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I was up at 5:45 today and Kevin at 7am.

The 2 of us sat out by the pool having our coffee again, watching a big hawk circling around and swooping down to hunt. Never ending entertainment out there, we love it. Got ready and left at 8:15, arriving at HS at 8:35. Parked up in stage 46 and jumped the tram that was about to leave anyway.

Bag check done and in we went, joining the crowds waiting for opening.

9am came and the whole crowd moved forward. We were heading for RnR as we had FPs for TSM, ToT and Star Tours. But RnR is an absolute family favourite for us so it is a must do. It seemed like everyone had the same idea and this was the crowd surging along Hollywood Boulevard.

The queue was right out of the ride and through the area to where the car is above your head at the entrance. By the time we passed under the stand by q sign it said 60m wait and it was only 9:10am.

I had such a sinking feeling as last year we had a bit of a nonsense day at HS when the queues were too big but thankfully everything improved from here. We actually only waited 32 mins as the queue moved quickly.

Look at that ride photo. Hannah tried to pout but could not hold it when the ride shot off. Looks so funny!

The Q time was 85m by the the time we came off (after stopping to dream about having hair of course)

Hannah wanted to wait, but 85m for a ride I have already done that day? No. We finally agreed on queuing for ToT even though we had a FP later as the 3 adrenaline junkies love it. I hate that bloody ride. Every year I do it once thinking I will learn to tolerate it. Then every year I immediately regret it. Guess what folks? Check my face

Never again. The video is even worse. It showed a 45m wait but we actually only waited 27mins. I love it when the queue is quicker than posted! While in the queue there was a family behind us with parents about ages with us and kids roughly the same age as ours. The parents were wearing we are celebrating badges, and when I looked at the writing underneath his said 'My wife is cancer free' and hers said 'I am cancer free'. I near burst into tears right there in the queue and had to gulp it back. Reasons to live life to the full eh?

By the time we got off ToT and I pulled myself together RnR was showing 90m so no repeat ride for us today. We headed round to do The Great Movie Ride. I know some folk are not keen on this but Kieran loves it, and Hannah will do anything for a seat in the aircon.

It showed a 25m wait and that exactly what it was. While in the queue an American lady told me my dress was soooo pretty. Good old primark eh girls? We had the cowboy which was the first time ever. We always get the gangster. The cowboy made a nice change. Although I couldn't understand a word he said because the Texan drawl he was faking was awful. No matter. Kieran applauded his wee hands off at the end.

When we came out we went round the corner and sat at the tables in the shade outside the Commissary and had our backpack coolbag lunch.

It was now 12 and time for our TSM FP. It showed a Q time of 90mins

We all enjoyed this as usual. Kevin and I were on together and he got the high score of 145,500 and I was happy with my 126,500 as that is my highest ever! I don't know what the kids scored as they could not agree who had what it the numbers changed each time they tried to tell us. Mm hmm.

Some restroom stops then it was time for the ToT FP. I sat this out in the shade and waited. No way I was subjecting myself to that twice in one day!

Next up was treat time from the bakery. It is a wee tradition for us to have a sweet treat to watch Indiana Jones.

I had a Mickey Peanut Butter Cup

And the kids had popcorn

Receipt here

Loved Indiana as usual. Oldie but goody. While there a wee girl in front was eyeing up Kieran's popcorn and her mum was apologising profusely. So we poured some into the bag my cup had come in and gave her it. She was all thanks and started eating it. Then 2 minutes later she turned round and handed it back with a disgusted face. It was hilarious! Her poor parents were mortified while we could not hide our giggles.

We came off in perfect time for our Star Tours FP. We had a new film we had never seen before and it was really good. What made it even better was this guy in the back row in his 50s who must have never seen anything like it. He was squealing and laughing with such surprise. Brilliant!

We left the park at 2:20pm as we had done all our major rides and it was heaving now. Into the car and stopped at Walgreens where I got Hannah some face stuff and added a few things that were on the What Medicines Do You Stock Up On thread.

Then onto Walmart where, as well as villa supplies (and fidget spinners for Kieran) I stocked up on some of the things in the Walmart Must Buys thread. Well I have to try what dibbers recommend eh?

We drove home for a quick stop to unload everything before heading out for dinner.

The kids were desperate to try CiCis all you can eat Pizza. We drove straight down the US27 to one there.

Kids eat free on a Tuesday so we paid for 3 adult buffets, 3 adult drinks and a child's drink.

The kids really enjoyed this as they could eat Pizza forever. Kevin said it was fine but he would not go out of his way to do it again. I don't actually eat pizza (can not eat the dough) so had soup and salad. It was ok and the blue cheese dressing was yummy. Pizza pics coming up so droll on by if not your thing.


When we came out the sky was black and it was bouncing down. We popped into Dollar Tree next door (3rd Dollar Tree in as many days) and ended up with this lot

Drove back up the road home

And now Hannah is in her room satisfying her social media needs. The boys are in the pool, but mainly watching 3 wee birds we have not seen before coming in and out of the Bush outside. Still raining on and off but they are loving it anyway as the pool is cosy. I am sitting at the pool writing my TR, enjoying a glass of wine and working on a wee change to tomorrows plans.

We are all going to have some time in the games room later, then Kevin and I will no doubt be back in that Jacuzzi later tonight. Heaven.

Last night after we had been in the pool and jacuzzi, we all went into the games room and played pool and air hockey for a while. We were still in bed by 11 and I was up at 5:30 as usual. When Kevin got up he made us both a coffee and we sat out beside the pool watching the wildlife. At one point a huge turtle came up out of the lake, up the bank and into the swampy bit opposite but we were too slow to get a pic. Hopefully he will come back. The later this wee family of bids popped by. It is brilliant what you see here! And it is so peaceful. We sat here for well over an hour just chilling.

