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Old 23 Aug 20, 11:40 AM  
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WileyCoyote's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 11
Last Trip before Lockdown. Mar 2020. Travel Day - Goodbye Ruby Tuesday & Arriving in Palm Coast

Tuesday March 2nd Travel Day

Yesterday is HERE

Ah, pre travel night sleep

There is no in between is there

Its either a comatose like exhaustion from running around with all the last minute things that snuck up on you because no matter how good your military precision planning had been, there was still a ton of last minute jobs


its complete pants as you stare into the darkness like a meerkat listening to the sonorous rumbles of your nearest and dearest next to you - alternating between extreme envy at their deep sleep or contemplating whether the pillow or a taser will be the most effective way to jolt them put of their repose - after all , if you are awake everyone else should be right?

Not even the classy cocktail in a can last night managed to knock me out

And so it was - that despite declaring myself suitably knackered and therefore surely bound to sleep well, I found myself awake at midnight, 3 am, 4.45 and finally caving at 5.30.

I wasnít even wondering where the passports were this time - no excuses Ö

We had a coffee and watched tv for a bit before getting ourselves sorted and ordering a taxi for 6.30

Speedy trip to the terminal and we had arrived by 7.07.

I had pre booked the premium security which was reasonably busy for so early but no unwanted items in the luggage and no intimate searches required (always a relief, phew) - we were out the other side by 7.16.

Plenty of time for breakfast - although the queue at Wetherspoons was already sizeable so we nipped up to Sonoma instead.

This also got busy and had a queue by the time we left.

I had the fruit topped pancakes

Andy had the Country breakfast

And a couple of cappuccinos.

I had a 15% off voucher from My Gatwick so that basically paid for one of the coffees.

Bill was £26 after the voucher.

Nice place ... food came out quickly and was all good.

I wrote in the food trippy when we got back that it was a new place that we would go back to.

Ummmm, maybe not then .. will we fly from Gatwick again I wonder?

Bellies full we headed off to get a seat and had a nose in the shops

I bought two books which I then realised I couldnít fit in my hand luggage and had a fractious five minutes huffing and puffing trying to stuff everything in.

Around 8.15 I finally sat down and channelled the inner karma of the chap next to me who was reading Classic Tractor magazine.

It felt like two seconds after I sat down the gate came up but it was really 0905 and we schlepped off to the other side of Crawley almost finding ourselves in Three Bridges via the travelators (walk? stand still? Oh, the stress of pre-flight choices).

Well readers, some of you may find the following content emotionally distressing in these Corona Times - look away now if the inflight Amarula bottles may induce a mini meltdown.

Hello Ruby Tuesday - we do love you

but we thought the Falcon looked even more splendid.

We were boarding at 0920 and didnít have any faff with overhead lockers - Andy was very pleased with his extra leg room seat in Dibbers Row

and joy of joy there was an empty seat next to me.

Lets hope the bloke in front of me doesnt recline on the flight

I am glad the seat next to me was empty and that I have short legs as with the entertainment box thing taking up leg room, this wasn't the most brilliant seat if you wanted to stretch your legs

There was a very nice lady in the window seat who didnít mind the middle being used as snack and beverage central.

We had been due to take off at 1010 but this was delayed due to needing fuel.

How does that delay happen then, someone forgets to nip the jet round to the Tescoís pay at pump last night?

Finally, we were on our way Ö that bit hurling down the runway, itís the perfect moment isnít it - as the wheels go up and you are on your way. Yay USA here we come.

This was a very good flight. Felt like a constant supply of food and drink and a total contrast to our Hi fly/ Norwegian experience last time out. Which was interesting as this flight was only around £40 each more...

1115 drinks came out and straight into the Amarula - none of that noon somewhere business, we are on our way so who cares.

While perusing the menu

1150 lunch arrived

I went for the chicken

It was all fine. The little GU pot was very yummy.

Regular readers will know I always watch a Tom Cruise movie on the flight - its my holiday tradition. Imagine the horror then that one wasnít available so I settled for Maleficent Mistress of Evil which I did enjoy and Terminator Dark Fate - which was ok but I wasnít wowed by it.

