lallan's DIBB Photo Blogs
Day 3 - Shopping & Olive Garden 26.3.17
Walked 6,085 steps (2.5 miles/4km)
Spent - $244.42
Boys spent - $172.38
All that walking in MK yesterday worked a treat and we all slept like babies last night, waking up around 8am this morning. I think that's us quickly adjusted to US time.
It was a hot one this morning so after breakfast DH and I sunbathed while the boys had a swim.
We had hot dogs for lunch then got showered and changed ready to go shopping. The loop is 10 mins from our villa so headed there first.
First stop was Dollar Tree. We spent $50.15 on a load of random things, but mainly sweets and Yugio Watch toys:
Went to Ross next but it wasn't up to much. Neither was Burlington which was disappointing
I got to pick dinner since it's Mother's Day and I chose Olive Garden. The one at the loop was very busy and at 5pm they told us it'd be over an hour wait so we decided to drive to the one at crossroads before going to Vineland outlets.
This Olive Garden was empty and we were seated right away and started with drinks and breadsticks. DH and I both got the 'buy one take one' dinner deal at $12.99 each. This is great value and you get a full meal to eat in the restaurant plus another full one to go along with either endless salad or soup. I picked fettuccine alfredo for now and spag bol to go, along with endless salad. DH chose spag bol for now and baked ziti to go along with endless soup. DS1 had pepperoni pizza, DS2 had cheese pizza and DS3 had chicken tenders with spaghetti and fries.
We left $65 inc tip. For the cost this was a ridiculous amount of food on the table and we also had a huge bag of food to go. I even had the cheek to show a coupon for a free dessert and picked black tie chocolate mousse cake :P I asked for this to go!!!
Full to the brim we headed to the outlets.
Adidas up first and it was but one get one half off. DS1 and DS2 wanted football boots. This came to $74.53 from their own spends.
DS3 was desperate to get to toys r us for Five Nights At Freddy's toys he'd saw on YouTube...Success!!! He was over the moon and happily handed over $97.85 of his own spends.
Michael Kors for me straight to the back of the store for clearance. It's 70% off the lowest ticket price. For $117.65 total, I got a gorgeous grey and silver large jet set tote $78+tax down from $259.99!!! And a lovely merlot quilted clutch for $32.99+tax down from $109.99!!!
Last stop was character warehouse. We spent $11.62 in here: Some tsum tsum toys for DS3's collection back home. They were 99.cents each but buy 2 get 1 free. Also bought 3 light up multicolored Mohawk hairpieces at 99.cents each and 2 large mugs at $1.99 each.
We got back to the villa around 9pm.
Tomorrow's plan is Hollywood Studios. We're meeting up with my mum and dad
Day 2 - Steak n Shake & Magic Kingdom 25.3.17
Walked 11,688 steps (4.8 miles/7.7km)
Spent - $120.66
Thank goodness our bed in the villa is super comfy as I badly needed a good sleep after the two previous nights having next to none. So i woke up at 5am feeling brand new The boys woke up and had breakfast...s'mores pop tarts, pancakes and syrup and sausage and egg biscuits. By 7.30am they couldn't wait any longer and back in the pool they went. They played while we relaxed for the next two hours then we got ready and headed to a favourite of ours for brunch.
We got to Steak 'n Shake around 11am. Milkshakes were ordered. DH and DS1 both had chocolate shake, I had salted caramel pretzel (my fave), DS2 had kids Oreo red velvet and DS3 had kids strawberry.
Meal was $27.30, we left $32. Kids eat free all day every day now. It used to only be at the weekend but it's recently changed. Great food, great value
With full bellies, we set off for Magic Kingdom. $20 parking paid and parked up in Scar 425. We had to redeem our etickets at will call and this took an age. I forgot to bring my magic band so bought a new red one at will call $13.72 inc tax. All sorted, we caught the ferry and it was after 2pm by the time we walked up Main Street. Our 1st fastpass was for the Haunted Mansion for between 2-3pm so rode this first. It's DS3's favourite ride.
The park was absolutely heaving today. We expected it tho being a Saturday but still wanted it to be the first park of the holiday.
We nipped in to Mickey's PhilharMagic before our next FP which was POTC.
As we came out we caught Capt. Jack Sparrows pirate tutorial show. The cast member was really good
It was around 5pm by now and all the walking had made us hungry and the boys were desperate for Turkey Legs! x2 and a coke cost $26.92... compare that to what we got earlier in Steak 'n Shake and you get the reason why I hate buying food in the parks!
