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Unread 12 Oct 17, 07:42 PM  
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Melanie R
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The Duchess does DLP - Day 4 The End of the Beginning

The End of the Beginning

So I woke early today with the realisation that my first solo trip was coming to an end and that actually I needed to get my backside into gear as I had a lot to do!

The alcohol and late night the previous evening had put paid to any thoughts of packing, so I had it all to do this morning before checkout. I got up, showered and dressed, then looked around at all my shopping, trying to work out if my Tetris skills would be enough to fit everything into my case - either my gaming skills had deserted me or my shopping skills had significantly advanced, either way there was no chance it was all going to fit! As a starting point, I piled up all my clothes and purchases, and started to fit them in the case, being careful to pad any breakables. I managed to fit about 2 thirds in the case when I gave up and headed down to breakfast.

After I had eaten my fill, I returned to my room via the shop to buy a new case I was dithering between 2, but then decided to go with the bigger one better safe than sorry! So I am now the proud owner of this



I headed back to my room and managed to squeeze everything in (still a tight squeeze, so really glad I had gone for the bigger case! ) and made sure all my breakables were well padded. I knew I would be able to keep an eye on them on the journey home, this was the main reason I had chosen the train as my return transport there was some method to my madness

I headed downstairs with all my luggage, totally forgot that a Golden Forest perk was luggage management, so headed to the luggage store and handed it over. As I was now outside and right by the buses, I debated hopping on a bus, but my timing was off and I could see it heading down the driveway, so I made an about turn and headed back through the hotel for a last walk round the lake and through the Village.

I could see the crowds heading in to the parks Saturdays and Sundays are always significantly more busy regardless of the time of year, so I decided today was going to be a chill day as I wasnt up for standing in long queues, so started as I meant to go on and headed into Starbucks for my usual Venti Vanilla Latte delicious



Coffee in hand, there was only ever going to be one destination today, so I headed towards Disneyland Parc for a final wander and to say Au Revoir to the castle! It was really cold today and everything was iced over and looked so pretty, so I took a few pics as I went







Having laid some ghosts to rest the previous day, I headed towards Phantom Manor in Frontierland and there was only a short queue so I headed in. this was much easier than the previous day, and I reflected on how far I had come in such a short space of time, and that the trip had really been the healing experience I had hoped it would be.

Coming off one of my favourite rides with a smile on my face, I wandered to another Big Thunder Mountain. I took one look at the 75 minute queue and carried on walking towards the castle! I walked through the middle and headed for a final walk around Fantasyland, before turning back and headed towards Discoveryland and Buzz Lightyear. I hadnt really been over to this area of the park yet, so decided to skip the queue for Buzz by using a fastpass and headed in I wont embarrass myself by sharing my score, but suffice it to say I wont be headhunted by Star Command any time soon



Following this, I headed towards the old Honey I Shrunk the Audience building where they are now showing Pixar Shorts in 4D I had seen them all before, but I loved this experience the 4D really added to it and I thought it was a good use of the space while they are thinking what to do with it on a more permanent basis so much so, I sent Anna and Rachel a message suggesting they pay it a visit if they hadnt already seen it.

I passed Space Mountain which was closed for its conversion - this will be the only ride I still need to ride in my new positive state of mind, so I feel a future trip will be in order to finish laying my ghosts to rest



Leaving this, I paused at the statue of Eve and Walle



I think this is an amazing piece of art and always seem to spend time just admiring it each visit, this visit was no exception.

Stitch was meeting and greeting, but the queue was beyond my patience level, so just snapped a quick pic in passing!



Time was now ticking on, so I headed back to Main Street, had a final view of the castle and meandered towards the exit checking out the shops along the way no room in the cases, so no new purchases

Id saved my final dining voucher for lunch today, so headed in to Annettes to be faced with a looong queue it was definitely weekend!

I have always been a fan of Annettes, but I have to say today was not their best I waited ages in the queue to be seated, which I fully accept is not their fault, but things didnt improve once I was seated. They took me to a table upstairs and seemed then to forget all about me. I had to flag down a waiter to order, who didnt seem too impressed at being asked, but did take my order.

I waited sooo long for my starter, that when they finally brought it I asked them to bring my main at the same time as I was starting to have concerns about time as I had a train to catch!

The service didnt improve, and although the food was good, it wasnt the best experience I have had here, to the point that I may just skip it next time

I was now in a hurry, so headed quickly back to the hotel to collect my luggage and hopped on the bus to the station I was luckier this time as a bus arrived just as I had got to the stop, so was soon as the station and headed up to the waiting area.

