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 Seven April 17th 2017

After all that partying last night and staying up till all hours, understandably we slept in until 9am. I bet you weren’t expecting this rock and roll lifestyle were you?

We all breakfasted in line with our individual desires. My desires were cereal. Yes that’s odd but it’s my business OK? With that done and some clothes added to my silky frame I of course set out for the supermarket with Louise and Mum. Where else?

I stocked up again, bought sandwiches for lunch on the beach (this routine may get overly familiar to you by the time we leave Siesta Key) and paid another piece of their mortgage off.

Louise had no interest in sandwiches, hoagies and snacks. Her attendance was for an ulterior motive. Her so far Frodo like quest for bathing costumes had been fruitless (yes I know we are in Florida, where people attend formal events in a bikini, but none of the four and half thousand we had so far seen had been right) so we now had to visit some of the beach shops to continue the quest.

The one directly across from the supermarket  was huge.

In fact, it was three shops knocked into one. I suspect it was owned by the same people as the supermarket and they had extended purely on our spend with them so far.

Louise looked at stuff and I loitered uncomfortably trying not to look at the thongs and bikini tops. Bored of that I wandered deeper into the shop away from the “women’s things” to more general beach equipment. I bought a beach chair (the house only had four) another umbrella for more shade as we had all of course burnt ourselves yesterday, three beach towels and two wicker mats for the lying upon.

All of that still came nowhere near to the amount Louise spent on two swimsuits. As I paid, in a state of shock, it crossed my mind that I bought my swimming gear sometime around 1989 and in today’s money it would have cost about £5. Sure all the netting inside has perished and they can be a little snug, but there aren’t many pairs of shorts I can buy that wouldn’t be, if you know what I mean!!

We left with the shop owners high-fiving each other and headed back to the house. After a lie down and launching a Go Fund Me page for the rest of the trip, we wandered over to the beach at around 11am. It was less windy today which was ironic as we were all covered up to protect our salmon pink flesh from the raging sun and a bit of breeze would have been very welcome.

You may have missed the news that Dad recently launched his own rap band, MC Denture and the Liver Spots.

Staying in the shade today was everyone’s sole focus and any part of the body found outside of the shade’s protection soon reacted like those vampires in the Twilight films.

I had popped back to the house around 12.30 to pick up the food for lunch.

It may sound hard to believe but I could not finish my sandwich. It was huge. Here’s a picture of huge amounts of meat between my legs.

Of course that didn’t stop me putting away almost a full packet of crisps/chips. One of the major benefits of being an alleged grown up is that I don’t need to finish my sandwich to be allowed to eat the other more interesting snacky stuff.

On a beach the size of a small country, I did find it ironic that we somehow found ourselves within ear shot of the biggest bore in the US. Not only did this group have the ignorance to play music all day, inflicting all sorts of youngster noise upon us, but the one chap who had assumed the role of preacher for the day, spoke literally non-stop, about his favourite subject….himself.

My God he could talk. Dad pondered if he ever took a breath as we entered hour two of his anecdotal diarrhea. Topics included films he had seen and his vital thoughts on each of them and every scene within it, himself, how he spent time in jail before turning his life around, himself, sports, himself, what his companions should do with their lives, education, homes, families, diets oh and yes he talked about himself.

It got to the stage where Dad declared he was going into the sea to drown himself. Before doing so, he did pop over to our friend to ask his advice on the best way to do it.

Emily and Mum took evasive action by late afternoon and went back to the house. Their burnt skin was also a factor in that decision. Louise, Dad and I stayed until 4.30ish before striking camp and heading back too. As we had enough gear to attempt an assault on Mount Everest, the walk back, in silly heat and very soft sand proved to be a struggle. I’m sure you all feel sorry for us!

Showers, after sun and readying took until 6.30 when we set off for…

It was about a half hour drive to the Mall at University Town Center. We parked up and entered to be told of a forty minute wait for a table. We hunkered down for that but only ten minutes later we were called. Apparently someone hadn’t turned up for their reservation and we could have their table. You see, good things happen to us in this country!

We were shown to a lovely booth and began the task of working through the enormous menu. The choice was bamboozling. We declined appetisers as of course we were all aiming for dessert here.

Long Island Ice Teas were ordered for Louise and Emily…

and we ordered…

Me – Steak Tacos

Louise and Emily – Four Cheese Pasta with Chicken

Dad – Chicken Shrimp and Pineapple

Mum – Club Sandwich

All of the above was lovely. However, with all of that nonsense out of the way we could move on to the real reason we were here.  CHEESECAKE……

The choice of cheesecake is, as you might expect, vast. We spent an age looking but as our server returned to take our orders, I still hadn’t settled on what may have been the biggest decision of the trip. In a mild panic, I spat out the name of a cheesecake, with no idea if that was really what I wanted….

It was a Snickers Cheesecake…

Emily and Louise – Banana Cream Cheesecake

Dad had ice cream and Mum had Strawberries. As neither of those were cheesecake, I deemed them unworthy of a photo.

I know that I have said that I have been full previously on this trip so far, and perhaps only with the exception of the Hash House a Go Go extravaganza, this was the fullest I had been. I did force every last crumb of the cheesecake down though. It was a matter of principle.

The bill was $200 including a good tip.

The drive home through a sugar coma felt quicker than the drive there which was welcome as all anyone wanted were looser clothes and bed. The latter happened at 10pm. Yes another late night hedonistic extravaganza.

Till the next time…..

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To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day Four April 14th 2017

Day four already? This trip will soon be over for the second time before we know it.

No alarms were set this morning and I rose majestically without any need for encouragement at 7am. I got out of bed shortly afterwards too.

It took the usual hour and a bit for everyone to be ready and our first stop was at the gift shop in reception. Louise needed to buy a cover up T-shirt as, amazingly, she had somehow got herself sunburned. How this happened is a mystery to us all.