Last prebooked FP was 7DMT. This was our first time riding this as it was impossible to get a FP last time we done Disney in 2015. I was a bad mummy here... I never let on to DS3 who hates coasters that it was in fact a coaster. Up until we were strapped in he thought he was just going on a train...lol. He survived and was very brave, played it cool when we came off but then stated he will never go on a roller coaster again!
That was our 3 allowed FPs done now so got another for a favourite of mine The Little Mermaid...I love all the songs on here
It was after 7pm and we were somehow feeling peckish again. We stopped in at Gaston's Tavern for x2 LeFou's brews and a croissant and that cost $15.52. Also bought x2 popcorn tubs from cart outside and this was $8.50.
We were all shattered by this point and thought one more ride then home. On the app we grabbed a FP for the Mad Tea Party.
The sun was just going down as we made our way toward the exit. The castle looked beautiful.
By the time we waited on the monorail and the transportation to parking lot it was getting late and we were feeling the first day tiredness. It had been a busy day and we managed to do a fair bit.
Back at the villa for 9pm-ish and we all crashed out right away.
Mother's Day tomorrow so I get to shop... yay
Day 1 - Travel Day 24.3.17
So my alarm had been set for 5.30am but that was not necessary....I woke up at 2.45am with the worst stomach cramps I've ever had. I felt all clammy and just generally yucky. I tossed and turned trying to get back to sleep but it was no use. Just after 3.30am I had to make a run for the loo!! I was in and out of there for the next hour. Then at about 4am I started throwing up too. It was horrible. I was in a right state and trying my hardest not to wake DH and the boys. But DH and DS2 woke up about 4.30am and that was them fully awake. I showered and tried to get ready in between toilet visits. This went on for the next 2 hours and at one point I started to think i wasn't going to get to Florida in this condition. I can't blame that burger 100% but I knew after a few bites something wasn't right with it and it clearly never agreed with me.
At 7am we checked out of the Travelodge and made our way to the airport, less than 10 mins away. I was still feeling really delicate and had to make a run for the bathroom as soon as we had dropped the car off. I threw up some more and felt really embarrassed as the loo's were busy and everyone could hear me
Check in took less than 5 mins as we had the priority boarding, so with the cases gone we went straight through fast track security and on to departures. At this point i again felt really sick and had to abandon DH with the boys and make a run for the bathrooms. DH and the boys headed to Burger King for some breakfast. They weren't doing any breakfast menu tho so a Whopper meal and a chicken nugget meal and some drink were shared. This was £15. I caught up with them and I started to gradually feel a bit less sicky. A quick nip into Boots for some bottles of juice and water which was £6.
The gate was called and at about 9.20am the plane started boarding. We were boarded first with priority pack. We got settled in our window seats and 1 isle on rows 20 and 21. Lucas chose to sit in the seat on his own. I still look a bit pale here..
The seat felt very roomy. This was the original AirTanker we were on.
Plane took off at 10.25am. It was a lovely sunny morning in Manchester and I spotted Old Trafford just as we were on our way up.
We upgraded 2 of our TV's to Premium and this was £5 each so £10. Baillie wanted to sit in with his dad so he could go to sleep with his legs over him so I swapped seats with him. Justin sat glued to the Trolls movie.
I just people watched for the first bit of the flight, totally relieved that my stomach was now settled and I felt normal again. I couldn't imagine how I would ever have coped on the plane if I had still felt the way I had earlier. I was soooo tired after only getting about 2 hours sleep in the Travelodge!
Food was served just before 1pm. Choice was sausage and mash or BBQ chicken and mac+cheese. I had ordered the 3 boys kids meals but apparently these hadn't been loaded onto the plane. The cabin crew told me it would have been pasta bolognaise for the kids. He apologized for the mishap and gave me a form to send in to customer relations after the holiday. Justin never touched the chicken Mac+cheese, said it was yucky. I had my appetite back so I hovered down the sausage and mash. I always seem to enjoy plane food though.