Got the kids up and organised and we left the villa at 10:15. Today we were headed 14 miles up the US27 to Clermont. First stop was to drop me off for a massage using a groupon I had bought. It was $39 but as I bought it Groupon sent me $10 off, it was only $29.

I had google mapped it and read the reviews before I bought and booked it so knew exactly what to expect but I purposely didn't tell the others. It looks like someone's house from the outside!

As we rolled up Hannah went 'Oh my God. No. Mums going to get kidnapped' Drama much? Anyway as I knew it is a simple wee spa inside with a few treatment rooms and I had booked in with the owner and head masseuse Sandra.

I sent the kids and Kevin off down the road to Aldi while I was in there (showing Hannah how to work and navigate Waze for her dad)

Now I didn't go with them so excuse the lack of photos and info, but Kevin did say everything seemed to be much cheaper than Walmart and Target. He went in for a big pack of water and these odd items

He bought the wee coffee cups as the villa has one of these machines, and we are loving it

They arrived back to get me an hour later. I have to say, the massage was up there among the best I have ever had. Totally stretched everything out and I came out feeling totally chilled. If I had time I would be tempted to go again at the end of the holiday. Sandra was lovely and worked wonders on my neck which I sometimes have issues with.

We headed back down the road to the Clermont shops

We went into Rue 21, Ross Dress for less, Bath & Bodyworks, Sephora in JC Penney and TJ Maxx.

In Rue 21 Hannah got 4 things and I got a wee patterned dress (which was a bargainous $6.49). And Kieran got a Fidget Spinner for $9.99

In Ross I got a Gorgeous Karl Lagerfeld dress for $24.99 – It is gorgeous on

And some shortie PJs

And Hannah got Sports leggings & Undies

Next was Bath & Bodyworks, 6 foaming handsoaps, 2 body lotions, 1 body scrub and 10 hand sanitisers (5 for $6). I know I need WAY more hand sanitisers but Kevin was about fainting as it was, so will get more another day.

In Sephora within JC Penney I had thought I would go nuts but the HD forever foundation I love I can now get in Debenhams Silverburn for 30, so no point paying $43 here. So I only bought 2 Sephora lip stains and a smash box pallet

In TJ Maxx the only thing we bought is running shorts for Hannah that she has been after for ages., She says they are 20 at home but paid $14.99.

By now it had clouded over and started to rain but we were headed to use our other Groupons for lunch anyway. This was a deal for Burger Craft which was right across the road from the shops

I paid $8.75 for each voucher as again I bought them using a discount code on groupon. Each voucher got us 2 already crafted burgers, 1 set of fries and 1 drink.

I had the number 2 (in a bowl so no bap), Kevin had the number 10

And the kids both had number 5s

Everything was yummy, but especially the fries. They were so light but really really crispy on the outside.

It was now 3:45 and the rain had eased off. We drove the 14 miles back down the US27 and headed for Animal Kingdom. I had a FP for Expedition Everest, Navi River Journey and Rvers Of Light at 9pm. I have Flight Of Passage on another day. We arrived at 4:40 and parked up in Peacock 13 so just walked right along to the entrance. Rain was gone and it was getting hot again.

We headed straight to EE to use our FP, and the stand by line was 50m

We all love this ride! It seemed longer than before. It's amazing how you forget!

We were out at 5:10 and strolled round slowly to Pandora as our Navi River Journey FP was for 5:55. Pandora really does look amazing

We passed by Flight Of Passage and the stand by was 115mins, which seemed quite good given I had seen it being 3 hours. I was tempted to Q after Navi but Hannah was feeling the heat and I was scared she might keel over.

We went on Navi at 5:45, abusing the 10 minutes early thing. We liked this well enough as it is very pretty and atmospheric, but for us that is it done and there is no way we would queue 80m for it as stand by was at the time. I suspect after FoP we might be tempted to Q for another go.

When we came off we had a look around and just chilled for a bit, drinking lots of water and having a Mickey Ice cream. Hannah really needed this wee time out and we were not in a rush to fit lots of other rides in given we have another AK day planned in.

We wandered back to Africa for the 7pm showing of Festival Of The Lion King. I LOVE this and am especially fascinated by the tumble monkeys. It was fab as always.

We then strolled back to Asia to queue for another go on EE. It showed 45m and we waited 30 so not bad.

It was now 8:45 so we went in and took our seats for Rivers of light. It started to rain again so we got our Ponchos on. The kids really loved this. I think it must be the first time they have seen a show with the pictures projected onto water and there were quite a lot of exclamations of WOW and LOOK! I enjoyed it too, lovely and colourful. My photos are a bit rubbish as my phone got steamy under my poncho!

Headed home and into villa by 10:15. Kevin was straight into the jacuzzi with his beer while I had a shower and rattled up my TR. Writing this it looks like we did loads, but it was actually a pretty slow paced day.

Tomorrow, Hollywood Studios.

Had a great sleep and only woke 15 minutes before the alarm. When we opened the connecting door even Kieran was still asleep. We left the door open as we started to get ready and this was enough to rouse both the kids.

After a quick hotel room breakfast of jam bagels (give us a coolbag and we are invincible!). we headed out of the room and got the bags into the car to head for Epcot.

Arrived at 8:50 and parked in imagine 59 so an easy walk to the doors.

