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Unread 27 Dec 17, 12:55 PM  
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The Famous Five Hit The Beach Again August 2017 Pre Travel Day 11th August

Finally I get to start this...I know it's taken ages but time flies by but no more excuses I am getting this done!

So we are back and I have decided to another trip report after a couple of Dibbers said it was a good thing to see a bit more of Florida. I am hoping that it is not going to be just a straight repeat of last year but there you go

So here goes...I am Angela 46 years young and a lover of Florida...I love all things there, especially the weather but also the shopping, the giant cars, the food, the supermarkets, the friendly people, I could go on and on. I have been going to Florida for many years and this is my 22nd trip there.
I am married to Mick who turned 40 this year (and has been milking it for months!) and who I introduced to Florida in 2009 and this is his 7th trip (I think) he also loves it there and his favourite park is The Magic Kingdom...he loves that Disney Magic

Also tagging along is our 7 year old Daughter Grace...an expert traveller who copes very well with the heat but is scared stiff of meeting Disney characters! More of that later.

Micks Mum and dad also come along with us, they love the States, especially the food and that sunshine!

I will get a photo of us all out later!

We are flying out on Saturday 12th August from Heathrow to Fort Myers via Charlotte, this will be our second indirect flight...the first was not very successful so I am apprehensive but hopeful and I think I have done everything possible to get everywhere we should be on time...eeekkk.

So 2 weeks in the sun in the villa we stayed in last year on Rotunda West, its beautiful, peaceful, friendly and close to some fantastic beaches...so come and join us on our journey.

Pre Travel Day 11th August 2017

Today I woke up at 5am! Goodness that is holiday stress for you waking me up...well stress or excitement! One or the other. I managed to sneak down and have a peaceful cuppa on my own... my most favourite thing in the world before my little one woke up and remembered today was the day!

Her Daddy arrived home at 6.45am as usual and she ran out to the car to greet him super excited...she rarely does this so she must have been excited! (In case you haven't read any of my other reports Mick always works nights so has come home to sleep before we leave later.

As today was a special day I made some American pancakes for Grace for breakfast and Daddy had houmous and crackers (he has recently discovered he likes houmous and is one of his favourite things at the moment ...you also have to remember it is evening in his head so I have had him eating weird and wonderful things at 7am in the morning...soup..not one of my favourites, to drinking red wine...I don't think I will ever get my head around it

So I did what all good people do before they go on holiday and cleaned for the burglars! I did the bathroom first then some washing, hoovered throughout and as I did this continued to chuck things in the suitcase I thought we might need!

We were more or less in a great place packing wise as I had sorted myself out finally over the last week, online check in was my main thing for the day.

At 9.30 Grace and I went out, first down to Tesco which is not at all far from us (can't remember what I had to get in there but I am sure it was completely essential) and then down to my little local Boots so I could use my NO7 voucher which saves me a fortune on my face cream and it expired the day we got back so couldn't afford to not go! Armed with 3 pots of cream for a much reduced price we arrived home and I was happy.
I then started some ironing I needed to take while waiting for Nanny and Grandad to collect Grace at 11am as they were taking her to the Premier Inn at Heathrow.

They could leave whenever they like, so to avoid any M25 misdemeanours on a Friday afternoon they were going early and taking the munchkin with them. I of course was waiting for daddy to get up at about 1pm before we left. I had not planned this that well as online check in opened at 11am too so Nanny text me to say they were on their way (they are only 1 mile away) at the same time I was trying to log in and get sorted! They arrived and I abandoned the computer to get the car seat sorted and make sure Grace was organised with all her stuff. It was her birthday 2 days previously and we had got her a Smiggle rucksack which we obviously knew she would want to use as her hand luggage so once that was in the car and they were happy I dashed in to sort out the online check in waving as I went I managed to get logged in no problem and we're glad to see that our seats had not been changed for the flights tomorrow.