At 2.30pm they came round with tiny Lily O'Brien's ice cream cones. Shortly after this Duty Free done the rounds. I treated myself to Versace Woman perfume. This was on a special and was supposed to be £19 but there was a promo on for Mother's Day so it actually only cost £15.20...bargain
Justin had fell asleep just before they came round with the ice creams so I settled down and got my tablet out for my Netflix downloads. I watched Autopsy: The Last 24 Hours of Elvis Presley. And then the Michael Jackson one and then the Michael Hutchence one so that filled 3 hours nicely. Justin woke up after a great sleep. Our boys are well travelled and never a bit of bother on flights.
About an hour before landing they served afternoon tea. That consisted of mini filled rolls and a scone. Before we knew it the plane was ready to pull in to MCO slightly ahead of schedule at 3.05pm florida time. It felt like it had been a really quick flight. Seatbelt signs had only been switched on once for a few minutes.
45 minutes waiting for immigration and then straight to dollar to pick up the car. We had a bit of a wait as there were no mini vans in. Justin spent his time productively reading his school homework book...
A lovely big shiny white Nissan Quest with Virginia plates came in so Taylor went for that.
We left the airport at 5.10pm and reached the villa at 5.30pm. Really pleased with the villa, it's lovely!
Boys jumped straight in the pool for an hour while DH and I unpacked.
At 7pm we nipped out to Aldi on Buenaventura Blvd, about 3 mins down the road from Spring Lakes. Spent $108.07 on all sorts of yummy goodies to last us a while. 16" pizza was $2.49!!! And 5L ice cream $5.
We were too tired to actually cook tonight so KFC and Taco Bell done the trick. KFC kids meal $3.99, chicken tender go cup $2.99, 10 hot wings $7.99. 2 Dorito tacos $2.98 and 2 soft tacos $2.37...$21.86 inc. tax.
Home to the villa to feed our faces and then crash out.
Magic Kingdom tomorrow!!!!
Pre-Travel Day - 23.3.17
Woke up this morning feeling absolutely shattered. Spent most of the night tossing and turning worrying about the dog. She, on the other hand, slept soundly and snored the night away!!!
Up and about, Taylor took the boys to school much to their annoyance. They gave me lots of "but whyyyyy mum"s this morning. They didn't see the point in going to school until lunch time but it's always easier to square the house away when they're not here so off they went and we got the place organized. It got to 11.30am and DH came over all excited and couldn't wait any longer so went and got the boys early. Car got loaded up and off we went to my mother in laws to drop Riley off. I held back tears leaving her but to be honest she seemed quite happy. Maybe it was the Diazepam, but she actually seemed pleased to see my MIL's wee yorkie.
Boys were hungry so a quick KFC was bought, around £20 for boneless banquet meal, popcorn chicken and some BBQ wraps. Car filled up with fuel and off we set for Manchester at bang on 2pm. Later than planed but I had to make sure the dog was settled or I'd never be able to relax.
Luckily the roads were clear and we never hit any traffic the whole way down. At 5pm we stopped in at Killington Lakes Services for a quick toilet break and stretch of the legs. Coincidentally every single time we travel to England it's always these services we stop at!!
I passed the last hour of the journey by putting on my Primark nails. For £1 I find them excellent value and a set usually lasts me a full week.
6.30pm we checked into the Travelodge. The girl at check in told us 3 other families that had just checked in were off to Florida in the morning too, we never bumped into any tho.
As planned, by 7pm on the dot we were at the bowling alley in Parrs Wood Entertainment complex. Asked at the bar if they could put the darts on the big screen and they obliged. Fab viewing of the darts !!!!
Ordered a large food platter. For this plus x2 cokes, x2J20's and a pint it cost £28.65.
We all tucked into the food. While I was eating my way through one of the burgers I thought it tasted a bit odd, not much like a beef burger. So I only ate half of mine....little did I know it was gonna come back and haunt me later on! DH and DS1 & DS2 also had one of the burgers but they said theirs tasted fine.
While we watched the darts the boys had £10 each to play on the arcade games. It then cost £19.65 for DH and the boys to play bowling. I'm hopeless so I just spectate! £17.55 for x2 vodka and cokes and x3 slushes. The boys were excited about their holidays and made friends with one of the staff, telling them all about Florida lol
We were back in the Travelodge for around 11pm. DH and the boys crashed out as soon as their head hit the pillow. I lay down and my stomach was making noises but I fell asleep shortly after. Alarm set for 5.30am Zzzzz
Well I've decided that I really enjoyed doing my impromptu live shopping/spending report in the summer last year that I'm going to attempt to do a full in depth report this time!
