ordered in early April, are still being made. Their delivery and installation is something I am very much looking forward to as currently, with nothing up at the windows, the now very bright mornings are restricting my ability to sleep. I crave some darkness.

We also have some bedroom furniture on order and that isn’t due until late May. This staggers me. What are they doing, growing the trees from scratch? Anyway, once all that is in place I’ll do some photos so you can all see what I’ve been moaning about all these weeks. The room looks a million times better than it did of course and we are happy with it. The spare room is suffering a little, as there is still a load of stuff dumped in there that needs to either thrown or found a new home for. Why do your possessions always outnumber your capacity to store them?

On Thursday (I think it was Thursday anyway) we all went to a wedding evening at the venue for Rebecca and Tom’s wedding. It was set up to show what it would look like when properly decorated etc and there were a few suppliers flogging their wares. We were entertained by a close up magician, which was handy, as if he’d been far away we wouldn’t have been able to see what he was doing, and discovered wonders that might be available to us such as a doughnut wall. Yep, that’s a thing and I suspect it may be a thing at Rebecca’s wedding too. Whilst we were there we were given a tour of the bridal suites on offer and Rebecca chose the one she (and Tom) wanted. Tom was off watching the Avengers film so he’ll be staying wherever he is told. Not that his presence on the night would have made a huge difference to the decision making process of course.

A few things are beginning to get booked in now, with the make up lady being the latest. I hope she can manage my complex skin tones. It’s a complex business this wedding lark. Luckily, we have years of experience of planning complex family based activities and Rebecca specialises in a list. I can’t think where she gets that from.

Time to go, I have dogs to walk, and then I am on Freddie minding duty later this afternoon whilst Tom watches End Game again, this time using the excuse of taking Rebecca with him!

Till the next time…..

A Tool And His Money…

There are a few good things about these weekly blogs. Often I search my blog to find out when something happened when my memory fails, and then there’s the weekly amusement of seeing people still coming to my blog after searching to see if Olly Murs had a hair transplant.

Go on, google it, you’ll see.

One downside is that it is an almost permanent reminder of all the times I talk absolute nonsense or tell fibs. It was only a couple of weeks ago when I was justifying to myself how our plan to go this year would be fine as we’d do it really cheap. We wouldn’t be doing any ADRs and we’d be in a cheap as chips villa just north of Miami.

So, last week I booked two ADRs. One reason for that was that I got a bit over excited that I actually could. Booking so close to the trip comes with perks like that. The first ADR I blame on Freddie. Clearly, you can’t go to WDW with a toddler and not do a character meal, right? So Chef Mickeys was added. Rebecca made that choice on his behalf and we’re both pretending that it really is for Freddie when we both know different.

That will of course be an expensive breakfast, but, all the main characters will be there and it will be a civilised and sugar filled way to meet them without the hassle and queues in the parks. See, I can justify most WDW related expenses.

That was going to be it. We have a long, long list of eateries that we wish to go to and none of them are on site. So, the reasoning behind our second ADR booking is frankly a little more shaky. I think the best I can do is, I wanted to go.

It came about in a chat during a Rebecca, Tom and Freddie visit. I can’t remember the exact details of it, but it involved food, specifically large amounts of food, mashed potato and deep-fried chicken. Anyway, a day later this happened.

Congratulations!

Your dining reservation is set.

Trail’s End Restaurant Dinner

Sunday, September 1, 2019(6:25 PM, Dinner)

I appreciate that is a bit of a random selection. We have history there though and have loved it each time we have dined there. The journey there, if done by boat from the Contemporary or Magic Kingdom is delightful too. Freddie will love the boat ride I’m sure and seeing the huge horses at the camp ground too. See, any expense you like and I can justify it. And, mashed potato.

That day is an official rest day on the plan. That’s right, I have a day by day plan already, what of it? You know how our rest days go, so we’ll probably be getting restless by mid-afternoon so we can get ourselves ready, head to the Magic Kingdom and get the boat over from there. After eating, assuming I am not close to an over indulgence related coma, who knows, we may scoot back over to the Magic Kingdom for an evening stroll around the twinkly lit delights. There’s something vert different about the parks in the early evening darkness and that applies especially to the Magic Kingdom. These types of visits come without the pressure to ride anything, and just allows time for a bit of rose smelling and lovely memory making stuff like the dance party over in Tomorrowland.

It will be Labor Day weekend so if the crowds are too heavy it matters not, we can leave them to it and take our food babies home.