With one “Yes I am Tourist” Universal Studios T-shirt secured and adorned we could start the day. We water taxied again, tolerating yet more dreadful weather…

and arrived into the park at 8.50. Top of our list today was the new (to us) Kong ride. The ten minute walk from the entrance to the ride felt longer than that but we Expressed our way in just after 9.

Since this ride opened Emily has had a never-ending panic attack at the thought of encountering scare actors in the queue. This made the walk through the queue area a little nervy for her but thankfully for her it turns out there weren’t any in the Express queue.

As with most rides, the first time is a bit of a blur looking back. I was impressed with it though and it is something a little different to traditional rides with the mix of actual ride stuff and the 3D film elements.

Having ticked off our main objective before the park got busy naturally we needed food having only had a light snack last night. We walked back into the Marvel area in search of something stupidly unhealthy….apart from me.

Emily and I struck out at a proper walking pace having left Louise to sunbathe on a bench. Yes, she was already burnt, but this made perfect sense and should not be questioned.

Like some sort of sugar filled tractor beam our bodies ended up outside Cinnabon, which had a handy Starbucks next to it. I drank whatever Emily ordered and we got some stuff from Cinnabon that you’d struggle to qualify as food. It was ridiculously good.

We walked back to Louise, juggling our haul and made it to a bench with an umbrella not far from Spiderman.

With a huge sugar rush surging through my system it made perfect sense to add a good dose of adrenalin to that so we went to ride the Hulk. We Expressed but it was a slightly disappointing fifteen minutes. Again, a locker was required. These new lockers are operated by your park ticket which is a neat idea, but Universal do employ one member of staff to stand by the lockers with a microphone repeating “Do not lock your park ticket in the locker!” endlessly, over and over and over and over.

The fact that despite this I very nearly did proves that humans are stupid.

After its big refurb, I have to say I didn’t spot a great deal of difference but I can’t say that I memorised how it was before. The start of the ride felt a little quicker but that could be my accelerating old age. It remains a great ride and a guaranteed trigger for my roller coaster Tourettes.

Somehow Mum & Dad were waiting for us as we exited the ride. Perhaps they heard my swearing as I rode?

Those with an Express ticket rode Spiderman next, whilst those who didn’t had a sit under the same umbrella we breakfasted under. Again, it was a fifteen minute queue.

We made our way into the Jurassic area of the park and got a drink. It was hot today. I was taking a photo of Emily and Mum resting on a wall (there doesn’t need to be a reason, OK?) when a kind lady offered to take one of the three of us.

As I took my place on the wall I whispered to Emily that if this nutter did a runner with my camera, as the youngest it was her job to chase her down.

Now, just to be clear for those in a panic at that photo. That is Dad’s rucksack. Being a good son (sometimes) I took it off him to make his walking around a bit easier. Ryan was back in our room enjoying the facilities unaware of my infidelity.

I apologise for my rare appearance in a photo.

We all joined the non Express queue for the Jurassic River thingy with the promise of a thirty minute wait. As we entered, staff were rejigging the queue rope things to extend it and altering the wait time to 45 minutes. I submitted an immediate written complaint and stood there and sucked it up.

We got a lot less wet than I remember. Emily seemed to have finally conquered her childhood terror and fear of this ride caused by some idiot parents taking her on it when she didn’t want to at a young age.

We wandered on for a bit and entered the discovery centre in search of some cool air.

There wasn’t much else of interest in there to be honest so we made our way out of the rear of the building to discover a lovely view.

After a few minutes taking that in and posting it on Facebook to remind everyone we were here and they weren’t, we walked on a bit going nowhere in particular.

For regular readers, this is a special moment. We’d eaten a lot recently and it was therefore probably inevitable that at this point I encountered, for the first time this trip, turtle head.

That (attempt at a) joke feels like a member of the family I am so familiar with it. As I took the camera out to take that photo, Louise began to ask me why and then stopped. She knew….we all knew.

Having already spent her allocated shopping budget for this trip on that very special Universal Studios T-shirt this morning, Louise was going crazy trying to find some sandals. It is as inevitable as the turtle head joke that a few days into the trip, whatever footwear Louise has brought with her will no longer be suitable and we must undertake a mission to find ones that are. We went into EVERY shop on our wanders, with no joy.

Her pain would have to continue…..and I did.

I do try to give my own wardrobe choices a little thought. For example, it is not the done thing to wear Disney merchandise in Universal and vice versa. Knowing which park we were doing today and that it included a certain ride, I had chosen this one today.

I am actually more muscular under the T-shirt, but not green.

We found ourselves in the Seuss bit of the park

and Emily and I used our Express specialness to go on One Fish, Two Fish.

Sure, we are 46 and 21 and every other rider was not, but we cared not one jot.

It was time for another tactical meal, which required us to satisfy our immediate hunger (which was mild) and yet still leave our bodies ready for tonight’s inevitable onslaught. We chose the Croissant Moon Bakery as it was close and we had eaten there before so we knew they did sandwiches etc. Their isn’t a huge amount of choice but it did the job.

I failed to record what everyone had and to take any photos other than these…

You can do a post-mortem to figure out what we had just eaten. I think I had a hogie but I would probably be able to get a cream for that when we called at the pharmacy next.

We walked back to Spiderman so that Mum & Dad could ride and then headed for the wet rides. Mum and Dad declined the chance to get wet through on Dudley Do Right so the three of us entered via Express. Whenever you enter this ride you know that every item of clothing you are in will be drenched. What you don’t expect is to get into that state before you get on the ride itself. As we walked through the queue, above us a boat cornered and threw out a huge wave of water over the edge to unsuspecting idiots below which with perfect timing, I walked into.

My shock was only matched by Louise and Emily’s laughter. I buried my anger deep and plotted my dastardly revenge whilst stood in a stupidly long queue for us Express special people. The ice cool air conditioning was a joy for anyone who had just been soaked to the skin. Thirty minutes with Express isn’t really acceptable in my spoiled, over entitled head.