Bag check done and in we went on opening at 9:00. It was mobbed.

We had a FP for Frozen later and given the tiering system, this meant we had a to queue for both the new Soarin and Test Track so we aimed to do these first. We headed straight for soarin. We arrived and it said a 10m wait but we walked straight on. I LOVED this! I always love the simulator type rides and thought the new smells were really prominent. Kieran loved it too, saying hello and waving to the polar bears! He was clapping like a wee seal and cheering when it got to the Epcot fireworks. He did say 'The Eiffel Tower is bent!' When it got to that part and he was right of course. We were sitting to the far right. I assume if you are in the middle section the screen would be more straight. This did not affect my enjoyment at all – I loved it. I would have gone on straight away but my adrenaline junkies were Test Track Bound.

We arrived at TT at 9:30 and it said 45m stand by but we decided to wait as it would only get longer. After 18mins they announced they were experiencing technical difficulties and the wait time would be longer than indicated. Another 10 minutes later and they announced it was closed and to turn around an exit the line. Raging! We came out, walked over to Mouse Gear to pick up a park map and decide what we wanted to do. Hannah really wanted to do Spaceship Earth so with this showing a 25m wait we headed there.

I have been on this twice before and fell asleep both times. This time I was on with Hannah so her jibber jabber kept me awake and I actually quite enjoyed it. For the photo she asked me to do a Pouty McPouty with her. So we did. Then I must have had photo red eye because when it came out I had one eye burnt into big hole which Hannah thought was so hilarious she could hardly breath. I look like something from the terminator movies!

We then walked round for our first FP – Journey into imagination with Figment. Only because we had never done this and, well, you have to book something once you have used that top tier don't you. This was ok – It made Kieran howl with laughter so that was fine by me. They both also enjoyed the interactive bit at the end. By now the kids were hungry so we stopped on a bench for our coolbag lunch. Chicken salad for me, turkey sandwiches, cereal bars and drinks for the others. The we were off again to our FP for Turtle Talk as it was now 11:45.

This was great as usual. Even if I did not have kids of my own I would still come into this. Amazes me how they make it look so natural and Crush is always hilarious. We left this at 12:20 and Kieran wanted to 'do the shell ride' so we did indeed queue for the memo ride which showed a 25m wait but were on and off in 15.

Now it was time for my favourite bit. Round the world showcase. Last year I was really enjoying this when everyone else was moaning about the heat. I was determined to enjoy it this year so the kids were well warned not to complain. Well, I do enough roller coasters for them! That relief they get when they walk into the aircon, is the same relief I get when I walk back out into the heat, Fairs fair.

First stop Mexico ,where I got myself a strawberry margarita. Yum!

We then went inside and Kevin and the kids did the wee boat ride while I wandered around the stalls with my drink enjoying the live music and browsing the stalls. They came off and said it was a bit like small world. The kids then spent 5 mins colouring in the free cardboard fans to help cool them around the rest of the countries.

By this time our FP for Frozen was open next door in Norway. The stand by time was 90 mins. Eek!

I had been looking forward to this and did like it. Kieran loved it too. I suspect Hannah did too but of course it would be very uncool to say so.

We moved on into China and went inside to watch the 360 degree film. Hannah would love to visit China and the Great Wall so this held her interest more than it did Kieran. We actually had a bit of a giggle here about something that happened the other night. We were all chatting Kieran had said 'That Donald Trumps mad. Do you know he has built a wall right through China? The Nutter'. Err no son, that's not quite how it went. And so started a current affairs lesson.

Next stop was Germany. I took the kids into Karamell Kuche to pick a treat

And despite the array of unusual Caramel treats

One chose popcorn and the other chose a Krispy Mickey.

I chose the most delicious Caramel Pecan Tart. It. Was. Delicious. If we are back in Epcot I will getting another!

Prices here

Next up was Italy

Then onto America, where we popped in and watched the singers for a while ( I took a video here instead of a pic so it wont let me post it)

And on the way back out we picked up a Funnel Cake for the kids to share.

Then onto France, and an Orange Grey Goose Slushie for me. Soooo nice that by the time I had finished it in the UK I was tempted to walk back for another.

There was a rock band playing in the wee square in the UK and we sat and watched the last few songs of their set. They were very good, and I wished we had caught their whole set. What an atmosphere sitting in the sun with a drink in hand listening to them. Just fab. The kids of course were melting, and kept going to the rest rooms just because they had aircon!

We skimmed past the rest of the countries and stepped into the history of Pixar film as I knew that would be cool and we had not seen it before. This was quite cute and again Kieran loved it. It certainly cooled them down after they had tolerated the world showcase for me. After this we headed for Club Cool for some tastes of different drinks. Hannah's favourite is from Africa apparently. Don't know the name.

We headed back out to the car having had enough for one day. Our only downside had been missing Test Track and given it was now a 100m queue we were not waiting! Maybe come back another day.

We drove out to the Olive Garden at rolling oaks for dinner. We had hoped for the buy one take one home offer that Redrach wrote about but that is finished now.

Kieran had Pizza from the kids menu with grapes as a side.

Kevin had Chicken Shrimp Pasta. Which of course came with endless salad and bread sticks

Hannah had Chicken & Shrimp carbonara, without the shrimp. Which came with endless chicken and Gnocchi soup (which I ate) and breadsticks.

I had a glass of red, Kevin and Hannah had Diet Coke and Kieran had raspberry lemonade.

Everyone was stuffed with no room for dessert so the very reasonable bill is here. Our server was great and we tipped the 20%.

So this has probably been my favourite day yet.