**see last years live report HERE**
So this time let's do it right. We're a family of 5 👩;👦;👦👨;👦hubby and I and our 3 boys aged 11, 9 and 5.
On with the intros:
Me - Lallan
I'm Louise. I'm 31 and obsessed with holidays and the planning of holidays...particularly Florida holidays! I love Disney princesses and all things girly. I love shopping and I love budgeting and keeping notes on absolutely everything. My husband on the other hand hates that I do this and thinks of me as some sort of dictator when I'm in holiday planning mode. And I should probably point out now that I over use exclamation marks ALL the time! 😛Bit random but I am also very short at only 5' tall. I couldn't pick a favourite ride but I do have a soft spot for the carousel of progress and the great movie ride for the nostalgia! My favourite restaurant is Olive Garden or Steak N Shake.
DH - Taylor
Taylor is 32 and enjoys the holidays I plan once he's actually on them... any time before that he's not that interested. I show him pics of menus and shops I want to go to and he pretends to listen. I run all our plans by him as I make them and he replies with a nod of his head and a "mhmm" lol
He is NOT a Disney lover and much prefers universal. He does like the Pixar movies though. His favourite ride is the Hulk. His favourite restaurant is anywhere that has steak on the menu...he's a proper meat eater! He really enjoyed his porterhouse in Manny's last year.
DS1 - Baillie
Baillie is 11 years old. He is Xbox obsessed and very tech savvy unlike me or Taylor. We need to consult him if something happens on our phones or laptops (or even our TV!). Baillie is a total gamer and he spends wayyy too much time with headphones on watching YouTube that it's like talking to a brick wall sometimes. He's a bit like a sulky teenager a few years too early! He still enjoys our family holidays though so I cling on to the hope that this will continue as he grows up even more. Baillie takes after me and is also very short for his age but his personality more than makes up for what he lacks in height. He's saved up £160 and wants to buy expensive headphones so is looking forward to visiting Best Buy. His favourite ride is rip ride rocket and his least favourite is tower of terror...he actually passed out on this in 2015 so i think that's put him off for life. His favourite restaurant is CiCi's Pizza or Taco Bell.
DS2 - Lucas
Lucas is 9 years old. He is our wee blondie. He also likes his Xbox but he's not as obsessed as the other two and mostly plays FIFA. He is a dedicated footballer and Taylor is a coach at the club he plays for. Lucas also spends a lot of his time watching YouTube videos but it's not all game orientated, he prefers watching challenge themed videos or vlogs. He likes listening to music a lot too. He has managed to save £140 but wants to keep his money until we get home and buy a swegway...we'll see if that actually happens as once we hit the shops he can quickly become spendy happy just like his mum (). His favourite ride is Rockin' Rollercoaster. His favourite restaurant is Logan's Roadhouse and everywhere we go he usually eats Ribs and gets himself into a right sticky mess!
DS3 - Justin
Justin is 5 years old. His front tooth has just fell out and instead of putting it under his pillow for the tooth fairy here at home he's keeping it until we get to Florida so the American tooth fairy can visit and leave him dollars...very wise is that boy! His first tooth fell out in Florida last year so I think thats where his thinking is coming from. Even though he's only 5 he's following in his oldest brother's footsteps and considers himself quite the gamer too. He is minecraft obsessed (and is actually very very good at it with all the things he builds) and he loves watching people playing scary games on YouTube. His favourite is Five Nights At Freddy's known as FNAF (just so you know what I'm referring to later on!) and he's saved up £180 (has more saved than his big brothers! ) and has a list of shops such as Hot Topic and Game Station that he wants to visit. He's only 5 but the boy knows what he wants...what can I say, YouTube and videos of American kids unboxing toys have a lot to answer for! His favourite ride is The Haunted Mansion (there's a running trend with Justin, he's a strange child that really enjoys scary things!) but he doesn't do roller coasters. His favourite restaurant is none really...he has a varied diet of chicken. Always chicken. Or hotdogs. Well he does love Golden Coral but that's for the cakes and chocolate fountain and cotton candy!
So the thing is we were definitely NOT supposed to be going to Florida this year. We were definitely not supposed to be going last year either but you know how easily things can accidentally get booked when you happen to be just browsing Airlines websites ...*hangs head in shame
Last year it was virgin flights at £1,672.20 for the five of us that I couldn't not book... But this year it was Thomas Cook flights at £1,289.90 for the five of us that I just couldn't not book (damn that hotukdeals! ). There was a flash sale with a select number of seats so I snapped these up on 1st December.
