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Old 13 Aug 19, 08:24 PM  
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The Smiths Go Stateside Aug 2019 - 13/08/29 Pre-Travel Day

Due to living so far away from anywhere in Pembrokeshire we have to have a pre-travel day as well as a travel day, but unfortunately our pre-travel day is also spent travelling!

Ages ago I had booked our train travel, all 6.5 hours worth with a start at 11.25am getting into Manchester Airport around 5.45pm.

However DH was dropping us off at the station and then going on to visit his parents in Surrey which meant he would hit the M25 at rush hour so I changed our ticket the night before to 2 hours earlier.

Where we live is a massive county agricultural show which started today (pre-travel day) so we went to M&S yesterday to get lunch and snacks for the train. As the trains aren't that busy in Pembrokeshire we managed to get table seats and settled in for the long journey.

Around 2.5 hours in a lady sat down opposite with twin 5 year old girls so Button had a lovely time playing with them for a couple of hours before they got off again.

We arrived at Manchester Piccadilly on time and found our way to the next platform for a train to the airport. Is it just me or does Manchester Piccadilly train station seem pretty small for such a large city? I was expecting something more like Waterloo in London!

The airport train was slow due to a signalling failure earlier and we got off the train around 4pm. We did the loooooong walk on the Skywalk to Terminal 2 to do Twilight check in (and the Skywalk was roasting!) and it seemed wrong somehow to walk past our hotel on the way too!

We got into the a terminal and looked for the Virgin check in desk which was nowhere to be seen. I'd decided to do twilight check in as otherwise we would have to be in the airport by 8 which would mean getting up earlier for breakfast. I asked 2 people and was given differing answers but one person said it should be at check in desks 41/42 but that was showing a Saudia Airline logo so I thought it couldn't be there. I saw a family all wearing Disney tops looking a bit lost too (and the Virgin help desk was unmanned) and hey were also looking for it. She decided to go and ask at desk 41/42 and it turns out it was Virgin there but they hadn't changed the sign on the screen (and didn't do this when we were there either). We checked in easily, remembering to get our wash stuff and underwear out of the case before dropping it off at desk 73 right down the far end.

We walked back to the Radisson and checked in. I doubled checked that it said I had the breakfast included on my booking as on the app it doesn't and they said they couldn't see it either but I produced a printout if my booking from the website which does so it shouldn't be a problem that tomorrow morning.

I had emailed about a week ago to request if it was possible a runway view as it was my birthday at the weekend. Nothing was mentioned so I thought that they weren't able to accommodate my request - fair enough. We went to our room, 760, and saw on the door it said Superior Room and I had only booked a standard so i was very chuffed! There was also a slate with Happy Birthday written in chocolate and a card an a chocolate covered strawberry and biscuits. Lovely! The room was really nice and the bed very comfy.

We mooched about the room for a bit the decided to go down and have some dinner. I didn't realise how hungry I was until we got there. My eyes are definitely bigger than my appetite so I know I shouldn't go mad ordering starters etc so went for the fish and chips which were really good and huge!

Under 12's Eat free off the kids menu with a paying adult so she had the kids burger and chips and it was also huge, looked like an adult burger to me.

So although the fish and chips was expensive at 18, Holly's was free tho you do have to pay for kids drinks, so total bill was 20 (I just drank water) which I thought wasn't bad for an airport hotel at all!

Button's best bit from dinner was the mini Heinz ketchup jar. Kids!

We waddled back to the room to start charging electronics up and having a lazy evening before an earl-ish start tomorrow to make the most of the buffet breakfast

Edited at 05:30 AM.
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Old 20 Aug 19, 12:58 PM  
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Great start to your trip. Looking forward to reading all about it.
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Old 20 Aug 19, 03:23 PM  
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Look forward to this report. We are travelling from south Pembs in November but our travel starts at 1/2 past midnight on the travel day.
Florida 95, 99, 01, 04, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17.
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