It also allows me to work off everything I just consumed by walking around for twenty minutes. That’s how it works right?

I think that’s it for ADRs though. Honest. We don’t have any room for them to be honest and of course we are on a budget. The only other place that tempted me was Via Napoli. We had lunch there last year and the pizza is sensational. They do a counter service though so we may grab a slice from there. Confession time. It won’t be a bloody slice, it will be several. Seriously, who just has one slice of pizza?

So we’re settled into the countdown now, and indeed, have a good old-fashioned visual of that on our fridge. It’s the small things….

Till the next time……

Perfectly Planning In Every Way

I tend to be excellent at being average. I have never excelled at any sport, which with my physique must be a shock to you all, my career does not deserve closer investigation or praise and musically I am proficient and efficient without being spectacular. On darker days I am less pragmatic and spend time assessing how woeful I am at lots of stuff to be honest.

However, when it comes to putting a Florida holiday into practice I am peerless, outstanding and just totally awesome in every way. I am Mkingdon….hear me roar!

From having no intentions or plans for a trip this year at lunchtime last Saturday, by close of play this Wednesday the whole thing was researched, booked and written down in a plan. I am the veritable well oiled machine in this regard, and believe me, my machine needs some oiling…..whatever that means.

I had spotted our flight last Saturday during my first search to be honest. It just had to wait for Louise’s holiday approval to happen before buttons could be pressed. It took almost all of Monday for that to happen, with a hilarious few moments of panic after Louise had told me I was OK to book, only then to be told a mistake had been made and she couldn’t have the holiday. Such fun. All was well, and she doesn’t have to stay at home with the dogs after all.

So as sense and tradition normally dictates, the flight is the first piece of the puzzle and that was slotted into place on Monday evening (ish)….work may read this! We are flying on August the 28th with Thomas Cook from Manchester. It’s an unusual one in that we don’t depart until 14.40. That means we don’t touch down until 7pm and the drive to the villa, already interesting with a toddler, Louise on her flight drugs and everyone else hot and tired, will be made more entertaining with it being dark, but we will be sat navved up as well as having my unerring sense of direction and years of Orlando driving experience. I bet it is raining too!

The benefit of that later departure is that we won’t need to be up at 3am to allow for female pre-airport readying. We will only need to be at the airport around 10am which is much more civilised. If Louise asks what time she needs to be ready, then it’s still 5am, OK?

Booking with only 140 days or so to go means that the seat selection was slim pickings and we are sitting nowhere of note in cattle class. Freddie will have his own seat though. He may be under two years old when we fly (by about eight weeks) but nobody deserves to have him on their knee for two eight-hour flights. The investment will be well worth the expense I am sure.

Price wise, we did OK. Kayak and similar sites were showing that flight as low as £330 but by the time you have added in your seat selection (I know you don’t need to, but with Freddie with us we need to be all together so that everyone else can pitch in to make sure I don’t get disturbed whilst watching my films), and something bigger than hand luggage it was another £100 on top of that, with a couple of hundred quid for Freddie’s ticket. Freddie having his own seat does of course mean he has full luggage allowance too which will come in handy. For direct flights in (late) August, anything in that price range is good enough.

I had to check with Thomas Cook before booking online as it wouldn’t let me buy a seat for Freddie if I entered his real date of birth. I had to make him a year older and then contact them afterwards to amend the booking. I didn’t do anything silly like phone them, their web chat worked a treat.

So that is the moment that we knew we were going and a little celebratory group chat ensued.

I had been browsing the endless stream of villas since the weekend. My main conclusion from this exercise was that someone needs to build a decent villa search website as the majority of them are absolute pants. Over the weekend and into Monday a shortlist emerged, and some quotes were requested for villas featured on sites where you can’t get a price without contacting someone. Is it 1997?

That whittled down the list a little further. Our requirements were important yet brief –

2 Master Suites

A decent pool

WiFi

An OK location.

The latter was the one thing I knew we would probably need to compromise on with our lack of proper budget. I usually treat villa locations down the US27 or near Championsgate with unworthy derision as I really like the Formosa Gardens area but these more distant developments would all be acceptable for this trip.

The quotes bore out the wisdom of this as quotes for villas in those areas were significantly cheaper, either by coincidence or not, I’m not sure.

I couldn’t decide and bite the bullet to book. The main factors here are typically that you always think are just one more search away from the perfect villa and of course, it’s fun to be looking for one. So the villa was actually the last thing to get booked. Whilst that was percolating I did the other more simple things.

