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Old 2 Jul 14, 02:25 PM  
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JoJo88
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Arrow Returning to Jamerica! Day 15 - Going Home

"Returning to Jamerica!" November 2013

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Day 15 – Going Home

Thursday 21st November 2013


Today started, understandably, reluctantly. We had secured a late check out with Jackie & Arthur and so didn’t have to rush around too much which we were most grateful for. The boys were straight in their cozzies and in the pool, getting in maximum swimmage time while they still could. I had the miserable task of gathering up two weeks’ worth of holiday and shoving it back into suitcases. There can’t possibly be anything more depressing!





I took some photos of our purchases before packing them away – I think we showed remarkable restraint if you ask me 





Although I think there might a few things missing from the photos (The Red Sox cap is Simon's!)

Simon joined the boys outside and took the opportunity to soak up the last of the Florida rays, although the ominous dark clouds overhead threatened to cut short his chosen activity. Heaven forbid he should be forced inside to ‘help’ . In fairness, I’m best left on my own to pack, I’m not exactly on tip-top form as you can imagine, and Simon’s well aware of this.



With Mum only having herself to look after, she was happy to have a quick tidy round the villa, making it look as presentable as possible. In all honesty, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the villa anyway, so any mess was just the bits and bobs that needed packing, and we barely used the kitchen so a quick wipe round was all that was needed.



Beds were stripped at Jackie’s request, and the fridge was emptied, any perishables were chucked away, and anything that could be kept we left on the side, hoping the cleaners would help themselves to it.

Eventually I was all done, and so plucked the boys out of the pool and frogmarched them into the shower. They then messed around in the games room while I got myself showered & ready. Meanwhile Simon popped out to fill the car up with fuel, which wasn’t as easy as it sounds with the silly procedure of having to ‘pay before you pump’. He underestimated the amount of fuel he would need and so had to go back in and pay for more as the car had to be returned full (ish!)

We put the last of the used towels in the washing machine, had a final scout round the villa, checking every nook & cranny for anything we might have forgotten (sadly not finding Daniel’s Red Sox cap), and that was it, we were done.



Goodbye pool!



Rather than hanging around delaying the inevitable, at around 1pm we loaded up the car and started the depressing journey back to MCO. Silently we pulled away from Sunset View Villa for the last time, each of us knowing exactly how the other was feeling.



As we reached the High Grove main gate, the clouds above began to get even darker



And by the time we were back on Hwy192 they had started to spill - the rain hitting the windscreen was almost the perfect soundtrack to the journey.

True to form, the rain wasn’t the only water falling – predictably I might have been having a little blub too, what can I say, I’m a wuss! I did manage to stay composed enough to snap some photos of our favourite restaurants en route, just for old time’s sake!









As well as the famous Sherbeth Road



The rest of the journey was a straightforward, albeit sombre affair, and we arrived at MCO at around 1.45. We had to wait a few minutes for our car to be checked over, but that in itself only took seconds, barely enough time for us to 'gingerly' retrieve Gingey from his precarious position atop the aerial!



We had a really lovely guy help us with our suitcases, he basically took over and wouldn’t let us do a thing, and then chatted away as he led us to the BA desk. We tipped him accordingly, bid our farewells, then joined the fairly lengthy queue to check in.

That’s when I spotted Bob…….. I guess our fleeting friendship hadn’t meant as much to him as it had to me as he didn’t give me a second glance

One family who had been sat near us on the flight out greeted us like long lost friends, chatting away about their holiday, asking about ours and if we’d picked up loads of bargains. Apparently they’d spotted us at Florida Mall! I always find it a funny experience to see the same faces two weeks later, as you realise that despite sharing the long flight, you then generally wrap yourself up in your own little holiday bubble, only to meet up again back at the airport, having no doubt experienced completely different holidays despite being in the same place. I know what I’m trying to say, please humour me!

Continued in the next post...