And now that we are home, we are in our current favourite place. Playing around that lovely hot pool with the kids, and having a beer and glass of wine. Happy Days

We had an early start today to check in to the hotel for our overnight stay, planning to leave at 7:10. I was up at 5:45 before the 6am alarm and Kevin was up right behind me. Showers, suncream, coolbags packed. Our backpack one for today, and a big polystyrene one from the villa and another of our small ones with more supplies for the room and tomorrow.

I woke Hannah at 6:15 reminding her when we wanted out. Then I woke her again 10 minutes later, I had to keep going in telling her to get a move on. When we were 5 minutes to leaving and we were all ready she assured me she would be. That 5 minutes passes and of course she is not ready at all, but appears to have all the time in the world to be snap chatting her pals back home. A few cross words and we eventually get out.

The mood was certainly lightened (for everyone else) when Kevin decided to muck about with the controls while we were sitting at a set of lights. As we pull away from said lights cold air starts blowing all through my seat, lifting my dress and making me freezing. I was horrified and started pressing all the buttons trying to get it off while the other 3 were in fits of laughter.

We arrived at the gatehouse and showed our All Star Movies booking confirmation, she asks for photo ID, I open my Kipling multiple to get our passport laminates and ..... Not there. I had changed over from my blue multiple to my mink one and had missed the wee zippy bit at the back with the laminates in. We explained and she humphed a bit then let us through. So we knew checking in was going to be interesting.

We get to the check in desk and explain but he initially says there is no way he can check us in without photo ID. I usually have photos of them on my phone but some reason didn't this year. I had emailed my dad copies of our passports and driving licences recently so whatsappd my mum to get her to ask him to email them back to me so they would come to my phone. The checkin guy asked us to go over and wait for those to arrive, but then he heard me say my mum replied saying they were not at home but could send them later. He then took our park tickets, credit card (that he could see was linked in MDE) and asked us a load of security questions before checking us in. Phew. I think Kevin might have divorced me if we had had to go back to the villa. Got our magic bands and they said they would email us when the room was ready. Kevin went back to the car to put the parking pass in the window and get the Coolbag then we were sorted.

We waited 10mins for a bus to MK and it arrived with just one couple and a child on it. It was filled up by our stop and off we went.

Arrived at security at 8:45 and the queues were massive, but it only took us 15mins to get through bag check, the body scanners, then in to the park. We walked up Main Street stopping for a few MM photos then onto space mountain.

It showed a 20min wait and that was accurate. This wee old woman really annoyed me. She appeared from way behind up the side of the queue muttering in broken English about how her friend was up ahead and she just skipped a whole bunch of folk, ending up just in front of us. She was howling stinking too. Yuk. I said to Kevin how there was no pal and it was obvious she was just skipping. Well we get to the ride and we get split with her sitting in front of Kieran and I, and Kevin and Hannah in the carriage behind. I cannot believe this annoying smelly wee wummin is now in my ride photo. I did laugh as we went round mind you. She just howled No No No Oh My God Oh My God all the way. I started to wonder if actually knew what she had queued up for. It was very very shoogly mind you.

Off SM at 9:40 and over to Buzz. It was not showing the wait time but the family in front of us asked and were told 15 minutes. We were in fact on in 5 minutes. Kevin wanted to go straight back on again but the kids vetoed that saying they wanted to go to the speedway.

You can tell from Hannah and I's photo that one of knew where the camera was eh?

We get there and the two of them are bickering about who gets to drive. So I tossed a coin, Hannah won and Kieran declared he was not going on then. Weans. So, not entertaining any of this nonsense I said fine lets go and moved on. As we passed SDMT it had a 75min wait already, so thank goodness we had a FP for that later. We had a loo stop at the tangled toilets (love them) then as the Haunted Mansion showed 30m we went in.

We were in the stretching room within 10 minutes.

We then made our way round to Splash Mountain to do that before our FP for BTM opened at 11:50. We reached Splash at 10:35 and it was showing a 40m wait.

We actually only waited 23mins. Kevin and I decided to have a laugh with the kids on the photo to get them back for their bickering. Hee hee

Then we came off and stopped for an early lunch from the coolbag. By the time we left it looked really busy and the Q had gone up to 55mins.

We had another half hr to kill before BTM so had a look round the shop. I am slightly in love with this hat and think I might get it when we go back $29.99.

Kevin will not be getting this one

And the kids rested and fed had become mates again

Went to BTM 5 minutes before our FP and got on. The standby time was showing 45mins. We do love this ride. Was there never a ride photo on this one?

We came off at 11:57 and I decided I wanted to do the jungle cruise. We have never done this and to be honest I was not entirely sure what it was like. The wait showed 40 minutes (which it ended up was accurate) and the kids were not amused in the queue as they knew it was not a big ride. I can't say they were any more impressed once on the boat! Kieran just kept saying how everything was fake as if he could not understand why anyone would go on this boat to look at plastic animals! I did laugh. But not at Courtney the captains jokes. She was rubbish.

As we came off and passed the Aloha Isle I wanted to try another first – a dole whip. The kids came with me but were again unimpressed that everything they sold was made of pineapple. So declined anything.

The Dole Whip was lush!

We sat outside on a big wooden platform thing and watched the world go by for a bit. Kevins knee brace thing seems to be working and although we had to keep slowing down to let him catch up, he was managing ok. Kieran had a Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich.

Next up was out FP for SDMT at 1:20 and the kids were really flagging now. We enjoyed SDMT as usual, but as soon as we got off, both kids wanted to get back to the hotel.