Car hire was pretty easy. We always tend to use USRentaCar (not an ad, but I am absolutely open to them paying me money to promote them). I did some due diligence by using the Travel Supermarket comparison thing but anything cheaper than my usual car hire place was for off airport pick up and/or from brands I have never heard of. So a seven-seater mini van was secured with a £50 deposit, at a price of £499 with all relevant insurances etc. We only ever have one driver as most of the party are too young and Louise is barely allowed to drive in the UK after her recent run of prangs and of course I love Diet Coke. We are using Alamo as it happens this time.

Now, I had absolutely no need to book theme park tickets at this stage, but with some super low deposit schemes knocking around, why not right? Disney put ticket prices up three times a week so best to strike whilst my iron is tepid. Again, a look around the internet confirmed pretty much everyone was within a few quid of each other for the 14 day ultimate, so with that knowledge, again I reverted to one of the places I’ve used a few times, Floridatix (just to say once more, if you are reading this and want to pay me money to promote you, hit me up…as the kids might say), as they offer a £10pp deposit thingy. These bookings were flowing like water at this stage. I was on fire.

So by close of play Tuesday, we were metaphorically well on our way. I was still waiting for a few villa quotes to come back, so I did a little more searching, but it was becoming clear that one was emerging as the best option for us. It ticked all of our boxes, the owner was very responsive, he had a Facebook page with what appear to be genuine reviews, I could see the address of the villa and do some basic online checks and overall it just felt right. He was the only owner to come back to me after quoting to see what I thought and if I was fixed up too.

This is the villa we are using this time.

It’s on Sandy Ridge which sounds like a problem that you may go to the clinic with, but it looks lovely, and we should be 25 minutes from WDW. Google maps tells me it is 22 minutes so with traffic that’s tolerable.

So with the exchange of a booking form and some cash, I was done before the end of Wednesday, even with taking my sweet time selecting a villa.

Of course, whilst doing all of this, I have drafted the first day by day plan and made a list of all the eateries we want to get to. Not bad whilst at the same time remaining vaguely competent at my proper job and project managing home improvements/disaster scenarios.

What became clear to me shortly after last week’s blog was that my sanctimonious gloating that we wouldn’t be stupid enough to do a WDW trip right when Galaxy’s Edge is opening was unwise as it now turns out it opens on our first full day in Florida. This just proves that my recent post on this subject was all bluster and distraction, trying to make me feel better about not having a trip planned for this year.

I have no idea how we will cope with that event and those crowds. I am trying to tell myself that this, along with Food & Wine, will spread the crowds out allowing us to easily get FastPasses for the stuff we couldn’t last time, namely Flights Of Passage and Slinky Dog. Our DHS days will need to be approached with suitably adjusted expectations. We will FastPass non Star Wars stuff and hope to just be able to wander around Galaxy’s Edge a bit, and ride something if we can.

This is a weird trip in that, in all of these years we have been going, we have never had a concrete plan to return the year after. We of course nearly always have but that was always something that was decided later. Knowing that we already have plans for 2020 for my 50th birthday trip, we can tell ourselves that it matters not if we miss something. We will indeed be back.

For fans of me pissing and moaning about our home improvements, normal service will return next week I’m sure. We are nearly done with just some blinds and furniture to arrive. It has broken me and if I have nothing else to write about next week it might break you too.

Till the next time…..

New Non Surprising News?

Sat staring at the electronic blank page of this post I’m not sure how or where to start with this week’s effort. I suppose in the natural turn of events I would have entertained you with the latest set of tragedies and woes in our remake of The Money Pit, where I, as a slightly older, heavier Tom Hanks laugh maniacally as I stare into the abyss where my bedroom and will to live used to be.

I’m sure you’ve all been looking forward to that all week. In reality, we are through the worst now. The decorator comes tomorrow, the carpet on Friday and the electrician should be returning to do the stuff he couldn’t do last time due to issues with our wiring.

Then we have to choose some blinds when the blind man comes on Tuesday night. I don’t think he has issues with his vision though. It’s a ridiculously long road for the doing up of just one average sized bedroom, but we don’t tend to do things by halves in that department.

So yesterday, Louise and I were out delivering some quantitative easing into the stagnant carpet and furniture economy and something weird happened. It had been brewing all day, being first mentioned by Louise as we were tidying and waiting for the carpet measuring man and Asda delivery. I dismissed it as playful banter at first, but the topic kept returning to our conversation all day as we wandered from shop to shop and by tea time, it had moved from fanciful nonsense to almost a reality.