I was on the indirect train going via Lille, and according to the monitors the TGV to Lille was running late. It arrived about 20 minutes behind schedule and I boarded my carriage as per my ticket, but couldnt see my seat number! The train set off and as the carriage was mostly empty, I just took another seat. I was really impressed with the space and the comfort of the seats and spent most of the journey judging the lack of space we have on British trains compared to the French ones, when I spotted through the doors at the end of the carriage, a tiny compartment with 16 seats around 4 tables very cramped and thats when I realised where I should have been sitting I had given myself a complementary upgrade to first class! Luckily nobody came to check my ticket and the train was approaching Lille, so no point moving now

As the train was running late, they were hustling us through security for the Eurostar and on to the train I was at the worng end of the platform for my assigned seat, but the guard asked me to board and just find any empty seat (not first class sadly ) so my entire journey to St.Pancras was spent sitting in the wrong seat for one reason or another.

It was an uneventful trip and we were arriving at London in no time, I then just had to get across to Euston given my luggage situation, there was no way I was attempting the tube, so I got a taxi over and headed to the first class lounge to wait for my return train home. On this occasion, I was legitimately in there as I had a first class ticket and just had 40 minutes to wait. The Virgin service was on time, and I was soon onboard my 3rd train of the day, heading home.

I called my sister to give her my ETA as she had agreed to collect me from the station, and was soon pulling into Preston station where I encountered the parking chaos! For some reason (and Im sure someone thought it was a good one.) they had coned off all the access to the pick up area, and people were parking on the double yellow lines on the access road I had to trundle my cases over the grass verge to where my sister was waiting to collect me.

If you recall, I now had much more luggage than I set off with, so my sister had wisely chosen to collect me in her tiny Corsa (rather than her much bigger family car) and had filled the boot earlier in the day with wood for her stove which she hadnt got round to removing, so I had to squash myself and all my cases into the back seat as she had made her husband drive her to meet me

I needed to call for milk as I was in need of a cup of tea, so asked her to call at the local Tesco so I could buy some I was all wedged in the back, but as both of them had decided to collect me wearing their pjs, I had to unload everything to get out, and wedge it back in all for a pint of milk

Minutes later I was home, and sat drinking my tea (in one of my new mugs) reflecting on my trip and the impact it had on my state of mind - this trip was my turning point, today had been the end of the beginning to my new life
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Unread 13 Oct 17, 11:58 PM  
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Well Done You !
You are getting there, no tears today.
I know you don't believe me but 2nd time round is better. My sister sadly lost her husband on holiday (he passed away).
There was no way she was going to get another fellow because (her husband was a diamond).
Three years down the line she has someone he has no looks, no dress sense, no money, a bit of baggage but he is decent and makes her very, very happy. My other sister and I secretly think she is the happiest she has ever been. Prediction for you 2 years time "The Duke and Duchess do Disney".
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cant wait for this date
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Unread 14 Oct 17, 01:57 AM  
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plutofan1
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Thank you so much for finishing your report and even more pleased rhat you had a great time
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Unread 15 Oct 17, 07:59 PM  
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emmabanana
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Great report, Im pleased that the trip turned out well for you. Looks like you have another trip planned so thats brilliant news 😄
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Unread 26 Oct 17, 08:52 PM  
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Thank you for finishing this, I'm sure it's been really hard at times

Welcome to your brave new future X
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Unread 31 Oct 17, 11:38 PM  
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Melanie R
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Originally Posted by rummy63 View Post
Well Done You !
You are getting there, no tears today.
I know you don't believe me but 2nd time round is better. My sister sadly lost her husband on holiday (he passed away).
There was no way she was going to get another fellow because (her husband was a diamond).
Three years down the line she has someone he has no looks, no dress sense, no money, a bit of baggage but he is decent and makes her very, very happy. My other sister and I secretly think she is the happiest she has ever been. Prediction for you 2 years time "The Duke and Duchess do Disney".
Thank you - I am definitely coming through the other side and hope I can find that happiness again. If I do, thats definitely the Trippie title

Originally Posted by plutofan1 View Post
Thank you so much for finishing your report and even more pleased rhat you had a great time
Thank you

Originally Posted by emmabanana View Post
Great report, Im pleased that the trip turned out well for you. Looks like you have another trip planned so thats brilliant news 😄
I do - a truly solo trip this time, but Im really looking forward to it in a way I wasnt able to for this trip

Originally Posted by P&S View Post
Thank you for finishing this, I'm sure it's been really hard at times

Welcome to your brave new future X
Thank you - I needed to finish it for some closure, and I really am feeling like life has started over
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Unread 12 Nov 17, 04:49 PM  
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What a great end to your trip - well, apart from Annette's being below par, and the faffage at the station.

Tip for any future London trips: it's a 10 minute walk from Kings Cross to Euston, and very easy even with lots of luggage!

Thanks for writing, we are looking forward to sharing tales of your next adventure.
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Unread 19 Nov 17, 10:46 PM  
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Melanie R
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Originally Posted by Gill H View Post
What a great end to your trip - well, apart from Annette's being below par, and the faffage at the station.

Tip for any future London trips: it's a 10 minute walk from Kings Cross to Euston, and very easy even with lots of luggage!

Thanks for writing, we are looking forward to sharing tales of your next adventure.
Thanks for the tip - next adventure now very close, this time next week Ill be on my way
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