It was seriously hot today and although I was fine, they were desperate for some cool. Our last FP was Space Mountain at 3:15 but they were not interested in waiting so I cancelled it. We walked back round past the Speedway and having learned their lesson from earlier said they would ride it and both drive separate cars. They ended up waiting 40 minutes for this while Kevin and I sat in the shade and waited.

It was now 2:45 as we headed for the bus but I still had not had an email with our room number. We got back to the resort at 15:15 and queued for reception who explained the guy this morning had wiped my email address off in error. Got the room number, collected the car and drove round to the mighty ducks building. Got all the bags and coolbags out of the car, trailed round the building, trailed up the stairs as the lift wasn't working (ouchy for Kevins knee), only to find none of the magic bands would open the door. Aargh. Went downstairs to use the lobby phone to guest services, she reset them and told me to try again. Back up, and the MB opened the door. Yay! There was only one bed. Not so Yay! Back down onto that phone again. She then explained they had given us two interconnecting rooms and the bands would open next door too. Yay again!

All piled in, Kieran was straight down to the pool for a dip, Kevin went for a nap and Hannah plugged in her phone as she was having social media withdrawal. I lay on the bed, enjoying the cool air and churned out my TR up to this point in the hope I will be able to still upload it tonight. Usually when we have a hotel stay I don't get it done until next day. We have nothing booked for dinner tonight so need to decide what we want to do. Disney springs for dinner? Back to MK for Happy Ever After fireworks? Who knows.

Be back to add the evening update later!

We decided to go Disney Springs. On a Saturday night in June. With no dinner reservation. See where this is going?

Firstly the bus service that had been ok all day, suddenly went a bit Pete Tong. We arrived at the bus stop at 7pm and it showed the next one due at 7:24. Then it just kept adding another 5 minutes whenever it felt like it. Kevin was mumbling about just getting the car and just driving offsite for dinner when one eventually rocked up. We had waited 45 minutes.

It then took 30 minutes to get to Disney Springs. By this time all notion of meandering around enjoying the entertainers had gone. We just wanted to find somewhere to eat. So back to that no reservation thing. It was mobbed and everywhere was queued out. This was the queue for Blaze pizza.

We still want to try this at some point so will maybe come back on a weeknight. We ended up with fish n chips from Cookes Of Dublin as we could at least get near enough to it to actually buy food.

It was really nice but was about $46 for 3 portions. This is what Kevin said anyway as he came back with no receipt.

Once fed, we did have a bit of a wander and it does look lovely all lit up, but we could see the lightening starting. And given how long it had taken us to get out we wondered how long it would take to get home.

So we headed back to the bus stop. We waited nearly half an hour for the bus then it took another 35 minutes to the hotel. This drove me nuts, I can't lie. I couldn't do that every day on holiday. Apart from how slow it all is, the aircon on the bus is harsh. I was frozen.

On the way the rain started chucking down really hard. The driver had the bus in darkness so Kieran instantly fell asleep. We were sitting four in a row and Hannah had to put her arm across him to make sure he didn't fall off the seat!

Thanks fully the rain had eased off a bit by the time we reached home and we could donner back to the room without getting soaked.

Back to the hotel and settled for the night.

I woke at 3:55 and was able to fall back to sleep until 5:55 which was the latest lie on a first Florida morning yet. Usually takes my to about day 4 to get past 5am. Kevin had been out of bed for an hour or so already, as his knee was bothering him. He has had a sore knee on and off for about 6 months and hasn't been able to go running because of it, but it does not usually bother him day to day. However, he probably should have moved around during the flight more than he did as by the time we had flown over and did the drive to the villa it was sore and quite swollen. So he had gotten up to take some Tylenol. Kieran was also up, and he had had his breakfast and was in the pool by 6:30!

Plan for today was Typhoon Lagoon which opens at 10 so we planned to leave at 8:45 and stop at Walgreens for something for Kevins knee, the still be there for opening. When I went to Hannahs room to wake her and let her know, she was already up. Shockarooney. Told her the plans which she was fine with.

Kevin made up the days sandwiches and packed the backpack cool bag with those, bottles of water, frozen water, robinsons squashed, pop tarts etc. Breakfast had, washings done, bags packed, everybody suncreamed up and away we went.

Stopped at Walgreens on the 192. Kevin spoke to the pharmacist and got a compression strap and some Brufen. I had a browse about and bought some face wipes, chewy antacids, cotton buds and Benadryl itch relief cream (amazing for mozzie bites). There's probably more I want from Walgreens but am sure I will manage another mooch another day. We were laughing in the car about how this year Kevin has a dodgy knee, and last year it was his dodgy back at Universal. Dibbers will think he is falling to bits all the time!

Got to TL at 9:45, through the gates and up to the bridge to wait. This is when we realised Hannah was in trainers and she admitted she had not packed any flip flops. Why she did not wear the water shoes I had brought I do not know. Presumably not cool enough. So she was barefooted the rest of the day. Got a couple of good beds beside the pool and the kids were in diving into that wave in about 30 seconds flat. Kevin went to get them to take the round the slides whilst it would be quiet and I settled with my kindle.

They came back at 12 for a cool bag lunch and I suncreamed them all again. Not missing their faces this time to avoid the belting face Hannah had when I did that previously.

They had been on the new Miss Adventure Falls and had a photopass card to add to MDE.