So our dates are Friday 24th March until Saturday 8th April direct from MAN-MCO. We'll leave on Thursday 23rd at lunch time and drive from where we live just outside Glasgow all the way down straight to Manchester airport to do sundown check in. Then we'll head over to the Travelodge we stayed at last year in Didsbury. It's in Parrs Wood Entertainment complex so has a bowling alley and plenty of restaurants to choose from for dinner. Travelodge cost us £30.20 for a family room with added wifi for all the boys devices.
I have booked Meet and Greet for the car which we always do as it's so convenient for coming home. This cost us £47.04 booked via Looking4parking.
We have booked a 7 seater (dodge caravan or similar) with Dollar via usrentacar. This cost £391 for the 15 days.
Finding a villa was a bit of a tricky task this time round. We normally go in summer time so Easter time is new for us and a lot of villas seemed to be booked. I managed to book one that I found on a well known auction site for £750 plus £200 refundable damages deposit. The owner is lovely and gave us such a great deal as it was already booked for our dates but a member of the other family had taken seriously ill and they had to cancel their holiday (poor family ). I was a bit funny about the villa at first as it's in an area that's a bit out of the main touristy area. The community is called Spring Lakes and it's in the Hunter's Creek/Buena Ventura Lakes area. Initially we weren't planning on doing Disney this year only universal so the villas location was ideal as it's quicker to get to universal but then that totally backfired as our park choices changed after I had already went ahead and booked the villa But it does look like a lovely villa so mini-panic is over!
That brings me onto our ticket fiasco. The Disney 14 day ultimates were originally coming in at over £400+ each and I wasn't willing to pay that. But universals tickets had also increased a lot at now around £230 each compared to last year where we paid £100 less per ticket. I was in a bit of a pickle over it all to be honest and fought a battle in my own head weighing up the options. Taylor and the 3 boys all love Universal so much (as do I as I'm a huge Harry Potter geek) but we kinda done it to death last year. And then a miracle happened and practically made the decision for me! Disney only went and completely reduced their ticket prices on some sort of special offer if traveling before summer. So decision made I went ahead and bought these and the best deal I could find was with Thomson. I paid £1,327.20 for 3 adult tickets and 2 kids tickets including memory maker. I was very pleased as I was having slight Disney withdrawals as we never went last year #superdooperexcited
Last year we went on a big family trip with DH's family so my in laws and my nieces. However, this year my mum and dad are going on the exact same dates (although they're flying virgin from Glasgow) but not staying with us in the villa. They much prefer I drive and are staying in The Avanti Resort. They don't usually do theme parks even though they go to Florida multiple times a year but they've decided to join us to spend quality time with their grandsons in the happiest place on earth They like to do their own thing though so will only meet up with us from time to time.
Our spending money changes year to year because of the exchange rate. This year will be the lowest amount of dollars ever but we still work on the basis of changing £2500ish and dividing it up into daily amounts. This year it will be $200 a day for 15 days so we need $3000 (plus the boys have their own savings on top that I'll need to change for them). This will be for everything including food, petrol, parking and shopping. For anyone who read my report last year will already know that I calculate my daily spends and at the end of each day I carry any leftover money from that days budget over to my 'shopping fund'. This works so well for us and it's easy for me to manage. It also means we end up with LOTS of lovely things to bring back...please do read last years report as it'll give you an idea of just how much I love to hunt for bargains and how far I can make our money stretch.
Although I am a little bit of a drill sergeant I also realize that with 3 kids it's not always feasible to have a minute by minute itinerary and I have to try to work with my DH's laid back approach as well to keep everybody happy. So my plans always have to be quite flexible and this suits us fine. We're not the type of family that get to the parks for opening ceremonies and stay all day until after the fireworks. It just doesn't work for us. We like to fit in a bit of relaxing by the pool, park time,some kind of shopping (be it only nipping into the dollar tree or Walmart) and at least one meal out all in the one day but not necessarily in that order. These kinds of days tend to keep each of us pleased.
A first for us is this time we are visiting Kennedy Space Centre. I bought tickets from American Attractions and it cost £145 for the 5 of us. The boys are all really looking forward to this so it should make for a fun day out. Time depending we might spend some time at Cocoa beach while we're out that way. We've been to this beach before and although we prefer Daytona the boys do still like a play in the sand and a swim in the sea so we may as well while we're close by.
