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Unread 9 Feb 20, 02:46 PM  
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Lisa29
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Another Birthday Trip, Oct 2019 - Day 0, Pre-Travel Day, from Leicestershire to Gatwick

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Four years since our last trip to WDW, it was finally pre-travel day, AKA travel to the airport day!

A first for me, I was actually in work today! (And the only one in work, everyone else was off.) I had been sleeping badly for almost a week and today was no exception. I woke at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. I eventually got up at 5.30am, showered, did my hair and got dressed, then Phil got up.

Since changing the dates of the holiday at the end of September last year, it was finally time to let Madison and Kaley in on our secret that we were actually going today and not next week as they thought we were.

We had an invite for each of them

I had put these in envelopes and put stickers on saying they were urgent and needed to be opened before 7am (as I had to go to work).

We woke them up and told them they had some post and it said it needed to be opened before 7am so they had better get up to see what it was. We went downstairs and they opened them. Madison looked at hers and said "we're going to Crystal Palace', so I asked her when and she said the invite said on their birthday and was a bit confused. We asked her to read the whole invite out and she then said 'are we going to be there on our birthday?' and we said yes!

They were both so excited and asked when exactly we were going. We told them that we were driving to Gatwick today, flying tomorrow and would then be there for their birthday and they were even more excited.



Unfortunately at this point we found out that the secret we had kept for just over a year had been revealed to Kaley the day before by my niece, who had told her we were going on holiday the following day. Kaley told her that she was wrong and we weren't going until next week and thankfully, had thought no more of it until finding out from us that we were going today.

Anyway, we told them that they were going to school until lunch and that we would be picking them up after afternoon register to go to Gatwick.

I also told Madison that it was because we were going today that she had had her nails done the day before and they were for the holiday, as well as for her birthday.

Phil had also done the same invites for Piper, Cody and Cole.

They then asked if anyone else was going today and we told them that Nana and Grandad and Ryan, Bethany, Piper and Cody were also going today. Dan had asked us not to tell them that they were going to be there (they flew today), so that they could surprise them on their birthday (that didn't go to plan right at the last minute ).

They then coloured the last few days on the countdown chart (this was made to finish the week later when the girls thought we were going)


Leaving Phil with two very excited girls to have their breakfast and go to school, I went into work. I was only in for half a day, which for me is 8.15 - 11.15am. I had had a really busy previous week and two days before so only had a few things to do before I could put my out of office on and leave at 11.15am.

Fifteen minutes later I was home and Phil took the car to check the oil and air in the tyres, gave the inside and outside a quick clean and then took the rubbish to the local recycling/refuse site.

While he was out, I got changed into my pre-travel day outfit, got the girls clothes out ready, packed the last couple of bits and locked the cases. My Dad came over and dropped off their spare luggage scales so that I could check our cases were all ok. He went to pick my Mum up (she was having her nails done) and said he'd see us in a bit.

Phil came back and we did the 'house check', making sure the windows were all locked, right lights on timed, kettle off and unplugged (we don't trust the kettle ), fridge fine to stay on and plugged in (we trust the fridge ), etc. (the bits in brackets must be said in Michael MacIntyre's voice )

We loaded all of our cases and bags in the car, then Ryan, Bethany and Cody came over just before 1pm and Mum and Dad were a few minutes later.

At 1pm, I was online to do OLCI (we still had our same seats) while Phil went down to school with Ryan to pick up the girls. They were back quickly and all got changed. Mum and Dad were taking one of our cases in their car so I put that in while the girls were getting changed.

We did our last checks and were all on our way to Gatwick by 1.30pm.





We were all going in convoy and it wasn't too bad going. We decided to stop at Oxford services just before 3pm for a toilet break / leg stretch / Starbucks. Phil and I realised we were starving as we hadn't had any lunch so each had a KFC snack box - chicken fillet & chips for me and 2 hot wings & chips for Phil, 2.99 each so a total of 5.98. While I was getting this, Phil got a medium Americano from Starbucks, 3.10. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of any of these.

We were back in the car and on our way by 3.20pm.



The rest of the journey passed by fine, it wasn't too busy on the road which was good. We had pre-booked meet and greet parking with Ace and followed the directions to the drop off point at the Hampton-by Hilton North Terminal car park, taking one wrong turn on the way, oops. Once in the car park, we drove to the designated parking bays, pulled in and unloaded the car. An attendant came over and took our details, checked the car over with Phil, took some photos then gave us a card to hand back on our return. Phil tipped the guy 5. We had pulled in at 4.55pm and were done in less than five minutes.