Everyone who walks from Dudley Do Right’s to the Bilgerats ride says things like “Well, we can’t get any wetter”. Everyone is wrong. You absolutely can.

We joined the muggle queue so that we could all ride together and it was annoyingly longer than the 20 minutes posted. As usual we got wetness in places that hadn’t been wet for a long time. We left the raft and quickly noticed that we were missing a member of our party.

We turned around to see Mum still sat in the barge. Maybe she wanted to ride again? Turns out she couldn’t get the seat belt off and the barge was moving round ever closer to her having to ride the thing all over again. Dad was trying to free her and then several members of staff also boarded the vessel in an attempt to free the Bolton One.

The rest of us of course stood watching and laughing.

With moments to spare the seat belt was opened and another ride averted.

Too wet to do anything else now we headed for the exit. Emily and I went in the opposite direction to everyone else as she wanted to buy a sweat shirt she had seen at the Jurassic River Ride earlier. After making that purchase we continued to do a full loop of the park at full walking pace. It felt good.

The park was very busy now, especially around Potter and we did our best full speed walking, people dodging moves to make our way back to the entrance. Feeling a tiny bit peckish we stopped for a quick snack.

We only wanted a churro and a pretzel yet were subjected to one of the most frustrating waits of the entire trip. That family at the front appeared to be doing their weekly grocery shop here and then paying with about six different credit cards. I have seldom tutted so loudly.

We ate our snacks as we walked to meet the others hoping to have done so before we got there to avoid any unnecessary sharing. We all walked back to the water taxi and then I drove Mum & Dad back “home”.

Louise and Emily did their lady readying things for a while and we left at 6.05. No doubt I had said we needed to leave at 6, but they do it out of spite. The traffic was awful for some reason so it took ten minutes to get to Mum & Dad and then much longer than I had planned it would to get to the Poly for our dinner at ‘Ohana. After a stressful, steering wheel gripping, teeth grinding journey we arrived at 7.10.

Before our meal we went to Trader Sam’s for a drink and hopefully some fun.

The only seats were those at the bar, so we mounted a stool each and looked at the cocktail menu. For those not familiar with this place, it is a grown up, cocktail serving version of Whispering Canyon. If you haven’t been to Whispering Canyon then I can’t help you.

Various rum based cocktails were ordered. I have no idea what they were, other than I had a Skipper Sipper which was from the “I’m driving” section of the menu.

I did taste Dad’s cocktail and it was what I imagine petrol to taste like. Bloody hell it was strong and he had to really battle through it to get it down. Louise had less trouble. You won’t be surprised to learn that she ordered a cocktail which was intended for sharing.

The bar tenders are very entertaining and there are several “show pieces” they do when certain drinks are ordered, but I won’t spoil those.

We did two rounds of drinks. Louise was sat at one end of the bar and I at the other and we had “chosen” the two comedy bar stools that slowly lower themselves to the ground. She can probably blame the drink but I noticed fairly quickly and stood up for a bit. About five minutes later Louise turned to her side to find she was looking at everyone’s knees and wondered if she’d fallen over.

Being the tourist suckers we are, we purchased every souvenir glass it was possible to do so and with that in mid our bar bill was somewhere close to our monthly mortgage. Well, we are on holiday.

With four fifths of the party now a little worse for wear we had to find ‘Ohana and check in. As is always the case it seems, as we got to the check in podium there was a family in front of us taking much longer than it should to undertake a simple task. We stood waiting for almost ten minutes as they faffed and discussed why the poor cast member couldn’t find their reservation. They resorted to texting someone called Kay to ask what name the reservation would be in. Then Kay was asked what time it was made for and how many people it was made for. Rather than call Kay and find all this out in one go, we waited for the texts to come back with dwindling patience.

What they didn’t ask Kay was which fecking restaurant their reservation was for. Turns out it was Kona Kafe. Thanks Kay. How we laughed and laughed. The cast member smiled and wished them a magical day as did we all.

We took about seven seconds to check in and started the wait for our table.

After about ten minutes we were seated. I don’t know what the odds of this are but we were shown to the exact same table we had the last time we were here …

The bread and salad arrived immediately and were lovely.

Then the mains started to arrive…

Shortly after that several men turned up waving their meaty swords at us. We were also served chicken, shrimp and steak and it was awesome.

We ate more than any human should. Dad had a really bad attack of heartburn towards the end of the meal. I think his rum cocktail was melting his insides to be honest. He had some milk and a visit to the loo and felt a bit better.

It didn’t matter how full we were, pudding had to be done as it was the main reason we had booked this place.

We all shared this…

It was incredible and probably took a couple of years off my life expectancy.

At 9.40 we paid and wandered down to the beach to find a spot to watch Wishes from the beach.

The music was inaudible/non-existent so we were probably sat in the wrong place, but the view was great.

My camera skills were less great so I will only share a couple of my attempts.

We meandered back to the car with a stop at the front desk as Louise had left her sunglasses on the table in the restaurant. Luckily they had been discovered and handed in. Those cocktails have a lot to answer for.

The drive home and the drop off for Mum & Dad were uneventful and we were all in bed by 11.30 thinking about which clothes might still fit us tomorrow.

Till the next time…..

To Siesta Key…And Beyond Tour 2017 – Day One April 11th 2017

In my pre-blogging days here is where I would do a pre-trip introduction thing, telling everyone about the trip we had planned, how we booked it and who was going. As I have blogged about little else for months every detailed twist and turn of all the above is covered there already. If this trip report is your first visit to my blog, then welcome, and where have you been? Feel free to read back if you want a back story that will probably be longer than the actual report itself. That’s what happens when you blog every week!

I would usually also apologise in advance for all sorts of things….language, too much detail, using the same half a dozen jokes that I first used in 2003 and length. I am accustomed to apologising for my length, however, as these days I post this stuff on my own blog, there will be no such contrition and forewarning. I’ll write what I want and hope some folks read it.