Hannah thought I would like it. Kevin decided he wanted to rest his knee so would sunbathe for a bit. I went off with the kids for a go on this new ride. I don't mind the raft ones so much, but do not like the usual flume type rides as I have no doubt explained in previous trippies. We got chatting to a Glasgow guy in front of us in the queue who had been sent to suss it out by his missus before they took their 5 year old on it. As we got nearer he asked if Kieran wanted to go on with him and Kieran happily jumped in with him. Kieran told me him and the man were howling laughing at me screaming behind them. I did actually like it though. Despite my photo looking ridiculous.

The guy jumped off declaring his 5 year old would love it saying she is bonkers anyway! I decided I had earned my first dippin dots of the holiday. Hannah had cotton candy, Kieran had cookie dough, and I had Banana split. YUM!

After that the kids and I had a toorey round the lazy river. Twice. Love the lazy river but it was quite busy today. Was still bliss though.

Hannah stayed on for another few circuits, I went back to lie down and Kieran headed for the big wave again.

By 3pm we had hit that wall. It really was scorching and even I felt I had had enough sun for the day which almost never happens. We rounded the kids up. We had planned on using the showers there to get ready and maybe moving on somewhere else but we knew now we were not up for that.

So we just headed home via Target at rolling oaks for some cooked chicken and some potato salad and coleslaw for an easy dinner if we stay in. I also got a bottle of Malibu from the liquor store, and some bits n bobs from Dollar Tree.

Got home to the villa at 4:30 and Hannah headed off for a shower and some chill time on her ipad. Kieran got in the pool with the ring Kevin pumped up (using a pump from the villa).

Kevin also got into the pool, but with a beer. And I settled (in the SHADE with WATER no less. That is how much sun I had today!) to write up my TR for today so far.

As I write we are undecided whether to laze around the pool for the evening (sun is still scorching) and have the chicken dinner, or to get ready and walk round to the Irish Pub for fish n chips. I am leaving it to the others to decide as I really do not mind either way. Although I wonder if they do cocktails up there. Whatever we do it should not be a late night as we have an early start tomorrow, checking into All Star Movies and off to MK.

I will pop back later to add on the evening stuff. Short as it may be.

Loving life!!

We decided it was too hot to walk round to the pub for dinner, and it was so glorious sitting beside the pool, that the chicken dinner won.

So we dished that up and just picked at that and sat around together chatting. Then we all got back in the pool and jacuzzi. That's probably the best thing about this villa so far. Sitting out there at night with that view of the sunset is just stunning. I have just noticed we didn't even take any good photos of the sunset so will need to do that another night. It is gorgeous. And the pool is roasting. I almost contemplated calling the management company to turn it down a bit as it was weird getting into a hot pool when it was warm outside, but Oh. My. Lord. When the sun was going down tonight it was absolute heaven bobbing around out there. Then sitting in the jacuzzi with a wee Malibu. Heaven.

And we are loving all the wildlife around the lake. You will be sitting there and suddenly all the geese from over the lake rise up and fly around. There are rabbits just across the lake, and we have 2 caterpillars hanging off the mesh of the pool surround, one which has just turned to a cocoon and one that has just started. We love this as we often buy the Lore Caterpillars and watch them turn into butterflies before we release them. So Kieran and I are now on daily metamorphosis watch!

Then to top it off this little guy above turned up to say hello, causing much excitement!

Here is a closer up pic

So I am sorry if it makes for a very boring evening to read, but for us it was just fabulous family time. Even if Pouty McPouty did make a return!

Didn't sleep great. Bed was really comfy but I am just still too excited I think. But the main thing that disturbed me (well, all of us really) was Hannah's sleep talking. Oh My God. If she does that every night it really is no wonder she is exhausted in the morning and cant get out of bed. Every 15 minutes she was off again, and always at the top of her voice. One minute it was gobbledygook, then she was banging on about adidas superstars, the she was pulling the pillow away from Kieran shouting at him for stealing it, then she was on about somebody patching her. Honestly she is bonkers. There was poor Kieran hanging on to his one and only pillow! Anyway, we had set all the phone alarms but I knew we wouldn't really need them as Kieran and I always wake early even when we are not dealing with Hannah's sleep talking.

Kieran woke first at 6:50 and went for his shower. Hannah had said she would need to shower at 7 to be ready for breakfast at 8 so we woke her up to make sure she went next. We had done the same as we always do and worn clothes past their best yesterday so we could just dump them and not have to carry them with us today when we changed into our travel outfits.

Off to breakfast at 8. Breakfast was great. Continental buffet plus a cooked breakfast to order. You basically just tell the waitress how many of everything you want. Lots of photos coming up for those due to stay at Heald Green soon so scroll on if that"s not your bag.

We left the hotel at 9am to walk round for the 9:10 train. I say walk round. It is about a 90 second walk! Cannot believe how close the hotel is to the station. Here is a photo taken from standing on the platform. The roof you can see behind the trees is the premier inn. That is how close it is.

We have decided we would definitely stay here again. Liked the hotel, meal deal and food were great, and it actually feels more convenient for us than PI north or south given the frequent train links. Unless he eventually lets me go for the Radisson blu of course.

Train arrived at Manchester Airport at 9:14 and we went up the escalator and along the corridors again to T2. We arrived at security at 9:20 and would have been through in 5 minutes if Hannah had not forgot to take her wee clear plastic back with her liquids out of her bag. Due to this they set it aside for extra checks and we had to wait til it was her turn. Even with this we were out by 9:32, so 12 mins for security even with that extra check.

Bought a couple of magazines and I treated myself to some new perfume, then we headed for a seat to wait it out.

Our flight was due to leave at 11:30. They started to board premium at 11:00 so Knew we would not be exactly on time. We were boarded by 11:35 then queued to take. Off for ages. In fact we queued so long hannah fell asleep before we even took off.

