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Old 26 Oct 20, 01:53 AM  
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:) Going Out in a Blaze of Glory - Summer of Sorcery 2019 -DAY 27 - That's all Folks!

Welcome back, thank you for your patience - I have really not wanted this day to ever be written.

It is the end, and it is the moment when all of our Florida memories come to an end

It is also a long read - so grab a cuppa and enjoy this as a musical background whilst you read.

If you missed Day 26 - you can read it here

The index to the whole of 2019 is here

The index of all the previous trip reports is here.

So, for the very last time,

Welcome to DAY 27 - Going home day.

Monday 19th August 2019

After a great nights sleep and with the knowledge that we were so close to the airport we slept until 9 and were thankful that we were so close to the airport.

We gathered everything together and plotted how we would maximise the time afforded to us.

I went to collect the car and once we had packed it up, Alison and the boys headed for the swimming pool whilst I nipped our to Publix for water, fruit and apple turnovers.

I also got some caramel M and Mís as Iím sure they will be enjoyed in the upcoming weeks or possibly even days !

Once back at the hotel, I joined the family and we enjoyed some final sunshine and pool time together with the breakfast that was a whole lot cheaper than that on offer in the resort.

We were glad we had not booked golf this morning,one course was now open which brought about a range of cars like this!

Whilst swimming we also 'enjoyed' this local wildlife too!

Not only would the golf have overheated us, but we would have been pushing it for time- the poolside time flew and as we readied for leaving so did one final rain cloud!

In true Floridian fashion the storm broke more quickly than the horn to clear the pool and the golf courses.

Time wise this suited us as we needed to get changed and head for the airport, we changed on the luxury of the poolside restrooms, they were beautiful and immaculately clean.

The only issue was the storm that was breaking outside and with the car and main lobby a distance in opposite directions we had to simply take cover on the poolside bar area. That was where we were hiding when the storm broke! ( just in case Kidd McFluff asks)

It passed with that deluge that only Florida rain can bring and thankfully we managed to stay remarkably dry - now to get the car and head to the airport.

All of the luggage was sorted and we went to fill the car up with fuel- there was a Miami premium to be paid here and having found a place last night via an internet search we turned up to find it was credit card and members only. Foiled again!

Time for plan B- find another close by just fill it up and pay the price!

By now, the time was creeping up on us and we filled the car and just headed onto the expressway to the airport.

Now, this was the moment I always wait for, having already been given our first Avis receipt showed the cost of the rental.

The one today stated those looked for digits - $00-00 to pay!

Picture taken of the fuel being full and receipt from the petrol station secured into the folder. We could walk away from the car and start that long walk home.

The MIA mover was our next stop and into the airport for a simple check in. This has made such a difference to Miami airport and as mentioned in a recent podcast the improvements to Miami Airport in the last 10 years has been superb.

No queue at check in either, which perhaps demonstrates how time was pushing on.
We were close to 3.40 after we got through security with a new record of three out of four of our hand luggage bags being selected for a closer look.

Another People Mover later and we were in the most far flung part of the airport with none of the shops or food and drink places you would expect to find in any airport, here there was virtually nothing- our gate was down an escalator and not even visible from the waiting area. Yes there was still parts of the airport that had missed the renovation and refurb team over those ten years!

We did grab a pizza for the boys and a sandwich for us to share, just in case the flight food proved inedible.

We were soon aboard what will now be our very last 747 experience. It has been so sad just watching these incredible machines be retired recently, although looking back Iím certain this one was top of the list for the wreckers yard!

The minimal aircon at the gate area was outdone on board, it was so hot, airless and to be honest really uncomfortable.

We were thankful this was not our suitcase though!

When we will see you again?

The steward responsible of this part of the plane was slow and appeared to be possibly on one of his first flights. Ok, that's being polite - he was clueless and actually not a great advert for the training that so many undertake to work for BA. We said nothing , but he was shadowed throughout!

We were served last and then we found Josh had a table that would not support anybody eating food off- it was amusing that with a whole lot of prodding, poking and generally trying to fix the seat, it then disrupted the wonderful person in front of him even more.

That same person who had reclined into his face before take off and then had the audacity to ask him not to press the IFE system as it was stopping her getting to sleep strange how karma works sometimes!

The senior staff member who was shadowing the young lad really stepped up the customer care bit, finding Josh a seat to eat in peace whilst also trying to fix the seat with more prodding and hitting of the broken seat I hasten to add, not the person in front.

Sleep for everyone was very limited due to the heat, it did not reduce until around about 6 hours into the flight.

Food onboard was ok- a Thai chicken curry with rice or pasta with tomato and pesto (none of that left by the time we were served though)

Quite fittingly- the film I sat and chose to watch was Nemo and just how much it was a fitting way to bring this trip and all of these trips to a close.

The morning offering of a croissant with cream cheese and a cereal bar was poor.