Barely got back into the film and the ice lolly arrived at 2pm (UK time)

Swiftly followed by afternoon drinkies at 4pm (UK time)

Can you see a pattern emerging

A bit of window gazing and flight watching in that - omg still got hours to go - lull

And then afternoon tea at just after 6 (UK time)

The mozarella roll

And Scone ( jam before cream ALWAYS obvs)

Were very nice.

Overall, great flight. Very impressed

We landed at 7.55pm UK time and we were pretty quick off the flight - they let the bubble go after premium downstairs and as we had no cases to retrieve from the little cupboard we were pretty nifty out the door .

Arrived in immigration at 8.15pm (UK time) - expected it to be stacked with the mid-afternoon arrivals but it was quiet and the guy flicked a look at our visas, did the eye camera thing, asked us a few questions and we were on our way

We got to the baggage reclaim ages before the luggage arrived and most of our time in the airport was spent waiting for the case to arrive - but it did, phew, and we were off again

I think I was busy snapping here and the case fell and scraped Andyís shin - not a happy chap, ouch

Love the Galaxyís Edge theming which was new since our last trip

Only in Orlando can a set of mono rails bring so much Squeee factor

Car Hire was empty

Ö I canít even remember what we got - Just a standard saloon -it didnít need to take much luggage.

60 minutes after landing we were pulling away - at least half that time had been waiting for the suitcase!

By now its 9pm UK time and we were in that "really pleased to be here but also a tad tired and niggly" place .. not helped by the infernal roadworks in Orlando and traffic.

We also encountered serious potholes - a sight I am not sure I have seen on previous trips!

It took 90 minutes to get to Palm coast - the first 30 being spent getting out of the Orlando area.

As we approached the turn off

we spotted black wild pigs on the side of the road but I wasnít quick enough to get a photo - apparently they had been seen in various places along the I95 but we never saw them again.

Arrived at the resort - easy to find - which is good at 11pm UK time - the nice thing about Palm Coast is that even though it was now 6pm , the roads were not massively busy

The resort was nice - but as per the reviews quite dated - felt stuck in the 80s. It is having a refurb - which it will need to compete with some of the fancy resorts further up at Hammock and Cinnamon Beach

It was clean and more then enough for our stay - I took a few pics - it was a bit dark though so I took some more the next day

The bathroom was massive - I wasnít sure about the glass blocks though in the shower area

- itís a ground floor room - lets hope no one decides to walk up too close to them while you are in there.

Not much unpacking to do - packing cubes - I love you

As we walked across the road to the European village we realised this was the resort we had stumbled on last year where we had got stuck and couldnít find the way out .. well now we know !

A 5 minute walk (still no street lights) and we were at the European Village.

Which looked all pretty with the lights

First a stop at the Cork and Pint

Where the bar tender remembered us from last year which was lovely.

Cider for Andy and Chalk Hill rose for me

There was karaoke going on which after being up for about 20 hours now was a slightly surreal experience. ďI have a dreamĒ from ABBA will never sound the same again

Over to Mezzaluna

Bread to share with dipping oil

We both chose the 10Ē personal pizza which is $7.99 and then you pay per topping.

I went Hawaiian

Andy had meatballs, mushroom and onion

Pizzas were perfectly cooked and we took home a couple of slices of each

Back home we dropped into bed around 9.30 US time - silly o clock in UK time.

It was all going so well until about two hours later there was an intermittent beeping sound.

In my brain fog I just could not work it out.

I checked phones and the clock radio.

It was completely annoying - I got up and checked the kitchen, then the air conditioning controls - even the laundry units but nope, source of beeping could not be found.

And then I saw the smoke alarm in the bedroom flashing and beeping - but it was so high I couldnít reach it

There was no way I could sleep with it - I did think about decamping to the spare room but my paranoia got the better of me - convincing myself it was irresponsible to simply ignore it.

I am such a compliant person!

Andy was ecstatic when I wok him up from his deep sleep to point it out to him - he was less bothered about it than I was and just took the cover off and the battery out - declaring that it probably just needed a new battery

He promptly fell fast asleep while I spent ages wondering if I was about to be burnt to a crisp because it wasnít the battery at all. (Andy did point out the next day of course there were plenty more alarms in the apartment so the crispy critter scenario was very unlikely. Of course such logic evaded me at the time ..)

