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Unread 16 May 19, 03:35 PM  
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abiknox
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We are the Millers (again). April / May 2019 - Pre travel & travel day

Pre travel day

Pre travel day started like most others for us, at work! I did a half a day finishing at one and then went to get my nails done. Aaron was released early and home by 3pm which really helped us out with avoiding rush hour traffic. We faffed for a bit getting the car ready ect and were properly on the road to Gatwick by 4pm.



It took us an hour & 20 mins to get to High Wycombe where we stopped at TGI Fridays. Its the one we always stop at if we are headed to Heathrow or Gatwick. It was just after 5pm so relatively quiet when we went in but it soon got fairly busy our waiter was lovely and we had an excellent meal.


Aaron had a couple of beers and I had a coke. We shared the JD chicken strips and mozzarella dippers for starters and also got the avocado hummus for Edith to snack on, we of course helped with this too! #piggies, a theme for the whole holiday! I had a steak for main and Aaron had the Cajun chicken pasta, hoping to make a direct comparison with the one he was planning at Millers the next day.















Back on the road with me taking over the driving, we had another 1hr 10ish to reach one of the Premier Inns near Gatwick. The traffic was a bit slower on this part of the journey but it was an easy drive. We checked in and got given a room on the ground floor. We popped Edith into the cot at about 8.30pm but she wasnt sleepy so we let her run around and be free, finally succumbing to sleep at about 10pm. Aaron and I followed by 11pm.





Travel day

I woke at 2am and struggled to get back to sleep but managed eventually and we were the woken by our 6am alarm. Never easy, even on a holiday day! Edith stayed asleep while we packed things up and we woke her and got her ready just before we left the room.



We made the easy 5 minute drive to LGW and parked up following the instructions for the Meet & greet service we had booked, all very easy & straightforward

We loaded ourselves up with all the bags, car seat, stroller ect and head into the lift to departures. Check in had a big queue but we were soon directed to a separate queue once we said we were off to Florida. Bonus. Check in took a bit of time, it had to phoned through to someone to confirm that Edith had paid for a seat, even though she was only 18 months but after about 10 minutes we were all processed and after dropping the car seat off at oversized luggage we walked toward security. We managed to use the priority queue as we had Edith but this still took a fair while. We had all our liquids / milk / pram scanned and were finally set free. Edith had a meltdown at this point as they made her put her dummy through the scanner (it has a soft toy attached). She screamed until she got it back the other end.

We looked for somewhere for breakfast & met with very little choice we opted for Sonoma which turned out to be great. They gave Edith a lovely colouring pack which kept her busy for a couple of minutes. I had an orange juice, Aaron a coffee and Edith a water. I then had the breakfast, Aaron had Mexican Eggs and Edith had Beans, Toast, Sausage and Egg. We shouldnt have ordered this for her as mine was huge and we had loads left over but we didnt know the portion sizes. The food was really, really good! If the bacon on my plate had been crispy, it would have had a 10/10 and thats high praise indeed for an airport!

We took some pics whist waiting for our food.













We popped to WH Smith next to grab a couple of sandwiches for the flight as neither of us are keen on plane food & I wanted something to reach for if Edith got peckish too, we ended up wasting a sandwich but better that than suddenly having a ravenous toddler on our hands. We walked to the gate next and were boarding about 10 minutes later. We were given the back middle set of 3 seats which was great, we could recline without annoying anyone behind us (we would never normally recline on a day flight).





We took off on time and settled in for the next 8.5 hours. Edith was very good overall, she had moments where she was restless and we took her up and down the aisles a couple of times each. We both managed to watch a couple of films on and off, I went for two I had seen before as I knew they would be interrupted, Manchester by the Sea, a great film if anyones not seen it and Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children. Aaron watched war of the worlds.

Edith got a kids meal of Mac n Cheese after we advised we had paid for her seat, it was the only food she got the whole flight with the aircrew presuming she was too young and was just in a spare seat as the flight was busy. We only found out she had been missed out on the ice cream run when a cabin crew member told us he thought she was too young for it. Poor kid, she loves an ice cream. Aaron and I both declined the adult food. I snacked on a pasta salad I had from WH Smith & Aaron ate a bit of Ediths Mac n Cheese declaring it to be better than any adult meal hed ever been offered.