An online chat including the girls in the conversation happened to confirm everything and it’s fair to say they were very shocked by this turn of events. What am I on about? Well, we now we sit staring down the barrel of a Florida holiday this summer when I would have put more money on my hair growing back just yesterday.

Related image

I know you probably won’t be, but I’m in shock. Mainly as it was Louise’s idea and secondly that we’ve found a way to juggle stuff around and pay for it. If negotiating Brexit were as important to politicians as WDW trips are to us, we’d have cracked that nonsense in an afternoon.

So we have our dates mapped out. The complexity of agreeing on dates is more challenging than a moon landing. The NHS give out holidays to staff like gruel to workhouse kids so we have to wait until tomorrow for Louise to get official permission before we can press the button. I have Mustard gigs already booked to avoid disrupting and all of that and more is before I wandered into the minefield of finding flights with acceptable prices. It’s been a busy last few hours.

We *think* we will be going on the 28th of August. The party is me, Louise, Emily, Rebecca, Tom, Freddie….and of course Ryan, and I am just beginning the villa search. It will be as budget as these things can be. Disney parks only, hardly any or no on-site dining, instead grabbing counter service stuff or enjoying our wide range of off-site favourites and no extras such as MNNSHP etc.

Flight wise, it looks like Thomas Cook have direct flights for much cheapness. I say that, as on Kayak they show at £350ish, but by the time you’ve added luxuries like a suitcase, a meal and a seat reservation it’s back up to the £450 mark I would have expected. We’ve made the decision to get Freddie his own seat, even though he will still be just under 2 when we fly. 16 hours in economy with him on laps is a horror not to be entertained.

I know we’ve done the whole, “we definitely aren’t going this year” bait and switch a million times, and I am probably much more shocked than any of you, but this one really did come out of the blue.

There is much now to do, so leave me whilst I spend far too many hours obsessing over every small detail that could be better spent elsewhere…..NOT!

So unless the NHS holiday Gods deny us, we should have a relatively short countdown to our next adventure. Fancy coming along, virtually, of course? I mean you are welcome to go to Florida at the same time, but I’m not paying for you.

Let the planning, countdown and diet commence, we are going home!

Rebecca Beaches and CreamBeach Club

 

Till the next time…….

Yo Motha’ Lovers

It doesn’t happen very often, maybe only once every five minutes, but last week I was wrong. It came to me a few hours after posting last week’s blog that it had all been based on a non-truth. Those photos we discovered were actually from 2001 and not 2003. I understand that this makes little difference to sentiment of the post, and of course that you don’t care but my confession is an attempt to satisfy my “things have to be correct” demon.

Those of you who have been around a while, reading these weekly word vomits may have thought, if indeed you think at all about this corner of the internet, that this week would just be me whinging about the troubles and hassle of having workmen in all week. Well, you’d be right. It’s been everything I expected and more.

We’ve done enough of this now that this should not have been a surprise, but it’s a bit like childbirth, yet more painful. You forget how bad it was last time and decide to do it all over again.

On Monday alone I was summoned upstairs several times to be consulted on minor decisions and major emergencies. Every such consultation of course meant more cost, hassle, time and cost. The week continued in that way and we stand now at the crossroads of any such job, where the demolition and destruction is done and now we start the process of putting the room back together. Looking at it now, I am struggling to imagine ever having a habitable bedroom ever again. It is freshly plastered, with the remains of our old carpet knee-deep in plaster blobs and dust. It’s grim.

We timed the work with Louise’s planned trip to Rome with her work colleagues and during that time I was holed up in the spare room, sleeping amidst the piled up crap from our bedroom. Originally by now we had hoped to have the room back in a good enough shape that we could sleep in it, alas with all the scope creep and disasters, work is taking longer than we imagined and we are now both enjoying the smaller bed and lack of floor space in what was Rebecca’s room.

The plan now is that tomorrow will see the chaps return to do the joinery stuff, such as skirting boards, doors and other wood based activity along with the electrician to fit our new lights ‘n’ stuff.

We had booked the decorator to come tomorrow, but with the delays he has had to be pushed back to next week, so our pain will endure a little longer.

All this detail is I’m sure an essential part of your Sunday!

In more positive news, assuming we can find some clothes in the crap mountain in the spare room, later today we are off out for a family meal to celebrate Louise’s birthday and the awesomeness of the various Mothers in our family. It’s the same place we went for our Christmas meal last year and my ever growing belly is alive with anticipation.