We're also doing the Characters In Flight tethered balloon ride in Disney Springs. I bought a deal on Orlando Groupon and it cost me £66.82 ($80.50) for 7 tickets... 5 of us plus another 2 as a treat for my mum and dad.
I've bought another deal on Orlando Groupon that was called 'Ultimate Date Night' that includes 2 cinema tickets and a $100 eGift card for Restaurant.com. This cost £16.24 ($20). My mum and I are going to go and see the new Beauty and the Beast at the AMC cinema in Disney Springs with this voucher... I'm so excited to see this I literally cannot wait! I've not redeemed any of the restaurant.com voucher yet as I was hoping to buy a House of Blues coupon but seems they've taken it off the site now so I'll need to pick other restaurants.
That brings me nicely on to our food plans! I'll start by letting you all know we're not 'park eaters' other than snacks and maybe a few counter service bites. Our reasons being we done all the character dining years ago when DS1 & DS2 were much younger and felt it was far too costly and the food not all that great. I understand you're paying for the experience but it's just not for us. There are some really lovely looking restaurants I fancy on site like Calli Grill and Le Cellier but I think these would be wasted on our boys at the moment so keeping them for the future when it's 'just us two' We are however quite partial to a turkey leg or two!
We tend to have breakfast in the villa most days. I do fancy trying out Steak N Shake's breakfast menu so might give that a try. And maybe IHOP as DS1 just LOVES pancakes. We used to frequent ponderosa for breakfast but feel the price has gone up too much recently. It is beginning to sound as if I'm a total tightwad but that's not the case (honest )...I just like to get value for (DH's) money.
Restaurants we like are cheap n cheerful places like Golden Coral, CiCi's and Steak N Shake. Diners and buffets, although not for everyone, are great for us. We also love Steakhouses like Logan's and Manny's and I also really loved Olive Garden last year and can't wait to eat their Chicken Marsala again! After reading many food reports on the dibb I have a few places we've never been but I'd like us to try this year. On the list is: Millers Ale House, Buffalo Wild Wings, Teak Neighborhood Grill and Longhorn Steakhouse. Also want to get to Appleby's, Bob Evans and maybe Cracker Barrel. So as you can see nothing fancy for us!
Last up is my favourite recreational activity... Shopping! If you read last years shopping report you will get an idea of the kinda things we usually buy. for DH it's trainers...lots and lots of trainers! For me its normally beauty stuff. I can't wait to get back to Sephora I normally go a bit mad in the Yankee Candle outlet but that won't be necessary this trip as this somehow happened last week...
These are all currently hiding in the shoe cupboard under the stairs! Tesco had large jars scanning at £3 and tumblers scanning at £2 so i just HAD to stock up!
I love my Uggs aswell and this also somehow happened last week...
This was the result of a major sale in van mildert, I couldn't not buy them! Look how pretty these moccasins are:
£8! I'm wearing them as slippers and they are heavenly!
So the Ugg outlet is also off my shopping list but there will be trips to all the outlets and the malls and of course my faves TJ Maxx, Ross and Burlington to see what bargains I can get my hands on Dollar Tree is a favourite store of ours and we always bring back loads from here. Especially all the American sweets as they're so much cheaper in here than in walmart or target.
So I think I've covered pretty much everything. Our countdown currently stands at 11 days so as you can imagine the boys (and me maybe even more than them! ) are getting very excited!
This weeks task is to get the cases down from the loft and also to start printing off some of our documents.
I hope you enjoyed reading and I look forward to reporting our trip for you all. I will attempt to do it live while we're out there but that's not a promise. It may end up being a day or two behind but I will try my best.
For now that's all folks!