Id wrapped Edith up little toys which we gave her on the hour and she watched Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse clubhouse a lot too. She also slept for 40 minutes or so. The flight was nowhere near as bad as I had anticipated, I guess you only hear horror stories of toddlers on flights.

We landed about 15 minutes ahead of schedule but of course being at the back of the plane, we were last in the immigration queue. It was Stanford airport so at least it was only our flight we were dealing with but as usually they only had 4 immigration desks open and it took about 50 minutes for us to get through.

All our bags appeared to be waiting for us when we got to the carousel but on grabbing the small on we had used for Ediths clothes, Aaron noticed it had a padlock on it and wasnt ours. I knew right away that whoever this bag belonged to had likely left with ours. Nightmare. We went to check with a member of staff who confirmed that all the luggage was off the flight and agreed with us that as the bag was an exact match as ours, they had likely taken our bag in error. While Aaron was sorting that with her, I rushed through the airport & car hire garages looking for someone with our bag. I heard an announcement go out on the tannoy asking that if a Mr **** was still around, to head back to baggage claim. As I now had the persons name, I even ran onto a Tui bus full of people from our flight asking if he was on board but no such luck. Aaron met me by Alamo who we had car hire with. He had to go back & fill in a lost bag form ect but had come to sort us out with the car first so we had somewhere to offload the bags and relax in the cool.

We head up to the desk and while the guy was sorting our paperwork Aaron just tried his luck and asked if there was any way our server could check if a Mr **** had just picked up a car. Well what do you know, the same guy serving us had dealt with him 20 minutes before! Bingo. He checked the system in case he was still in the car park but he had gone through the barrier 15 minutes previous so we had missed him. Alamo were absolutely fantastic at this point. Our server tried to call the guy once but there was no answer so he passed the number to his manager to keep trying while he sored our paperwork. On the second try he picked up! The Alamo staff explained what had happened and he turned around and head back to the airport. We couldnt believe our luck that we had managed to track him down and make contact. We were having nightmares that they were off on a cruise and wouldnt notice until they had set sail ect, all these scenarios where we wouldnt see our bag for a few days at least but as it happened, it was back with us within an hour of noticing it had gone missing. Aaron accompanied the guy back to baggage claim to explain that we no longer needed to report a missing bag & to make sure this guy got his correct bag. I was just so happy, I had spent months putting Ediths outfits together and would have been so upset to lose all her clothes, not to mention all the nappies ect. It was a great outcome.

With all our bags in our possession we tipped the Alamo staff who had helped us and went to find a car, opting for a black Nissan Rogue. We loaded it up, strapped in the car seat, popped Edith in & set off for Lake Buena Vista where we were staying at the Blue Heron Beach resort. The journey was nearly an hour and involved 5 toll booths but it flew by, I guess the excitement of being back just puts you in a great mood.

Aaron stayed in the car with Edith while I head into reception and got us checked in. We were given a room on the 9th floor of building 2. I paid the one off cleaning fee & resort fees and we drove round to the parking lot under the building before unloading the car & heading up in the left. Thankfully, with the hotel being a tower, we didnt have far to go from the lift. We were really impressed with our room / condo. It was huge with a massive bedroom, en suite, kitchen, lounge/dining area & main bathroom. It looked great and we couldnt wait to spend 2 weeks here. Our view was incredible too. We looked out over Lake Bryon which was beautiful, if we looked over the balcony outside our front door, we could see Disney too.











We had a quick unpacking / freshen up session & then hopped back in the car & drive the 1 mile to Millers Ale House, where else. We were seated right away and soon placing our order. Zinger salad for me and Cajun chicken pasta for Aaron. Edith did amazing considering it was now gone midnight UK time and she hasnt napped properly. She was on the booth with us and content just lining up all the ketchup bottles and fitting them back into their holder. She picked at my dinner but much preferred Aarons, munching on a lot of his pasta. The food was as good as ever and we were just really happy to be back. Back in Florida and back in Millers.