We took off at 12:07 which was not bad. We plugged our phones into the USB chargers and mine charged from 30% to 100% in 40 minutes, so that was good.

The running order thereafter was roughly (uk times) 12:37 they brought the customs forms and complimentary earphones round.

13:18 they served complimentary drinks. I had a red wine and the others had diet cokes which are full size cans instead of the dinky ones. 14:07 the kids meals came out. Kieran had this which was sausages, carrots and mash with gravy and he declared it to be yummy. He also had crackers and a wee laughing cow cheese, a sticky toffee pudding and a wee pack of jelly beans with a Forrest fruits juice drink.

At 14:35 the adult meals came out which was roast chicken with carrots broccoli potatoes and gravy. It was really moist which was a nice surprise as I expected it to be dry. We had a roll, cheese and crackers and a Chocolate orange ganache pudding. They also served another drink with this. Another wee red for me.

At 17:00 they served another round of complimentary drinks. Red for me again. Well I am on my holidays after all. And Kevin is driving at the other end, not me!

By this time Kieran was starting to ask how long we had to go, and what the plans were when we got there. K: Are we stopping at the shops? Me: Just to collect out Walmart order, why? K: Can we go somewhere for me to buy a limited edition fidget spinner? Me: (silence and a mum look) Err, No – Not today Kieran.

At 19:30 they brought the afternoon tea around wth a kids one for Kieran

And adult ones for us

During the flight I watched Why Him, then Collateral Beauty, then How To Be Single. I feel asleep in the last half of collateral beauty so had to rewind that to watch it again. My darling daughter repaid me for the sleeping photo earlier.

It was a comfortable flight. I am usually always freezing on planes and end up wrapped in my fleece, Kevins fleece and begging for a blanket. But this time I was fine and did not even have my fleece on. Plenty of legroom too. In fact when we sat down Hannah asked had I paid for extra legroom as it seemed so spacious.

At 20:10 they announced we were starting our descent into Sanford.

The pilot came on just before landing to say we were about to fly over Cape Canaveral. We could see the launch pad and the assembly building which I thought was pretty cool. I loved KSC last year but no plans to revisit this year.

We landed at 20:50, so 15:50 US time which I will use from now on. It took us an hour and 15mins to clear immigration and collect the car from Alamo. I will apologise in advance about the car info as I am rubbish with cars. Just not interested so I never retain the info about them, but here goes. We usually get an SUV but this time Kevin had booked a premium car for 353. He was pleased with the price as it only ever went up after we booked. The guy who led us out to the line was really friendly and chatty. He showed us the line which had some big cars and normal looking SUVs in it., Kevin pointed out some others he fancied in another line and the guy kind of looked unsure then said aw come on over lets set you up. We ended up with this, which Kevin seems delighted with. He must have been as he tipped the guy $20.

It appears to be a Grand Cherokee according to the sign on the side. It has done 5000 miles so must be relatively new. All I know is it has a nice big boot, comfy seats and is nice and high up to sit in. That is as much as I care about. Oh and it has a fancy sat nav, although we turned her off in favour of Waze on the way to the villa. The main reason being a chat on the dibb had made it clear that was the best route from Sanford and I could see the whole map on waze so was able to see it was definitely taking us along the 417 instead of the I4. I couldn't work out how to do that on the sat nav. Or at least I probably could (or will at some point) but I was also juggling trying to confirm my Walmart order pick up and having the toll money each time we reached a toll. As well as trying to get the kids to keep quiet as Kevin gets stressed on that first drive if the kids are bickering. Then we all get stressed.

I had done an online Walmart shop while in the UK and chose 5-6pm pickup time. This turned out to have been a wee bitty optimistic given we didn't arrive at Walmart until 6:25. When I ordered it had said they would send me an email when it was ready to collect then I should login to the Walmart app to confirm when I was 10mins away from collecting it. But I couldn't download the app as it said it was only for USA. I had assumed it would let me download it once we were in USA, but no. So not only were we half an hour late, but I had not confirmed collection either, so I was a bit worried this was going to fall to bits. We arrived at the pickup side of the store and there was nobody to be seen so I went into the store to ask, leaving Kevin and the kids parked at the pickup side. Lady in the store took my order number and phoned someone who asked her to confirm I was Helen, and to tell me she had found my husband and was loading up now. By the time I went back round the side the shopping was in and we were good to go.

I would definitely do this again. I hate that first Walmart shop when everyone is tired and you cannot decide what to buy. I had done it at my leisure then went in a few more times in the week to add bits I had forgot and update the order – dead simple. I will show the delivery receipt as it will let you see prices as I know there's been a lot of chat about supermarket prices being up this year.

5 minutes down the road and found the villa no problem. We got unpacked and put the food away. There was actually quite a welcome pack waiting food wise, which had I realised I might've skipped the Walmart shop til morning. As well as the photo below there was waiting in the fridge, milk, water, orange juice, sprite, jam and butter. The the boys jumped in the pool and Kevin cracked open some well deserved beers.

Villa lovely so far. I will post more about it another day as I am a bit shattered now. But here's a couple of quick photos for now.

So today was the day!

I slept well after a bit of a weird evening the night before. I had finished work at 9pm in fine form, work all done, out-of-office on, and skipping out the door. Then I got home and could not seem to do anything right. My plan was to lay out the next days clothes and pack the bags for the overnight in Manchester, but for some reason I was a total waste of space. Kept changing my mind about clothes and could not organise myself. I had a chat on the dibb (where I was reassured that this was normal for us dibbers). Eventually I just poured a glass of wine and put a couple of episodes of the Great British Menu on the telly. I am obsessed with cooking programmes and series link them all! This did the trick of calming me down and I swanned off to bed leaving it all til morning.