This trip started like most of them have, with an early alarm call. I am jostled from my slumber by my alarm at 4am to the sound of the shower already running. This is a significant event as leading up to our trip we have had “men in” fitting a new bathroom. This morning would be the first time that we had a functioning shower after the best part of three weeks, so this noise was pleasing to me. It also meant Louise was in the shower and wouldn’t stink today, which was a bonus.

I was done a few short minutes after rising, which I’m told isn’t a big deal and happens to lots of men. Cleansed and dressed I headed downstairs to sort the dogs out, make some brews and eat a bagel. Being a kind soul I took Louise’s brew upstairs and allowed our youngest dog Bean up with me. She of course jumped onto our bed, which isn’t usually an issue, but this morning she chose to put dirty marks all over the nice new bedding Louise had put on a few short hours ago and so I was suitably chastised for my foolishness and banished to put said sheets in the washer again and tell Rebecca that she’d need to dry and refit them later.

Having got the first row out of the way before 4.30am the customary last-minute cramming of cases ensued and every time I think they are good to go and zip up some other thing is presented for inclusion. It is tradition that the last item to appear are the blazing hot hair straighteners which I have to somehow get into our luggage as the taxi man drums his fingers outside the house. Bearing scars like David Carradine in Kung Fu (ask your Dad) I drag luggage downstairs and tell my Mum and Dad and the taxi bloke that we won’t be long which is a blatant lie.

FYI we are at 500 words and not in the taxi to the airport yet….settle in for the long haul.

We say our goodbyes to Rebecca and Tom which won’t make it onto my list of favourite things to do. Ten minutes later than I would have liked we all make it out the door and into the taxi.

At this point I am presented with a quandry. This is the photo in front of the door time, but of course, one of the participants in that isn’t coming with us, or indeed dressed. So what to do? I decide to take the same photo anyway, but the Gods intervene and make every attempt blurry and crap. I am using my brand new camera for the first time, the taxi man is literally breathing down my neck to get going and it’s all a bit flustered. Anyway, I snap something I’m not happy with and leave.

This one has an added dog.

This one is zoomed in so you can see the blur more clearly. This is a very rare shot of Rebecca without make up so cherish it.

The drive to the airport was a quiet one. To be honest I was tired and a bit upset at leaving folks behind so I didn’t feel like chatting. We arrive at Terminal 1 at 6.10am. The taxi cost us £85 return. I locate the relevant desk at which we can drop our luggage off at and wander to it. There’s no queue and no fuss. Our main case is 23.7kg and so it gets a special sticker to denote it is overweight. I was a little offended to have a similar sticker attached to my T shirt.

There is no queue at security and having had our boarding passes sent to my mobile rather than print them off for the first time I stand wafting my phone at a scanner as everyone passes through the barrier. We live in the future.

We didn’t have to remove our shoes at security, but my Dad was given special attention as he forgot to take his iPad out of his rucksack. We waited for him to join us after his interrogation.

“They tested me for drugs and everything” ha says as he reappears.

“They must have thought you were Emilio Escaban!” jokes Louise.

I thinks she meant Pablo Escobar.

Next we restroomed and then assumed our “waiting for Louise” positions which would come in handy throughout the trip.

Giraffe for breakfast, which made an interesting change from cereal. Once seated we ordered juices and coffees and some food…

Me – Egg and Bacon Bagel

Louise and Dad – Simple Breakfast

Mum and Emily – French Toast

It was all good and cost us £61 including a tip.

Exhausted from his efforts Dad found himself a newspaper and seat whilst the rest of us wandered around some shops. Duty Free was relatively painless with just one make up purchase for Louise. In WH Smiths, we bought books for the flight. I got a David Baldacci novel. Since Ben Elton stopped writing novels he has become a recent holiday tradition. I also got a notebook and pen for the taking of notes for this here trip report. I don’t know what else we got but it cost me £45!

As we made our way back to Dad I tried to take a sneaky photo of the Victoria’s Secret model’s poster but it turned out blurry. That wasn’t the camera, I had just gone cross eyed.

To add insult to insolvency Louise then decided to have something called gel nails done whilst we sat and waited for our gate to be announced. Add a Starbucks to the mix and we had to go home now as we had spent up!

Now it was time to go to the gate, which was 32. As ever seems to be the case it was the one furthest away and by the time we got there and various party members had last minute wees, we were the last to board. We were spread across rows 40 and 41. I don’t mean that literally, I just mean we all had seats in those rows.

We took off amazingly close to 10.15 and settled in for the ride.

This is a rare shot of my Dad being awake on a plane.

Louise passed the time by doing her impression of Dr Evil…

I already had a feeling of this trip flying by as the whole airport thing seemed to flash by in record time. Maybe I’m getting old?

Take off saw Louise’s fear of flying in full effect and it is only by holding my hand and crushing my fingers that she prevents the aircraft coming down in a ball of flames.

Ah, it was only a matter of minutes…

Lots of this happened….

We upgraded our entertainment package and bought some headphones for a fiver each and I started by watching The Accountant with Ben Affleck. I too was shocked to see him flying Thomas Cook to Orlando, but there you go.

Food came and was passable. I enjoyed James Martin’s sausage, which you should expect to read about in the Sunday papers very soon.

I then watched a Modern Family that I’d seen a few times already but it passed half an hour. At this point, Emily had a wee. Don’t worry, I won’t be documenting every passing of water, but this one was significant as it was on an aircraft. Emily has always had a phobia of loos in the sky and now at 21 she seems to have managed to get over it!

Next was The Arrival…no, not into Orlando, the film with Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams. It was a bit weird but I chose it as it was quite long. Length is important at times, and on a long haul flight most things that can pass almost two hours are worth a watch. I did feel this film was about half an hour too long but it got me to the three hours to go point in the flight.

