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Unread 23 Apr 17, 12:23 PM  
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scottishnellie
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Scottishnellies Sack The Kitchen Trip, June 2017 LIVE

So this will be our 3rd family holiday to Florida, and as with 2015 and 2016 I intend to do a daily live trip report while we are there. This will might be in the photo trip reports so I can use the app as I usually do. Not sure yet.



We are:
Me - Helen, 40 something let me think 2017-1973, so 44 this year. You ever noticed that after 41 you can only remember your age by actually doing the maths? Or is that just me?
Kevin hubby- hes a year older than me so must be 45. He is delighted to be going back to Florida but at every turn wants to keep the spending down due to this bloody kitchen. This constant penny pinching might get annoying for me so I will have to keep it in check!
Hannah 13 going on 21. She has suddenly become so much more grown up in the last 6 months. She has a phone glued to her hand at all times and a permanent hunch from staring down at it. I am hoping we might be able to surgically remove said phone on park days.
Kieran 9. Our wee Jedi. Still loves everyone and everything. Always happy, always smiling. Cant wait for some coaster action.

Why is this called Sack The kitchen?
We werent supposed to be going to Florida at all this year as we were (are?) getting a new kitchen put in. At the start of the year we booked a week in Turkey in April with the Eastons (who joined us in Florida in 2015 so youve met them before - here we are below at the Voyage Belek), and that was to be it. (Turkey in April was a fabulous holiday by the way!)



So then started all the kitchen research, choosing, planning pricing. I hate it all. I wanted to pay top dollar, hand the keys to someone, go away for 2 weeks and come back to it all finished and perfect. I hate the upheaval. Kevin, being as tight as a midgies backside, wanted to do it all himself. Weeks of talking about it and trying to compromise drive me nuts, and at least 3 times a week I ended up saying Lets sack the kitchen and go to Florida which is why this name has stuck in my head now that plans have changed.

There were a number of things changed our mind:
1. Kevin had to do loads of overtime to cover a lads sickness which bumped our saving up
2. I started back on the dibb in Feb and got more green with envy every trip report I read
3. Our usual all inc luxury Turkey hol was going to be 5K for 2 weeks in June anyway
4. We managed to agree a kitchen compromise Weve picked it, planned it, and got a couple of Kevins joiner and electrician friends pencilled in to fit and finish it with him over a long weekend while I go away with the kids. Cuts the price from 13K to 7K. Just need to pin down which weekend it will be. Might be before Florida, might be after. Im past caring.

So Kevin finally agreed we could do Florida in our 2 weeks in June but on a budget. Starting by saying I needed to find flights for the 4 of us for under 1400 eek.

Biggest differences from previous trips
Its only 2 weeks instead of 3. Its June instead of April so will be much warmer. We are only doing Disney no Universal, Seaworld, Busch, Aquatica, Discovery Cove or Kennedy! We are trying to keep the budget down so might be more frugal with where we choose to eat. Might. Actually probably not as we do mostly offsite restaurants anyway. We fly back to Manchester instead of Glasgow, so will have the train journey home to do. Boo! As with previous years we get free train travel through Kevins job so the cost isnt an issue just the inconvenience.



Flights
I managed it! I had alerts set up on Skyscanner and Kayak and got daily updates. The Thomson Dreamliner Sanford flights were always cheapest but by the time you added the luggage they were still above my budget. Then on 29th March a dibber posted the FREEBAGS code which got me Manchester-Sanford 22nd June and back on 6th July for the 4 of us for 1330. Result! As with previous years we will get the train down the night before and stay over. I still have a hotel to book. Kevin is price watching the premier inns, but of course wants it for less than 50..



Tickets
We knew only doing 2 weeks instead of our usual 3 meant we could either do Disney or Universal not both. We like our pool time and shopping and dont want to do parks every day. So a family discussion was had about which parks we liked, which rides etc and it was unanimous that Disney was our choice. I will really miss doing Universal with the hotel stay and FOLP but it would be too much to do in 2 weeks for us, as well as pushing our budget trip way up in price. So I bought 14 day Ultimates in the last day of the Disney 25% sale and got them for 1122.