Having had low expectations they were certainly met and even surpassed on the even lower side, having enjoyed the food offered by Lufthansa last year and Virgin in the past, BA is some distance behind both of them.

That also applies to the condition of the aircraft, I love travelling on a 747 but this one really was in need of some TLC.

The lack of air con, the broken seat and the other issue photographed summed it up, no idea what it was about, but it looked as if there was a refurb needed.

We did, however, arrive in London nigh on on- time. Which gave us plenty of time to get from Terminal 3 to T5.

At which point, on arrival in T5, Josh tells us he has left his portable charger on the plane! I wonít repeat the words I uttered! We logged the loss and to this day have heard nothing nor seen anything on the lost items portal.

Starbucks was needed!

Our flight boarded just around 9-45, we sat for an hour awaiting a baggage loading problem being sorted and then a take off slot being arranged.

We were in the air for less time than we were delayed and arrived in Manchester aware that we now had just an hour to catch our train home.

First things first though, having had bags go through Miami and Heathrow we were amazed to find all our luggage had made it safely to Manchester Ė for us that was certainly progress!

With a little wait, due to another tech issues with the plane luggage ramp we grabbed the cases and made a quick walk to the station.

As we boarded the train, I imagined the doors closing as the very end of all of these days I have ever typed, it was the end.

It brought my absolute reality come crashing back into focus.

Little did any of us know what was to happen in the following months before we even got into 2020, but my very own Blaze of Glory was more one of being shot down, with your hands held high and it was happening at a time when I had nothing left to give.

26 years in a job that was always described as a vocation, well the final few were more like an impossible task, slowly killing me each day.

No work on holiday was something new and a bit of a wake up call.
A call I had ignored for a long time, yet,was foreseen by those around me. (They knew if they said anything I would kick against the inevitable!)

My work had become my whole life, a passion that overtook my entire life and yet shot me down without the support from those above me when it was most needed.

I will not share more on a public forum, but what I will share is that after a lot of deliberation, anger, heartbreak and the 100% support of my whole family, I finally took control of my own life.

Not an easy decision and especially when you make those decisions before the arrival of a pandemic.

Nearly 12 months after that momentous decision day, some time spent without any income for the first time in my life. I am starting a new adventure, an adventure that will maybe allow for a trip to Florida in the future, but amid these economic times who would know!

What I do know is that I have some wonderful people around me and that is more important than anything else in the whole world.

I have a freedom to enjoy life and a freedom to be there for those I love most. They now have to put up with the holiday me, every day - and that is something that is so good.

As those train doors closed it brought to an end all of our Disney holiday dreams and little did anyone know what 2020 would bring. Unfortunately Transpennine Express had not read the script - there was no "por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas"
It would have been perfect!

Each and every single one of these days posted and shared (and also those that remain in note form) have been the most incredible thing to do- following in the footsteps of so many trip report writers and never expecting as much as one reply, yet I am aware there are many of you who have read every single word and looked at every picture and those who have used some of these ramblings as inspiration in planning your own trips over the years.

From the very bottom of my heart I thank you Ė yes you!


Without you reading all of these words, all of these amazing days since 2013 would never have been typed up.

I have been inspired to write by you, reading your replies, your PM's and even the recent addition of the like emojis too.

I have also taken such delight, comfort and indeed many a of a proud Dad moment from all of the words everyone has typed in response to our boys.

They are appreciated by Alison and I so much and whenever they read all of this back in the future the memories will flood back of so many special times spent together.

All of these days are typed for them.

For everyone we have met along the way Ė you have added so much to our memories, I would love to list you all, yet somewhere I will miss someone out and I would hate to do that!

You know who you are and you know what you have read / when you have met / when you have sent that PM just to kick me up the backside to get finished or when you have said something really special that even a text transcends.

To those who have stopped us in a theme park, been to see Orlando City SC with us, or even those who have sent a PM to ask if you spotted us today in whatever Disney Park we had been to.

Thank you, seems so insufficient, yet I am so thankful for all of your support and appreciative of just how much your words have meant to me along the way.

I canít finish all of this without a mention of my local Scarborough Dibb lurker, who I have not seen for a while.

To the Reetser family whose trip reports inspired me to follow suit Ė then from that first meeting in 2008 who would know what friendship would follow.

To KBD and family xx
Abby and family xx

To everyone who has read it all and made a personal effort to post a comment on each and every single day.

To those reading this trip report through lockdown - your words regarding positivity and inspiration for yourselves have hit me even more!

To my Podcast colleagues @ GBMickeywaffle - thank you for giving me the chance to talk about the place we love so much.

(If anyone reading has not heard us you can download us in podcast form or ask your Alexa or Google home to play The Great British Mickey Waffle podcast. Or check out the Dibb area where we have all our shows available to listen to. )
Just click here to see our Dibb page.