I started my notes on events so far…

Louise fell asleep at this point. This is relevant for two reasons.

  1. She says she never sleeps on a plane. The Diazepam and red wine said otherwise.
  2. Recently on Facebook she posted an unflattering photo of me and my chins asleep on the flight. I have a similarly unflattering photo of Louise in a similar pose but I am too much of a gentleman to post it.

The flight crew were busy again dishing out teas and coffees which I never have on a flight. It’s a throwback to my childhood I think when it used to be served in those small, flask like plastic cups and it made me feel sick. With the aisles full of stewardesses and trolleys far too many folks felt the need to be up and about. In my view, your job on a plane is to sit down for as long as possible and be as little trouble and nuisance as you can be to the crew. I reserve my best tuts for those who are out of the traps faster than Usain Bolt as soon as the seat belt signs go off once airborne. What can you possibly need to do so soon after take off? Anyway, at this point deep into the flight, having supped her coffees, one woman from the front of the plane walked all the way to our row, right at the back, with three empty cups to give them to a stewardess still serving drinks to the rest of the plane.

Said stewardess (or is flight attendant now? Apologies.) hid her disdain much better than I did.

Next I watched War Dogs which was better than expected. It did have a load of bad language in it which had been hilariously overdubbed for a flight showing so there was lots of “You are funning kidding me” going on. During this film our snack was served. The less said about it the better I think.

That film ended just ten minutes before we landed. Said landing was bumpy and Louise particularly enjoyed the skidding across the runway as we touched down. You will have heard her screams back in the UK. The captain apologised for the rough landing and the emergency stop braking he had to do to correct it. He said it would at least mean they didn’t need to sweep the plane now. How Louise laughed.

Hey Orlando…looking good.

Being back in Orlando saw smiles break out all over.

As ever it seemed to take longer than the flight to taxi to the gate and I could feel the tension rising as folks flicked their seat belt clasps in anticipation. Being at the rear of the plane we were pretty much the last off. I think there were 320 people on our flight and as we arrived in the immigration hall we were somehow 340th in the queue. It snaked on forever and was not moving. This turned out to be the longest wait we have ever had to get through immigration. It was over an hour. Having stood around for that hour, collecting our cases was very quick as they had been circling the carousel for forty minutes or so. Louise then declared that she had to go to the restroom and so we stood for twenty minutes just before the customs form desk watching not only all of our flight file through to form some nice queues at car hire, but also the recently arrived Virgin flight that came in half an hour after us.

Being tired, cranky and eager to get going this did absolutely not result in an argument.

Turns out there was no queue at our car hire desk after all. I escaped the upsell with just a charge for a tank of fuel and headed over to the garage. Having booked our car before Mum and Dad were coming with us, I had stuck with the full size option as the helpful graphic on the website assured me that it would fit five adults and their cases. It didn’t really and we had to try a few cars to find a boot…sorry trunk, that would give us a fighting chance. With everything and everyone finally in, the sat nav was unleashed and we headed for Universal. Sat Navs are great, but if some numpty types in the wrong destination they can be less effective. Having searched for “Holiday Inn” and picked the one that seemed closest to Universal, assuming that to be the one that Mum and Dad were booked into, we arrived at our destination at a spot where a Holiday Inn perhaps did stand when our sat nav was built.

It certainly wasn’t there any longer and so I booted up my phone to get the correct address. A few moments later we found it. As we made our way around the Universal area my Dad pointed out that Wet and Windy was over there. This was a tad harsh on Louise I felt, as it was probably just the medication for the flight.

The traffic in this area was bobbins. Every red light lasted a bout a week and a half and there were jams everywhere. This was not in any way frustrating when you are trying to start a holiday.

I went in with Mum and Dad to get them checked in, up to their room and crucially onto the WiFi so we could message them about meeting up later. Their room was huge, clean and lovely, which was a relief.

We then made our way over to Royal Pacific.

Our wait to check in was longer than I would have liked. Every guest at the desk with a member of staff seemed to be organising the Normandy landings rather than getting their keys to a hotel room. Finally we were attended to and, I assume as means of apology, I was offered a lay. This was not the time or place so instead I accepted a garland of flowers around my neck and we went to the room.

Having had a very smooth experience at Manchester, the whole post landing experience at Orlando had been crap and stressful. Hopefully now that would be behind us. Our room, 1705, was lovely with a decent view.

We tested the loo, got on the WiFi to taunt those back home about our location and rested for a bit. We left at 7.30 to pick up Mum and Dad and go for tea.

The sat nav froze at a crucial point of our five minute journey which resulted in me taking a five mile detour up and then back down the I4. This did not bother me one jot! We waited in the lobby for them for ten minutes as despite hearing his iPad ping with a new message (from us) Dad decided not to look at what it said!

Anyway, not to worry, the shorts were on and the holiday had started.

The Outback was just a five minute drive away and were delighted to be seated immediately. We were less delighted to be sat next to a huge group of Brits who seemed to be trying to talk to family back home without a phone. Alcohol may have been involved, which is fair enough, they are on holiday, but inconsiderate noise like that is a pet hate of mine. They seemed to take about an hour to actually leave having declared they were doing so but eventually peace prevailed.

We kicked off with the new combo starter of a Bloomin’ Onion topped with cheesey fries.

Followed by….

Me and Mum – Aussie Cobb Salad

Emily – Caesar Salad

Louise – Fillet Mignon Skewers with Mash and Broccoli

Dad – Surf and Turf

The quality of these photos does get better I promise you. The newness of the camera was still defeating me.

We were so full that I feared death. The bill was $126 so we left $150. Mum and Dad were dropped off and we headed back to RPR and straight to bed.

Till the next time…….

The Adults Only Tour 2015 – Day Eighteen

Day Eighteen – 13th September

For any serial WDW visitor, there’s a phrase which strikes fear and dread into their hearts.

Last full day.