Edited at 07:25 PM.
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All over for another year...
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Old 2 Jul 14, 02:25 PM  
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Continued from above...

We were due to depart at 6.30, and I think check in eventually opened at 2.30. It was a very slow process, with people being asked to reshuffle the contents of their cases, presumably because they were overweight (the suitcases, not the people…..)

Soon it was our turn and thankfully our luggage was fine. My memory is failing me, but I’m pretty sure I had done online check in the night before, and according to the boarding cards I’ve just looked at we were in seats 29ABC and 28A, plus whichever one my Mum had, I’m assuming it would have been 28B.

Our plan had been to go for a meal at Outback Steakhouse, but as we got through to security, I could see any chance of that slowly slipping away. The queue was massive! However, on closer inspection, it appeared there were a couple of empty channels that people were ignoring for some reason and so we gave it a go and got through in no time. Back on track for an Outback, Yay!

We had a quick browse in a couple of shops, notably the cap shop in a last ditch attempt to replace Daniel’s Boston one, but still to no avail, although Adam spotted a cap he liked which cleared him out of the rest of his holidays spends, and then we made our way down to our gate, and to Outback.

We were seated straight away, and our server, Nicole asked what time our flight was and then set about furnishing us with a menu and a soft drink each, and Simon also had a Bud Light.

The meal was lovely, and the perfect opportunity to fit in a final taste of Orlando burgerness.

Three of us had Outback Burgers at $8.99 each, with extra cheese for Adam at 80c. Mum had a “Burg Mush Swiss”, which I guess meant she had a burger with mushrooms and swiss cheese. This cost $9.79. No prizes for guessing what Daniel had, at $3.30. Add to all that three house salads at $2.99 and the entire bill came to $77.61 including tax but not the tip.



If you do plan on eating here, bear in mind that the cutlery is plastic, so ordering a steak might be ambitious

The entire meal took much less than an hour which meant we still had a little time to kill afterwards. We browsed the nearby shops/stalls but there’s not much there to hold any interest. We bought a few sweets for the flight as well as some water and then headed down to wait for the inevitable.



Happy bunch aren’t we?!

Our flight was called on time and so without further delay we boarded the plane and took our pews for the next nine hours or so. The boys sat with Grandma and Simon & I sat in the row in front with a young lad next to Simon in the aisle seat.

I have absolutely no idea what any of us watched or did as we were flown kicking and screaming (in my head) from our wonderful holiday. The flight was pretty uneventful but not a lot of sleep was had, except for Daniel. Mum spent a lot of the flight standing up as she suffers quite a bit with her back and so Daniel was able to spread out a little and lay down in her seat.

Bad trippy writer that I am, I have no recollection of what we were offered to eat/drink, but because of that we can safely assume that it was neither excellent nor inedible. I’ll go with mediocre 

And so we began our descent back into a gloomy Gatwick.



We did the slow shoe shuffle through passport control and out to retrieve our luggage. There was a bit of confusion as to where our cases were going to appear, and we ended up traipsing backwards & forwards trying to find the appropriate carousel but we found it in the end.

As the cases started to appear, Mum sent my Dad a text to let him know we were almost done. He was waiting down the road for his cue to meet her just outside the Premier Inn. Simon called our Meet & Greet person too, for the same reason.

And there you have it, cases all present and correct, nothing to declare, we were back where we’d started, just two short weeks before.

It was a crisp, fresh morning, and pretty darn cold as you’d expect with it being late November, so thankfully we didn’t have to wait for long. Coincidentally both cars arrived at exactly the same time, so after a few hugs, and a few more tears, we said hello to Grandad, then goodbye to him & Grandma, loaded ourselves into our car and headed for home.

I struggled to stay awake on the journey, whereas the boys succumbed to sleep before we’d even hit the motorway. Simon managed to stay awake with me, which is handy as he was driving! And within two hours we were home, with heavy hearts, yet full of happy memories.