We walked through the Hampton-by-Hilton to get to the terminal and rang Mum to see where they were. They were next in line to check-in (they were flying with BA so were at the south terminal) so we said we would wait for them at the shuttle station at the north terminal. We had a bit of a wait but as we needed our case, we couldn't go and check-in until we had it.

We went and waited outside for a bit



They were soon there and we took our case from them. We went up to level two to where the Virgin check-in is located while the rest went over to the Premier Inn across from the terminal to check-in there.

There was no wait to check-in and it took no time at all to check in and get rid of our cases. We were done by 5.45 and walking across to the Premier Inn North Terminal. It was really cold out and we didn't have coats so rushed to get inside quickly. We used the kiosks to check-in and get our room key cards, then went up to our room, 220.

We dumped our hand luggage and went straight down to Thyme restaurant, as Dad had rang to say they had a table for all of us. We were at the perfect table for Phil, we were along a wall, so with a banquet bench, in an area with about six other tables and we were the only ones in there the whole time we were there.

As we had the airport lounge booked the following day, we decided not to do the meal deal. Photos of the menu





Madison and Kaley both had apple and blackcurrant fruit shoots, Phil had a Coors Light, 4.40, and I had a Pepsi Max, 2.75, for our drinks.

For starters, Madison and Kaley each had cheesy garlic flatbread (apologies for the half-eaten photo)

They both enjoyed these and ate everything.

Phil had the Grilled Lamb Koftas - lightly spice, succulent lamb koftas served with ciabatta, a crunchy Greek salad and a cool tzatziki dip. This was 5.99 (one of my wings is in this picture)

This was really nice.

I had the Sticky Chicken Wings - your choice of Piri Piri or BBQ glazed wings, served with a red chilli slaw and blue cheese dip. This was also 5.99

These were really good. The wings were crispy and the sauce very nice.


For mains, Kaley had the create your own pizza with a choice of two toppings - she just wanted chicken

She liked this but didn't eat all of it.

Madison had the Steak and Chips - 4oz rump steak served with skin on chips and peas

She really enjoyed this and cleared her plate.

Phil and I both had the 8oz rump steak - served with half a grilled tomato, mushrooms, rocket and skin on chips, 14.19 each. Phil had his cooked medium rare with peppercorn sauce 1.49 and I had mine medium, with the garlic butter


We both really liked our food and ate all of it except the mushrooms, as neither of us like these.

As we were in such a quiet area, Madison, Kaley and Piper were able to move over to a high table by the window and sit there together for a bit.

Madison and Kaley had the two-course meal deal, which was 5.50 each, and our total bill was around 60. My Mum and Dad paid the tip for all of us.

We were finished here just before 8pm. We said goodbye to the others as they were on an earlier flight than us and we most likely wouldn't be seeing them in the morning. We decided to have a walk over to the airport and take the shuttle over to the south terminal to have a wander. Very excited at the M&M's


At some point we went on the moving walkways

Then got the shuttle back to the north terminal



We had a quick look in the north terminal and I picked up a couple of clear bags for the liquids that would be in the hand luggage. We also saw where we could go through the premium security we had got when booking the airport lounge. We walked back over to the Premier Inn, taking a photo in the lift at some point

We were back in our room just after 8.30pm. I did some sorting through the hand luggage and got our travel clothes ready. Madison and Kaley went to sleep around 9.30pm. We watched some TV then went to bed ourselves at 10.15pm.

Next up, Travel Day is HERE!
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Edited at 10:58 AM.
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 03:28 PM  
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sheluk
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Sounds like a smooth pre travel day! Love the girls hair, it looks really cute. I cant believe how grown up they are both looking Lisa & did you say its really been 4 years since your last trip?! Wow! Feels like only a few weeks ago I was reading your report.

Hope the day after went as smoothly x
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 03:31 PM  
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Oh thank god Kaley thought nothing of the secret slip!
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 04:30 PM  
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Palm trees
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Great pre-travel day. I love your countdown colour in... I might have to copy that (although will wait until my countdown gets a bit smaller!)
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Finally, another countdown!
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 04:43 PM  
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mick
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A good pre travel day

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Unread 9 Feb 20, 05:04 PM  
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DiddyDan
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Lovely pre-travel day, I didnt realise you all went to the airport in convoy lol. Some really nice pics of you all as well 😊 x
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 05:21 PM  
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Fuellady
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Great start with a smooth drive to the airport. Your evening meals look lovely too.
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Unread 10 Feb 20, 08:51 AM  
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Lovely start, happy holidays 😊
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