Here we are, after all this time, with just one more day here. Those of you who know anything about us will probably be able to guess which park we would spend such an occasion in. We were headed for Magic Kingdom of course, but aiming to be consistent with the rest of the trip we obviously decided to have a lie in. To be fair, my notes tell me I had a rough night, probably brought on by the thought of not only our last full day, but leaving one of my daughters behind too.

With this unintentional lie in I found myself on the PC shifting our FastPass bookings to later in the day. Of course, by doing this on the day I was now booking FastPasses for the monorail and to watch a trash can get emptied on Main Street.

With the morning a bit of a write off some packing happened and with that pretty much done we left the villa at 12.30. This wasn’t as bad as you may think as we wanted to stay until parades and fireworks tonight so this later start may give us a fighting chance.

It was raining. The weather making its own comment on the mood surrounding the end of the trip. We parked in Scar 119 and were in full poncho as we trammed into the TTC.

As we left the monorail the rain stopped. It is where dreams come true after all. I had my sack handled by an elderly US gent for the last time, Ryan had a cigarette and recovered as we took some photos.

As usual at the end of our summer trips, Halloween was in full effect on Main Street.

More photos happened as there was a definite sense of the impending departure minus one of our party.

Here we see what happens when two different people are taking your photo at the same time.

All trip I had been putting off visits to certain shops using the excuse that we needed to wait until Emily had her Cast Member discount, and then when that ran out, the age old “I don’t want to carry that around all day so we’ll come back at the end of the holiday”. Today neither of those were any good so we spent more time than I would ever want to in the Pandora shop on Main Street. Louise bought some earrings that were worth more than her actual ears.

Nana and Grandad spent some time chatting with a Cast Member in the shop whilst Louise and the girls spent more time choosing jewellery than we did our last house.

Of course having arrived at the park half way through the day, every ride had wait times almost as long as the time we spent in the Pandora shop. So we deployed the “everything is busy” strategy of wandering about and looking at stuff. The first thing we looked at was the new Circus area where Mickey and Minnie’s house used to be.

There’s a feeling that this isn’t for us as we no longer have children to which this relevant. Stuff moves on of course, but I will forever have Mickey’s house in my heart alongside the mental images of my very young girls within it.

We decided to catch the train and do a loop of the park.

As we waited for the train there was a rescue situation. A tiny turtle was sat on the rail of the train track about to find out that its shell was no match for a couple of tonnes of train. The Cast Member on the platform was told about it and he bravely made his way out onto the tracks and moved it on into the bushes, thereby saving a few hundred kids an experience that may well have scarred them for life.

Just in time….

We stopped at Main Street but didn’t get off.

We alighted (got off) at Splash Mountain and went into the shop there as we certainly weren’t getting on the ride. Inevitable hat trying ensued.

We bought Emily a fluffy blanket that had a hood. An essential I think you’ll agree.

We walked past Splash heading for Country Bear Jamboree. Yep, that’s how busy all the real rides were.

Having not seen this in years and of course Sarah never had, we enjoyed it more than we thought we might. We made our way then over to the new area to find Gaston about to appear. However, his queue was already full and closed to new guests, so instead we loitered at the front of the queue watching him interact with those who had waited since last week to see him.

Gaston found time to flirt with the girls as he spotted them taking photos of him.

Thankfully we were now approaching one of our FastPass times so we slowly wandered down to Space Mountain taking more photos as we did.

We did the People Mover to kill the last bit of time and to rest our legs.

At 5.05 we got on our first ride of the day, but to be honest we felt no sense of having not had a nice day so far. Sometimes it’s about where you are, not what you’re doing.

Space Mountain was fast and bumpy and my notes classified it as “full clench”.

Nana and Grandad had gone shopping rather than ride the mountain so we now met them on Main Street as we were now, having done one ride, heading out for our evening meal. We caught the boat headed for Trail’s End.

 

This is one of the nicest ways to make your way to food.

We arrived at 6.05 and checked in for our 6.15 reservation.

This is a buffet affair and so what followed was bordering on warfare. There are no photos as what happened was not pretty. Having gone all in on the superb food, dessert was not an option, but to be fair, the corn bread was cake anyway.

As we left we spent a little bit of time talking to the horse bloke. I suspect that isn’t his official title.

As we waited for the boat back to Magic Kingdom my favourite time of day, in my favourite place happened and for once my camera did a half decent job of capturing it.

Dusk in and around Magic Kingdom is just lovely.

The beauty of those photos were stark contrast to the absolute chaos that we found on Main Street. The first parade was about to happen and it was just madness. Keeping a party of seven together was a challenge but we somehow made it all the way to Thunder Mountain and used our FastPass.

By the time we had done that it was 8.45 and we headed for Main Street again to try and find an inch of space to watch Wishes and the parade. It was brutal. Busy does not describe it. We found a spot literally half way up Main Street in the middle of the street.

About here…

I have long since given up trying to capture Wishes on camera and we just stood and watched full of all sorts of emotions. Emily cried throughout.

Afterwards Louise and I had to battle the shops to buy gifts for everyone we hadn’t yet whilst everyone else went to find somewhere to watch the parade. That shopping experience wasn’t pleasant. The shops resembled a crowd scene from Ghandi but somehow we gave Disney a large amount of money and left to find the others.

By some miracle they had managed to secure a spot up on the balcony near the train station. After a ten minute wait the parade started and from the few hundred photos I attempted here are the few worth sharing.

Leaving the park was expectedly chaotic and we opted to take the resort monorail as the normal one was just madness. The trams were also packed and after a fair bit of waiting we finally got on one and got back to our car at 11. As we had sat on the tram waiting for the 612 safety announcements and checks there was a family in the queue going absolutely mental at the family sat in front of us. It was all in Spanish so I don’t know what they were saying, but they were clearly upset that they had not been able to board. As the family in front of us didn’t speak Spanish either most of the tirade was wasted. Everyone was tired and emotional at this stage.