Up at 8 and normal 'morning we go on holiday' stuff that we all have to do started. Showers, cleaning the house, changing the beds, emptying the fridge, sorting the cat with the neighbour, begging Pouty McPouty to dry her hair, pack her hand luggage and actually be ready to leave on time. No? That one just me then? Amongst all this I got the clothes and hand luggage sorted for Kieran and I with no problem at all. So I clearly just had a blip the night before. Kevin sorted his own.

We get free train travel within Kevins job so we were taking the train all the way to Manchester Airport as usual. We don't live far from our local station, so Kevin dropped Hannah and I off with all the cases then went back and dropped the car at home, walking back to the station with Kieran (desperate to get his steps up on his new Fitbit type thing). We were in Glasgow central station for 12:45 and picked the kids up a Burger King lunch before boarding the 13:09 direct to Manchester Airport.

The guard on the train was lovely and we got chatting about where we were going. He said he and his wife plan on taking their girls next year for the first time so I of course explained all about the dibb. So if you ever make it on here - Hi!

As we were sitting in first class, we got spoilt with endless cups of tea and hot chocolate and they kept giving us pastries, cookies, chocolate cake and wee snack boxes with cheese and crackers, pretzels and crisps. Kieran as usual stuffed his wee face with everything going, despite the BK meal he had already had.

One bizarre thing happened. As we were pulling out of Carlisle this 80's synth pop started playing on the train, getting louder and louder. I'm commenting to Kevin that I had never been on a train with piped music before and it was a slightly odd choice. Then it was Dire Straits, then back to synth pop again (but nothing recognisable). It was only when the guard came along the carriage and opened the doors to go into the next carriage I realised it was a passenger through there playing it very loudly through a big speaker, and not coming from the train at all. They asked him to turn it down which he did a bit, but then held the speaker to his forehead all the way to Preston. It was still loud enough to hear clearly in our carriage so I think the guy might have had special needs or something. We saw him get off at Preston and peace was restored.

Arrived on time in Manchester at 16:45, up in the lift to the airport. Note Pouty McPouty again. I read a previous TR with the parents desperate for some photos without their son dabbing. My challenge is clearly going to some photos of Hannah where she is not trying to look like a duck. Made our way along the corridors past the Radisson Blu (someday Kevin will let us spend the money to stay there!), on to terminal 2 and to a completely deserted bag drop.

Dropped the 3 suitcases and got our boarding passes. We hadn't reserved seats as we only paid 1300 total for the flights, and this is a budget trip due to whole new kitchen thing. Each time I had logged into my booking in the past few weeks as though I was going to pay for seats it looked like there were very few to select, and dotted all over the plane. So I resigned myself that this was the chance we had taken and we would just have to put up with that. Then when online checkin opened a week before our flight I was delighted to see we had actually been allocated 3 in a row and one across the aisle in row 12 - fab!.

So, cases gone and boarding passes in hand, we made our way back across the corridors past the Radisson Blu again (I wanna stay there!) to the train station, and onto a train back to Heald Green, which is only a 4min journey. We had booked the premier inn at Heald Green after reading about it on a couple of TRs here.

It was the same price as Runger Lane north & south (85 at the time we booked) but saved us 12 in taxis either way as the train station is right on its doorstep. It is also right on the MAN airport flight path and with the window open the planes are loud. But with the window closed you cant really hear them. For us, who live directly under Glasgows flight path, we barely notice it anyway.

I'd also read that the beefeater attached to it acts as its restaurant and that the food was quite nice. We checked in, adding the 24.99 per adult meal deal for both Kevin and I. This gets us each a 2 course dinner, breakfast in the morning, and free breakfast for both kids. So we only need to add the kids dinners tonight and we are sorted. By 17:30 we were in our room.

The kids of course immediately were on the wi-if which was a strong and quick connection. Room has a double and 2 single beds in it which Hannah was delighted about as she was determined not to share with her brother now, which is fair enough as they are now 13 and 9. We had to turn the temp down in the room as its very warm down here (even I was warm, which almost never happens). Room is standard PI but nice and clean so we are quite happy.

Heading over to the Beefeater for dinner now so will update the rest later....

Having bought the meal deal we ordered 4 mains and 2 deserts so only had to pay for the 2 mains for the kids. I had a glass of red, the kids had diet cokes and Kevin had a pint. I forgot to take a pic of the receipt (must try harder) but the bill was 30.xx. So all in all 80 for dinner and breakfast for the four of us which I am happy with.

I took some pics of the menu for those staying here soon - scroll on if you aren't interested!

I had oven baked sea bass with sliced potatoes and Greek salad, The Sea Bass was lovely - very juicy.

Kevin had a mixed grill

Hannah had fish n chips

And Kieran had a chicken burger

Then both kids had a chocolate brownie sundae but I forgot the photos DOH!

While sitting here I got a private message from dibber Di5ney who had been working at Central station and spotted us getting on the train in Glasgow. How cool is that? We had a nice chat back n forth. Small world!

We sat out in the beer garden for a few more drinks as it's quite hot and sticky tonight. That was nice, and with the planes coming in over our heads felt quite like home to us!

Then back to the room where we are all settled in watching Transformers The Dark Side of The Moon.

Oh and totally off subject - Pouty McPouty wants you all to see her nails as it's the first time she has had acrylics so here you go - don't say I'm not good to you!

Night all x

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