Louise’s verdict on Rome by the way was that it was lovely and fascinating. It is literally dripping in history. It was slightly marred by lots of beggars and dodgy folks trying to sell tat on the street, but overall she had a lovely week, filled with walking, pasta and interesting tours of old stuff. I recognise that is not up to trip report standards of detail, but firstly, I didn’t go and secondly she only got back late yesterday so I’ve only seen a few photos and had a quick debrief (not a euphemism).

Let’s hope for a better week construction wise so that you may have a better blog experience next Sunday….but it is not within my gift to promise that.

Till the next time…..

My Wardrobe Is A Time Machine

I’m not sure how your Sunday started. Perhaps a lie in, breakfast in bed, a pleasant stroll in the spring sunshine or a hearty brunch somewhere. Mine? Oh I just had my cocker spaniel’s anal glands milked. There’s no need to be jealous. All you have to do it mix six-week old milk with fish guts and close your eyes and you too can enjoy that experience.

Bean was at the vets for a check up as she had developed some sort of eye infection last week and they were making sure everything was in order. Whilst she was there we asked that the other end be addressed as the odour was becoming offensive.

So, happy Sunday…..

You will know as I have done nothing but moan about it for three weeks that we have work starting tomorrow. Nine tenths of the house look like one of those TV shows which show hoarders and their houses. The remaining tenth is now our bed room which is almost completely clear of all the crap we had crammed into our wardrobes. It has been a process as painful as I expected and to say I am not looking forward to the next week or two is the biggest understatement since someone said Coldplay were turgid music magnolia makers.

Anyway, whilst pulling dusty stuff out of cupboards, we have of course stumbled across many things we deemed important enough to keep, but had of course completely forgotten we had. Amongst that, and a few dozen trips to the tip, we happened upon some good old-fashioned proper photos from earlier Disney trips. When I started doing trip reports, we were right on the cusp of the whole digital thing and I think for the first report in 2003 certainly we were analogue.

Many of the photos are now long-lost, although we will probably find them when we renovate the next part of the house in the year 2070 (I’ll be ready to go again by then), however a few fell into our laps and I will of course share them now.

The quality is poor, as they are photos of a photo, but it does also show how far technology has come in sixteen years that all of our phones are now capable of much better photos than even the moderately expensive analogue stuff I used to cart around. I’m not sure the girls could now comprehend or contemplate not being able to see a photo they just took until you’d been to Max Spielman weeks after the holiday. As an aside, we also seem to have about half a dozen undeveloped rolls of film knocking around the house. Surely they will be beyond developing now? I’m not sure how long they survive in that state, but we should try to get them done and see what is on them I suppose.

I think all of these I’m sharing today are from that 2003 trip. Rebecca was four and Emily six. Look how Mickey was just wandering about near International Gateway. Now, you need a FastPass, security clearance and retina scans to meet the main mouse.

This one is from the Garden Grill. We were having breakfast I think and we have video footage of this somewhere. That also reminds me that we have hours of such footage that I need to edit and upload somewhere before it gets lost forever.

Here is some young handsome chap stroking a goat. This photo is also likely to upset Rebecca as it features her favourite hat that we lost somewhere in Mexico (the pavilion, not the country) and she cried for about three weeks about it. I should point out that the genie wasn’t in this photo. Many of these were made into a collage that was hung for a while and we had chopped up a photo with him on it for said collage and now if I remove it, the main photo will be damaged. Make sense?

Ah the days of autograph books…..this was taken in MGM Studios, on the steps outside what is now the Frozen sing a long thing. I can’t even remember what it was then. Anyone?

Here, we display exemplary parenting skills. Clearly Rebecca was being blinded by the sun, but the photo needed to be taken regardless.

More Chip and Dale, this time in Animal Kingdom, on the pathway down to what was Camp Minnie Mickey. Nobody mention that hat. The junior bum bags though, matching of course, were another crime of parenting.

 

The thing that strikes me in all of these is how happy the girls look, even when stood next to a giant Pooh.

And we’ll end where we began, with the meeting of Mickey at International Gateway.

Such lovely memories of a time that feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago in equal measure. If you really wanted to, you could go back to that first 2003 report and see if you can match the photos to the actual events. I would….but I’ve got a bedroom to finish clearing and some more stressing to do about two weeks of disruption. Did I mention that?

Till the next time……