We stopped off at CVS on the way home for water and some throat spray….yes I was STILL ill. We were in bed by 12 completely spent.

Till the next time……

The Adults Only Tour 2015 – Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen – 11th September

I’m afraid the theme park thing didn’t last long and today I must warn you of two things.

  1. As today was our visit to Typhoon Lagoon, on this dull, cold January day this report will include photos of glorious Florida sunshine, blue skies and temperatures you can only dream of.
  2. There may well be images, possibly only mental ones, that may drive you lady types crazy as I spent the day in just my shorts. I shall pause just a moment to allow you time to process that.

You can take for granted that everyone was awake and up later than we needed to be. I had been quite chilled about our departure time, knowing that Typhoon Lagoon only opened at 10. My chill had vanished by 10.05 when we finally left the villa.

Obtaining shade at a Florida water park, in the summer can literally be the difference between life and death. Ok, I may exaggerate a little but it can certainly be the difference between third degree burns and skin you can live with.

I always wonder why there is so little shade provided at these places. Are US folks equipped with sun repellent skin? Is it some form of collusion with the medical centres of Florida to provide them with endless business with guest after guest trotting off to Centra Care with sunstroke?

It seems so un-Disney, who are normally so concerned about their guests welfare that the tram from the car park has more safety announcements than the steel tube that takes you over the Atlantic.

Anyway, I digress. We arrived at 10.40 to a car park empty enough to suggest that we may be able to find some shelter.

There are many signs that we may have been to WDW more often than we should. One of them is that we have “our spot” at Typhoon Lagoon. Once through the gates we headed there hopeful of finding it empty. We did, and we did the usual dragging around of sunbeds and chairs until everyone was happy with the exact position of their chosen implement of leisure.

Our spot is such as it is covered by a good number of palm trees and once we are in it, it is small enough for our flabby milky bodies to deter anyone else from joining us there.

This is the view from our spot. You are only allowed to use our spot on the occasions we are not in Typhoon Lagoon.

For the next few minutes we all stood and sat around rubbing cream into our bodies. At no other time is this socially acceptable…just in case you were wondering. Tradition dictates that as soon as I have sun cream rubbed into my skin I should immediately go into the wave pool so that it can be washed off. So that’s what we did. That we was me, the girls and Grandad.

Great fun was had by us all being battered by the waves. At times like these I curse my rubbish eye sight as without my glasses on my view of the lovely environment is hindered. Sensibly, I do not wear my glasses in the very rough wave pool and thankfully it also means I can’t properly see those pesky lifeguards with their bright red swim suits.

Alas, Grandad is a little less sensible and entered the wave pool with his sunglasses. We can now add those to the list of stuff he lost on this holiday. Somewhere in Orlando some chap is walking around with a lovely watch and a pair of sunglasses.

When our bodies could take no more from the waves we retired to our places of rest and did some of that. I read for a bit. Having been in the blazing sun for over an hour Louise then took Sarah off to do some slides and rides. The rest of us stayed….in our spot.

Soon enough lunch time rolled around. Technically it was about 11.30, but we are on holiday so what are you going to do? I have to say that our lunch experiences here have been average in the past and today was to be no different. We chose from the usual selection of burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads and sat on one of the benches in the bird shit zone.

Once we’d had enough food, or rather didn’t want to eat any more of it, we fed the birds around and about us. We then had a lengthy debate about whether feeding one of the birds some chicken was breaking some law of nature.

After food Louise, Sarah and I did the lazy river. I’m sure there’s very clever scientific explanation for this, but they seemed to be travelling much faster than I was. I had a double ring, which is quite a rare medical condition I’m told, but I’m not sure why that explains why they soon vanished into the distance. I lay back, closed my eyes and didn’t worry about it, until some little shite sprayed me with cold water from the side of the river. I gave him the speech from Taken as I floated past and I’ve never seen a six year old run so fast.

I’m not sure how many times I went around as I didn’t take any notice of the little sign at the place I got in. At some point that afternoon Grandad appeared beside me but I have no idea how he found me. We floated for a little longer until we had to go back to our spot for more resting. A few of our party moved down to the shallows of the water to sit there for a bit as they were pretty well done at that point. Inevitably during the afternoon I had to restroom so I wandered off to find one. It was close by, but I’m not sure if the water feature at the entrance was intentional. The door was underneath one of the slides and there was a constant waterfall of freezing cold water flowing from above the door.

My need to get rid of some water overrode my reluctance to walk through some, so in I went. I was drenched and again on the way out.

For a change we did not have to leave mid-afternoon due to a huge thunderstorm and we left voluntarily at 4.45. Every one of us were feeling the sun’s effects and once back at the villa the showers were a little more painful than they should have been.

We left for dinner at 7.30 heading for Romanos. We had a fairly typical twenty-minute wait browsing the menu before being seated and greeted with the usual fresh bread and oil dip. This simple affair is one of my favourite things on the planet.

We had –

Me and Grandad – Shrimp Portofino

Nana – Penne Rustica

Rebecca – Italian Bake

Sarah – Flatbread (my apologies for this photo)

Louise – Mama’s Trio

We all went big on desserts tonight with five cheesecakes and one chocolate cake finding their way to our table. With a few wines the bill came to $195 including tip.

You may be amazed to discover we felt very full, again and went home immediately to go to sleep.

Till the next time….

The Adults Only Tour 2015 – Day Fifteen

Day Fifteen – 10th September

Hooray and Hurrah, we’re back in a theme park today and I have notes that expand over multiple pages. My excitement at this prospect clearly was not shared by those I am allowing to share this trip with me. My daily moan about leaving late should be inserted here along with my grumpy attitude and protruding bottom lip.

This childish strop isn’t purely driven from my desire to get to every theme park at opening (as if we’d ever manage that beyond day one). With this new concept of booking your rides in advance, I had spent not an inconsiderable amount of time months ago setting out the schedule of the day ensuring that we got on more than the tram from the car park. Balancing that with the concept of this being a holiday is a struggle shared by every Florida holiday planner I would imagine.