And then of course I couldn't sleep because in the morning we are off to sort out the house ... and I was just plain too excited
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Old 23 Aug 20, 11:55 AM  
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Sounds like a great travel day. 👍🏻😊
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Old 23 Aug 20, 12:31 PM  
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What a lovely travel day, I love those seats, so much legroom that will be sorely missed. That pizza looks delicious. I would definitely have decamped to the other room.

AKL, HRH Lakeside Haven September 2019, Lakeside Haven RPR May 2019. White Blossom & Viburnum Villa August 2018. SSR, Aurora Villa May 2018. Kidani AKL, RPR Champion Florida Villa 2017, Staybridge Suites LBV, White Blossom & Owens Villa 2016 OKW, Champion Florida Villa & RPR 2016, Magic Landings 2015, Grand Reserve & HRH 2014, Tuscan Pines 2012, Highgrove 2009, Legacy Park 2007, Indian Point 2006 and 2005, Florida Pines 2004

Graduation Trip 2019
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Old 23 Aug 20, 12:51 PM  
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I have stayed at the Sandman a few times and glad to see that the refurbish is finished. One of the drivers of the taxi company that the hotel uses warned me about the cost of a taxi from the airport and gave me one of their cards which is part of my holiday pack now.
I'm going to live forever! Triple bypass done - so far so good!
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Old 23 Aug 20, 01:09 PM  
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I usually tend to skim read travel days however absence makes the heart grow fonder and I read yours properly to remind myself of happy times! Glad you managed to get the bubble seats. Flight sounds good and a reasonably quick airport exit which is always a bonus.

How nice that the bar tender remembered you. I hope you managed to catch up on your missed sleep-why do smoke alarms always seem to start beeping in the middle of the night?
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Old 23 Aug 20, 02:00 PM  
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A very good travel day. We had the same beeping in a villa once in the hallway just outside our bedroom door. Ceilings were so high there was no way we could reach it so had to get Management company to come round the next day with a big ladder!
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Old 23 Aug 20, 02:27 PM  
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How annoying is it when you can't sleep on pre-travel night? It happens to me all the time - just so scared of missing the alarm (I never have!), and a mix of travel nerves and excitement. Good start in the morning despite that... your pancakes look yummy, and Andy's breakfast is huge.

Flight sounds good - always handy to have a spare seat next to you. Shame about the lack of Tom Cruise movies, but Maleficent Mistress of Evil is good (well, I thought so ). Food seems decent too.

Well done on managing to get out on your first evening, you must have been so tired by then. Lovely that the bartender remembered you, and nice pizzas too for dinner.

Your accommodation looks fine for what you need, although it does look a bit dated. As long as it's clean though, that's what really matters. Also not sure about the glass blocks on the outside wall of a ground floor bathroom I'm guessing you won't be asking for that feature in your new home Oh dear, another sleepless night - I hope you manage to catch up on your rest at some point. A very exciting reason for not sleeping well though, I'm looking forward to reading more about your new home plans.
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Old 23 Aug 20, 03:16 PM  
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A nice easy travel day Amanda. Why on earth do smoke alarms always decide that they need a new battery in the middle of the night? that beep/ cheeping is so irritating it happened in our house a few weeks ago however the smoke alarm was so old that when Nathan tried to remove the cover to take the battery out the whole thing came out of the ceiling
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Old 23 Aug 20, 04:30 PM  
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What a lovely surprise ,to find your trip report, Amanda.
I remember all the excitement around you buying your dream home, Iím so jealous.

With our upcoming November trip unlikely to happen ,itís nice to indulge in a little bit of Florida magic
Trip number 10 in October 2018
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Old 23 Aug 20, 08:25 PM  
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We parked up next to The Falcon on return flight from nyc in December, it was stunning to see , canít believe weíve never flown virgin
You did so well to actually get out to have food on arrival!
I laughed about the karaoke as DD and I have just watched Mama Mia
Great travel day
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