To just think had this photo experience turned out differently I think our memories would be a little different. At the age of 4 Josh had previously not enjoyed seeing anybody or anything dressed up or in a character costume.
Minute 1 on entry to MK in 2008

Thankfully that was not the case- as a result we have been so fortunate to have spent the past few years loving the magic the memories and us!

So many unique, memorable and different experiences, I keep going back and reading days from previous trip reports thinking of just how much the boys have grown and also noting that there are certain golf tops I have had great value for money out of!

I hope any of the words posted and shared serve to help anyone planning any future trip and I also hope they remain as a reminder to the boys of their own growing up.

I canít choose any one trip that was better than any other but what I do know is just how fortunate we have been. We have memories that will last a lifetime and have a collective love of our happy place that all of our hearts will yearn for a trip to WDW at some point in our lives.

All I will finish with, is a huge thank you to the most important people who have shared every single day with me . Your love, hope and strength are the reason we all share the same collective moment as we leave Magic Kingdom Ė that golf ball in the throat moment when you can neither talk nor indeed communicate why a holiday to Walt Disney World is magical Ė the same feeling I have now bringing this all to an end.

We walk forever by each others side.

Thank you xxxx

I'm sure those dulcet notes of Spectro have faded and you need that firework and musical fix that has seen us out of Epcot on so many occasions

We go on !

A lovely moment to finish though - Josh asked me to include the words that ended our video in 2008. I'm sensing a baton passing moment!

" Don't cry because it's over - Smile because it happened"

Thanks for reading over all these years Ė your reading and your words in reply are appreciated more than you could imagine.

Stay well, stay strong and always Believe in your dreams Ė they really do come true !


Ö.And that my friends is where the magic lived. xx

I'm a Great British Mickey Waffle Podcast presenter.
Hope you are a Listener

Going out in a Blaze of Glory- Our Summer of Sorcery 2019 - COMPLETE! 4 Weeks, from The Yacht Club for 10 nights onto much more Florida fun too

All of our previous Trip reports and escapades can be read here.

Edited at 02:22 AM.
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Old 26 Oct 20, 02:25 AM  
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Stop it. Too sad
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Old 26 Oct 20, 02:34 AM  
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Originally Posted by llennyfar View Post
Stop it. Too sad
I've struggled posting it for far too long
I'm a Great British Mickey Waffle Podcast presenter.
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Going out in a Blaze of Glory- Our Summer of Sorcery 2019 - COMPLETE! 4 Weeks, from The Yacht Club for 10 nights onto much more Florida fun too

All of our previous Trip reports and escapades can be read here.
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Old 26 Oct 20, 06:01 AM  
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I have loved reading this report and itís sad that itís come to an end, even more so when itís so difficult to plan a new trip. We are booked for a short trip in May, but thereís no excitement or planning as we just donít know if it will happen. Thank you for taking the time to write up all of your trips and wishing you all the best in your new work endeavours. I truly hope the world returns to normal soon
10th trip coming up
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Old 26 Oct 20, 06:58 AM  
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Iím now in tears. Your words throughout have brought your trip alive - I have laughed and now cried along. Thank you so much for sharing and I wish you all success and happiness in the future with hopefully some future Disney memories still to be made. (Iím going to go back and read all your other trip reports now - good job itís half term !) x

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Old 26 Oct 20, 08:55 AM  
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Wonderful and poignant. Iíve been waiting patiently for the final instalment. It was worth the wait!
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Old 26 Oct 20, 09:12 AM  
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I have loved reading your trippys over the years and I really hope this isnít the last one. Good luck in your new work ventures and please no disappearing from the dibb!
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Old 26 Oct 20, 09:41 AM  
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A brilliant end to another great trippie

So many wonderful memories over the years and watching the boys grow up to be such caring people,

I hope that whatever you're doing job wise gives you satisfaction and Iím sure Alison and the boys are enjoying your everyday holiday vibe!

None of us knows what the future holds holiday wise but we can hope that one day we will all get back to having good times.

Hope you are all keeping safe up there in Scarborough

Thanks for taking the time. I have really enjoyed reading along.

Joan x

Edited at 09:43 AM.
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Old 26 Oct 20, 09:47 AM  
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John - what an ending.
We love you to bits and I am so glad that your family are so amazing and you were able to make that change a year ago. You are not nearly such a grumpy bu**er as you were before

When you said at the beginning of this post "it's a long one", two thought went through my head...
1. What's new?
2. Thank goodness - anything less would not have done the end of this adventure justice at all.

I don't think this is the end, it's just a period of time for reflection and enjoyment of the amazing memories.
Alison, Josh & Joe - you are fabulous.
John - don't ever change x
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Old 26 Oct 20, 11:17 AM  
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Well that made me smile, laugh and cry all in one morning !

I have now caught up with all your wonderful Trip Reports John and have seen your boys grow.

I have been a silent reader always meaning to wait until the end to tell you how much I have enjoyed living your holidays along with you

I am so sad to reach the end ... but will not go all mushy on a public forum so will PM you instead
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