Once again our journey to a park was spent (by me) glancing at the clock and the speedo calculating constantly whether the reading on the latter would mean that we got to Epcot at a point on the former that would work. The added pressure today was that the first FastPass was for Soarin’, the favourite ride of several of those in our group (Louise excepted). We dumped the car in Amaze 36 and waited for what felt like three days for the tram to arrive. My teenage sulk was now off the scale. It was around now that I realised (again) with the turnstiles and bag check still to do that you need to allow about an hour or more from leaving your villa to the time of your first ride.

Everyone knows that every villa in Florida is “only fifteen minutes” from Disney. Right?

After all the travelling, checks and swiping of things we stood on the right side of the entrance looking at the big shiny ball. After allowing about four seconds for that, knowing that we had exactly six minutes to get to Soarin’, we struck out, at my pace, to get there. Knowing what you know about the geography of the place, do you think that’s possible, with two of your party in their seventies?

I can’t say that we chatted much on that march, or smelled too many roses, but somehow we swiped our Magic Bands at the entrance to Soarin’ with the clock still showing 10.00 exactly. I don’t work this hard for a living!

Of course, we still waited ten minutes to board even with a FastPass but that gave us a chance to get our breath back and stop sweating. Louise got through the ride somehow despite her irrational yet very real fear of heights/flying. We were out by 10.25 and now the camera is released to record images of the day.

Worth the wait I think you’ll agree.

We turned left as we left The Land heading for The Seas. We entered of course via the Nemo ride which was a walk on and nice sit down. We spent the next hour or so wandering about looking at stuff behind glass.

We watched the manatees eating for a bit and finished our journey to the deep with the Crush show. I know this is aimed at young children, but frankly it is wasted on them. I urge Disney to do an adult version which could be very funny I think.

We emerged into the sunlight at 11.45 heading for our next FastPass which was Spaceship Earth.

We were a little early. Yes, that’s right, early. It’s no good now!

We spent five minutes in the shop near the entrance buying stuff we didn’t need before marching majestically past a sizeable queue with the smugness of Piers Morgan.

After looking for our funny faces on the big screen as left, we headed for Test Track to see how long it would be broken down for. After watching the Jamminators en route we were amazed to find it operational. The posted thirty minute standby queue was right at the end of our tolerance for a queue but we joined nonetheless hopeful for a shorter wait. Alas, it was the full thirty, but with the designing of our car it passed fairly painlessly and we all enjoyed the ride.

After all this fun and stuff it was inevitable pay back that we now had to spend some time in Mousegear. Hadn’t we done today’s shop browsing in the five minutes before Spaceship Earth? We bought stuff, but I didn’t record the details in my notes as the pain was enough first time around.

We moved on to what would be our last ever viewing of Captain Eo, although we didn’t know that at the time. Oddly, this was always in Rebecca’s list of top attractions. Her childhood love of MJ had never diminished and ever since its return this has been a must do. Oddly, there was no wait for this one but despite the half empty theatre we did of course move all the way to the end of the row.

After those few minutes of 1980’s funk we stopped at Ice Station Cool and introduced Sarah to Beverly. You can only imagine the delight of having someone new to play this trick on.

What you need after drinking some Beverly of course is to ride something which can soothe your stomach, so we set off for our Mission Space FastPass. Nana and Grandad opted to sit this one out as the first time we took them on they felt ill for about two and half years afterwards.

Of course we had to choose the Orange experience, as this would be Sarah’s first time. I have noticed, as the years go by, that my propensity to feel as rough as a dog after this ride increases. It is only a matter of time until I emerge from the pod with carrots and sweetcorn all over my bright white trainers. I haven’t eaten either of those since the late nineties but I know that doesn’t matter.

With thankfully clean trainers we left Mission Space and headed up towards World Showcase. With not having spilled my stomach contents it was inevitable that this led to serious turtle head at this point.

Normally, and without need for discussion we would start our world tour at Mexico. I don’t know why we have always gone that way, but it just happened. Today we had reason to do things differently. This was Emily’s first day on stage and so instead we headed straight for the UK to find her.

She was busy being trained of course so couldn’t distract her for long but we got a quick photo and left her to get on with stuff.

We moved on through France and continued the loop through all the countries in turn. Louise did her best to have a drink in each pavilion but had to admit defeat and inebriation after not too long. In Japan we found the drummers about to start as we were leaving so we took a seat for a rest and to watch them. I wandered off to a funnel cake stand near the America pavilion to acquire some much needed calories, and frankly, I played a blinder.

That my friends, is double chocolate funnel cake with ice cream. If possible, it tasted better than it looks and we all dug in and devoured it in no time at all.

Our wanderings continued through lots of shops and stuff.

Germany it seems is mounting a challenge to Mexico, where the law states you must try on the big hats and shake your maracas.

Which by the way we did as well.

We did the ride in Mexico too, although the term ride is a bit of a stretch to be honest.

We were done for today, both in terms of energy and stuff to do so we wandered down to the main exit somehow finding some energy reserves to do some more shopping. It had been a very long, hot and tiring day, and on the drive home most folks declared that they didn’t want to go out for tea so we stopped at a Papa John’s close to home and got enough pizza to feed everyone who was in Epcot today. Louise and I did fancy going out so we left everyone else in their PJs and a pizza coma and set off to eat out.

We had nowhere in mind and ended up at a Chilli’s. It felt strange to be eating as two again and the meal was OK, but nothing special.

I had Tacos and Louise had Fajitas. There was a two for one wine offer on which Louise was delighted about and the bill was a lovely $59 including a good tip. We didn’t get home until 11.20 so bed was the only thing on our minds, where I thrilled and delighted Louise….by falling asleep immediately.

Till the next time…..