UPDATE 18th March ...
also known as '6 days to go'
So today we are supposed to be getting the cases down from the loft to get packed. I'm not feeling too great today, really struggling with hay fever so sneezing continuously and my eyes are stinging so much and only opening about a fifth of the way...not pretty 😵
Although packing has still to be done this week I have been busy getting organized in other ways. I purchased this fabulous fitness tracker from Amazon called the 'UP move' by Jawbone. Last year my mother in law had a fitness tracker and I found it interesting to know how much we were walking each day so settled on this one as it was reduced to £15.39delivered 🙂
I've also managed to dig out DS1's 'Leave A Legacy' locator for when we go to Epcot. My inlaws paid for Baillie and our niece Gina to have their picture placed on the walls in Epcot way back in June 2006 when our baby was only just a year old (hard to believe he's going to be 12 this year ). It was DH, DS1 and my inlaws first trip to Florida and it was a great thing to do to mark the special occasion. Although we've been back to Disney a number of times since then I've always forgotten to bring this little booklet and we've never been able to find it by memory. So finally, 11 years on, we're all set to go and see it at 'East-1-A-4-6-17'
All our documents are now all printed and organized. I printed off the movie voucher for my mum and I for our date night. While I was on AMC's website checking show times for Beauty and the Beast I decided to sign up to their 'Stubs Insider' club. It's free to join and comes with the perks shown above and more which you can't see in the pic. There was also a premier version of this that costs $15 for annual membership but the freebie suits me fine and the free refills on popcorn will be put to use when we visit 🙂
I logged on to restaurant.com to redeem our credit. I noticed I had an additional $10 bonus added to my account along with my $100 from my Groupon deal. I bought a $10 voucher for Avanti Pizza and wings. Might use this to get take out one night. I then also bought $50 voucher for American Kitchen Bar & Grill located in the B Hotel at crossroads area and $50 voucher for Cowgirls Rockbar on I drive. DH might be up for their burger challenge...
Also wanted to give a shout out to fellow dibber 'chrisxal'. I got in tough with her via pm after seeing a post of hers in the food forum about how she had compiled a huge list of the restaurants and the days that they offer kids eat free. She shared this with me along with other fantastic lists she had made that I just know I will find really helpful. We chatted back and forward for a bit and she is such a lovely woman, so thank you Christine if you read this
I should be able to fit another little update in before travel day is upon us. Until then,
UPDATE 22nd March ...
Pre-Travel Day tomorrow
Brrr, it's freezing up here in Scotland at the moment. I need sun in my life! Lotion at the ready...
Another bargain from tesco 10 for the price of one, not bad eh?
Well this week has been mega stressful all thanks to Thomas Cook. It's such a long winded story that I'd be here all night trying to explain. But briefly on Monday we called trying to upgrade to Premium cabin but that's not possible as we're flying on an Airtanker. Basically thanks to SEVEN different members of staff giving me conflicting information and none of them actually doing their jobs properly I've been stressing all week. It lead to me having a very big public rant on their Facebook page about their incompetency and long story short I've been well compensated for my inconvenience. So stressing is now over.
Or so I thought! My baby Riley, our 11 year old Shih-Tzu was away to the doggy hairdressers today to get all nice n cut before her holidays to my inlaws. I was pottering about the house trying to sort the last of the bits and bobs to be packed.
How cute is my little Minnie Primark haul:
Sorry, got totally side tracked there!
So I was busy sorting when the dog groomer phoned me in a total panic saying she thinks Riley is having some sort of seizure. Heart in my mouth I had to pick her up and rush her to the vet. She's never had any kind of fit before and she's getting older now so I was worried sick. They checked her over thoroughly and suggested blood tests. These were done and showed no problems and she's actually very healthy considering her age now. The vet thinks it's just anxiety as with the cases being down and everything she knows we're going away. I explained she normally stays at my mum and dad's when we're away but since they're going to be away at the same time as us she's going to Taylor's mums. I'm now totally dreading this and I'm so worried she won't settle especially since they have a wee boy dog that Riley's really not very fond of! The vet suggested Diazepam to help settle her. So my poor wee dog is now doped up to eyeballs and I've got to leave her tomorrow. I'm honestly worried sick that she's not going to cope. She does have separation issues any time we go away as we got her when she was only 6 weeks old and she is a total lap dog, doesn't leave my side or take her eyes off me. So fingers crossed she's alright I'll keep you all posted. Here's how she was today after the meds ...
I could cry 😢 but here's hoping she'll be ok while we're gone.
This last week it's been Baltic and snowy, I've still been suffering terribly with hay fever, dealing with silly people at Thomas Cook and my poor Riley took ill...get me to my happy place already!
Plan for tomorrow is leave around lunch time and drive to Manchester. Get settled into hotel and have food nearby and then make sure we get somewhere to watch the darts starting at 7pm
Let's hope it all goes smoothly!
Can't believe the main report actually starts tomorrow!
~ Louise x
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