We’d had an amazing time, as always, although I will admit now that there was a certain amount of ‘been there, done that’. I know, I know, I feel terrible saying it, but after three holidays of doing almost the same thing, it’s hard not to start taking things a little bit for granted. That’s not to say that as soon as we got home we (yes, we, that includes Simon!) were already talking about going back. The post-holiday blues hit big time once again, and so we really did give serious thought to when we could go back.

And as you might have spotted by now, we ARE going back, in less than six weeks! I won’t go into too much detail here as I’d just be repeating what’s in the pre-trippy (LINK HERE), but in a nutshell we are having a different type of holiday this time. We’re spending a week at Clearwater Beach, then a few nights at Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort, followed by a couple of nights at Lake Buena Vista. Yup, no Disney! I don’t know how I’m going to feel about that, because despite saying we felt it had all become a little too familiar, the reality is that when Disney does things right, it’s pretty perfect. However, the advent of the new Fast Pass+ system made the decision slightly easier. It would have been very different for us anyway having to go in the summer holidays when it’s busy & hot, (big boy school for Adam from September, therefore no term time holiday!). We might have attempted it with the legacy Fast Passes, but as it stands, we’re going to wait and see how the system evolves. And anyway, don’t they say absence makes the heart grow fonder?!

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my ramblings. I began writing these reports for our own benefit really, they are so great to look back on, the perfect way to preserve the memories we’ve created, and I’m sure in years to come they will be priceless. However, knowing that others have enjoyed them too, and perhaps picked up a few tips along the way is a real bonus, and I’m not going to lie, seeing a new comment pop up does give me a real buzz, so thank you also for taking time to comment. I know I haven’t done this trippy justice with my lack of notes, and a lack of photos towards the end of the holiday – I’m going to try and do better next time, I promise.

But until then, Seeya Real Soon!




Edited at 07:27 PM.
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Old 2 Jul 14, 03:06 PM  
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Ah I'm gutted it's finished too Jo! Lovely trip report you had a great time. We too are going disneyless this year. I'm not sure about this fast pass business either and it'll give us more time to spend at other parks which we may have neglected in previous trips plus some time at siesta key. Rally looking forward to hearing about your next adventures. Don't be so hard on yourself you did a fab report girl!
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Old 2 Jul 14, 03:22 PM  
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Another excellent trippie. Looking forward to the next one.
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Old 2 Jul 14, 03:38 PM  
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Thank you for sharing your wonderful holiday, I've really enjoyed it! The pics comparing your boys over the trips are lovely to see Can't wait for the next, from experience we all know it only gets better )
Rachael x x x
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Finally!
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Old 2 Jul 14, 03:54 PM  
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Just wanted to say have soooooo. enjoyed reading your report. Even though I subscribed to it i still checked for new days!

Having also been a few weeks earlier than your trip last year and going back in august we are limiting disney and going to give Busch and legoland a go for the first time. We have a 7 year old son so Daniel's experiences on the rides and with food are rather familiar to us!

See you on the Norwegian flight on the 8th!

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surprise trip!,
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Old 2 Jul 14, 04:49 PM  
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Fantastic trip report! Really enjoyed reading it and I laughed out loud on more than a few occasions! Looking forward to the next one
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Old 2 Jul 14, 05:14 PM  
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great report thanks for sharing
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we are going back wooohoooo
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Old 2 Jul 14, 05:50 PM  
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Thankyou... I've loved reading this trippie x
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Old 2 Jul 14, 05:59 PM  
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Hi Jo !
Brilliant trip report as always .
Such a sad day the last day isn't it ?
Spotted Manny's ranch dressing amongst your goodies to take home !
But just a few weeks and you will be back in sunny Florida again .
We are only doing the Disney water parks this year - and just the one day at Magic Kingdom.
We are really looking forward to our 2 night stay at HRH and will look out for you at US and IOA ! Will definitely say hi if I see you
Thanks for taking the time to write this wonderful report - already looking forward to reading the next one .
Hel xx
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