Villa
While I was watching for flights I set about trying to find DIBB villa options. This was quite difficult as lots of the ones in my budget had no availability for the full fortnight given we were so last minute. After loads of options I narrowed it down to 2 choices which came in around the same total price. The first option involved staying in 2 different stunning villas in Winwood Bay but with a night in a hotel in between due to the dates they had available. The 2nd option would give us the whole fortnight in a more homely villa in High Grove. I showed Kevin the options and whilst he loved the Winwood bay villas (they are both gorgeous) he point blank refused to have to pack everything up and move into a hotel for one night. He felt that would lose us a good 2 days faffing about, in what is already a shorter than normal trip for us. So we went for the high grove villa. I have to say that in all my back and forth, Kerry, the owner of the BigDisneyVilla, WinwoodBay on the dibb was an absolute star. I felt so bad when we didnt book with her in the end. And I wouldnt hesitate to book with her in future. We have booked Caribe Villa Brisa at 1800. Randy, the owner has been very friendly and helpful in all our chats so far, and Ive done all the tax checks etc recommended by the Dibb and all fine, so thats encouraging. And although there are no Dibb reviews yet, the ones for the villa on other sites are favourable. Never stayed on High Grove so any tips / info would be appreciated. Kevin is keen to try the Irish pub thats there, as we can walk round from the villa one night for a change.




Car
I take nothing to do with this so itll be short n sweet! Kevin did all the checking and has booked a premium full size car through Alamo Brits for the 14 days with both of us insured at 353. The price has gone up since he booked so he is quite pleased with what he got. I have no idea what this will look like - we usually get an SUV



Hotel
Ive booked one night in All Star Movies as I managed to get it for 102 direct through Disney. This gives us a couple of immersive days with 4 new magic bands (this would have been our 3rd year using our existing magic bands so we thought we might need to buy new ones anyway) and 2 days free parking. The major advantage though will be being able to book fastpasses 60 days out instead of 30 so I am hoping to do better this year than last, and not have to queue for 80mins for SDMT.

So thats about it. Still need to book Manchester hotel, and I can start FP booking tomorrow, so I feel like I really am on countdown now!

Edited at 07:56 PM.
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 12:59 PM  
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Floridajill
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Great to catch up with your new plans. We are also flying from Manchester and will have the dreaded car journey home - will look into the train option next time
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 01:04 PM  
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Smilesonfaces
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Looking forward to reading your report. Enjoyed it so much last year in the run up to our holiday !
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 02:16 PM  
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scottishnellie
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Originally Posted by Floridajill View Post
Great to catch up with your new plans. We are also flying from Manchester and will have the dreaded car journey home - will look into the train option next time
I know - I am even dreading the train. Already thinking of phoning Thomson to see how much it is to transfer onto the 8th July flight back to Glasgow

Where are you staying in Lindfields? Is it Joannes villa?
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 02:16 PM  
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scottishnellie
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Originally Posted by Smilesonfaces View Post
Looking forward to reading your report. Enjoyed it so much last year in the run up to our holiday !
cheers! Hope it's not too boring this year with our plans being so scaled down compared to previous visits.
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 04:45 PM  
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Floridajill
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Originally Posted by scottishnellie View Post
I know - I am even dreading the train. Already thinking of phoning Thomson to see how much it is to transfer onto the 8th July flight back to Glasgow

Where are you staying in Lindfields? Is it Joannes villa?
Ha ha yes we are. Dream villa this time and stayed at the Sun villa in 2015. I enjoyed reading your last trip report full of the Dream Villa pictures
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 05:31 PM  
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scottishnellie
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Originally Posted by Floridajill View Post
Ha ha yes we are. Dream villa this time and stayed at the Sun villa in 2015. I enjoyed reading your last trip report full of the Dream Villa pictures
Lucky you - fab villa. We felt totally at home there.
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 05:49 PM  
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Hi Helen x
Looking forward to following along. How many times this last week or so have you been saying this time last year ... I know we were both away the same time last year and I know I've been saying it loads!
Have a lovely time... and new kitchens are overrated if it's not falling down around you then I don't blame you for going away instead 😂😂
Sam x
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