We popped to Publix on the way back to the hotel, spending $80 on most things we needed for our stay. Weetabix for Edith, fruit, Goldfish, crescent rolls, Nutella, bagels, bottled water, OJ, Coke ect. How cool are their shopping trolleys?





Back in the room, we put Edith straight to bed. It was 8.30pm in Orlando and 1.30am UK time so she did so well! She is a dream travel babe. Aaron and I followed her to bet at 9pm.
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Unread 16 May 19, 03:52 PM  
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collybird
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Ediths food at TGis looks great, Id had had to try it too. Love the mozzarella sticks at TGIs, the king of the mozzy stick.

Poor Edith not being offered any snacks on the flight, even if you hadnt paid for her seat youd think they would offer.

I know the case situation must have been ridiculously stressful but I had to chuckle at the idea of you manically bursting onto the TUI bus. Really impressed with Alamo helping you out, and a nice bit of luck too, Im sure Alamo will have a loyal customer for life now.

Edith looks so content all day, not a hint of stress in travel day for her.
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Unread 16 May 19, 03:53 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Hurrah, I have been looking forward to this, so excited you have started!

What an absolute star Edith was on the flight, you made this look all too easy (Charlie I fear may be a whole different kettle of fish #prayforlisa). Such a nightmare with your bag being taken, so glad all was sorted whilst you was still there!

Also, how did you wrap up your car seat for the flight? We are going to take our own too, any tips most welcome!
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Unread 16 May 19, 03:54 PM  
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margyloveswdw
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Wow, what a nightmare with the luggage but so pleased that Alamo were so helpful!

I can't believe how Edith was still going when you were at Millers; like you say, dream travel baby!

Looking forward to reading more.
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Unread 16 May 19, 05:22 PM  
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abiknox
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Originally Posted by collybird View Post
Ediths food at TGis looks great, Id had had to try it too. Love the mozzarella sticks at TGIs, the king of the mozzy stick.

Poor Edith not being offered any snacks on the flight, even if you hadnt paid for her seat youd think they would offer.

I know the case situation must have been ridiculously stressful but I had to chuckle at the idea of you manically bursting onto the TUI bus. Really impressed with Alamo helping you out, and a nice bit of luck too, Im sure Alamo will have a loyal customer for life now.

Edith looks so content all day, not a hint of stress in travel day for her.
TGIs is always good isn't it. That little taste of the USA when you aren't there.

Haha, I'll never forget the Tui bus, and they will never forget me I'm sure. #crazylady. Needs must though. I was desperate x

Originally Posted by Lisa_Lollipop View Post
Hurrah, I have been looking forward to this, so excited you have started!

What an absolute star Edith was on the flight, you made this look all too easy (Charlie I fear may be a whole different kettle of fish #prayforlisa). Such a nightmare with your bag being taken, so glad all was sorted whilst you was still there!

Also, how did you wrap up your car seat for the flight? We are going to take our own too, any tips most welcome!
We have an Issue car seat bag. Got it from Amazon I think. It's great as we pop some other luggage in with the car seat. It helps protect it and its free luggage allowance as they don't weight the seat.

Charlie will suppose you I'm sure. The whole flying thing is such a novelty to them, it keeps them interested and happy.

Originally Posted by margyloveswdw View Post
Wow, what a nightmare with the luggage but so pleased that Alamo were so helpful!

I can't believe how Edith was still going when you were at Millers; like you say, dream travel baby!

Looking forward to reading more.
Thanks for reading. Edith was a trooper for sure. The jet lag isn't so easy though. Still struggling a week on .
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Unread 16 May 19, 05:32 PM  
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Great start. Glad you managed to resolve the luggage problem.
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Unread 16 May 19, 05:55 PM  
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What a great travel day, Edith and yourselves took it all in your stride.
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Unread 16 May 19, 07:05 PM  
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A smooth travel day 👍
Isnt just the best feeling when you arrive & you have the whole holiday ahead of you? 🙂
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