I had booked the flights the previous October on a BA code share for a great price and I booked the seats for free at the same time, these had all been good for the whole time around to our flight until they had changed one flight, the first part on the way back where the flight had changed to an hour earlier. They had said our seats were honoured but in the change they had dropped off ( I suppose these things happen) and I could not get them back on so had eventually ended up ringing them where they happily sat us altogether again!

We were flying from Heathrow Terminal 3 to Charlotte, then Charlotte down to Fort Myers with a 1hr 40minute connection time...I know I know and to be honest after we got stuck in Atlanta once missing our flight down I always said I would leave 3 hours but that was not meant to be and I was now flying by the seat of my pants with a short connection!
Coming home we were doing the same in reverse but with better timings.

The only flight I was really worried about was the Heathrow to Charlotte leg on the way out as I had booked us in row 14, very close to the door. These seats all remained as I said so we were good to go and after a little faff managed to print out 10 boarding passes for our flights tomorrow.

Daddy got up at 12.30 and we had a quick cuppa, passed some goodies from the fridge to our neighbour, said our farewells and were in the car for 1.15. We avoided the Dartford Bridge (I hate that bridge) and went anti-clockwise round the M25 to the Heathrow turning, this proved to be a wise decision as it was chaos at Clacket lane all through to the Surrey stretch so we definitely did the right thing. We were slow from junction 20 but it was just weight of traffic no incidents and we were constantly moving so we were happy with that. We got to the hotel (after a mini detour at the end ahem) at 3.15...this we were more than happy about and we were soon driving in to see Grandad greeting us to help us in.

Grace looked very happy and it was nice for us finally to be all together to begin our journey. We checked in to our room and went up and dumped our stuff to go right back down and get in that bar, We had a coffee from Costa first (I love the Costa Coffee in these airport hotels) Grandad had a beer from the bar and I had a decaf Americano and Nanny and Daddy had a cappuccino. Grace had an orange juice from the bar...and relax we are on our holidays. We very much see the hotel stay the night before and an extension to our holiday and now we had left home I could relax for the rest of the day, whatever I had forgotten I had forgotten and I could chill a bit. I never completely relax until we are actually in our villa as I find the whole getting on the flight,checking in etc, getting the car sorted when we get there and then the driving to wherever we are going all stressful, I never completely chill until we actually get there. That is down to the problem that I organise everything and even though I wouldn't have this any other way, I find this a giant can to carry.

Anyway I digress, next we all have a drink from the bar, Nanny has a Bacardi, Daddy a red wine, Grandad a Carling and I have a vodka and tonic...lovely!

I had booked a table already with the hotel for 5.30 when the restaurant opened so we sat in the bar until this time and were then showed to our table.

We had eaten in this restaurant 2 years before when we flew from Heathrow and had had a good meal this one was not going to be the same experience unfortunately. They do a kids Buffett here which suits Grace as she can pick and choose so I took her up first of all. I then remembered I had left my dinner voucher upstairs so I ran up to get this but we ordered our drinks before I went up. I got the voucher and was back and the drinks still had not arrived. We waited and waited and eventually they came so we then ordered straight away...I had real terrible trouble deciding what to have but ended up ordering the chicken and chorizo filo pie which I have to say was delicious. Grandad ordered the chicken escalope and daddy ordered the curry. Nanny ordered the same as me. We had starters but I haven't written them down! Daddy had the potted crab but that's all I can remember to be honest there was a wait for these but not too bad. From the time we got the starters to the time we got the main course though was ages and ages! It was pretty awful and the restaurant wasn't even full it was disappointing. We had waited so long it was 7pm so I took Grace up as she was tired and the others soon followed after Nanny got her dessert. It was not good and I was annoyed that the service was so slow and it was not the ideal start...anyway onwards and upwards.

Grace had a bath before she went to bed and she was asleep by 8pm, I couldn't believe it! Daddy always crashes out on the single bed and Grace and I sleep in the big bed, that way I don't have to leave a light on for when she wakes in the night and tries to find me. This means Daddy is always asleep right after Grace (if I am honest it is usually before!) and I watched the puppy programme I had downloaded on iplayer. I did email my brother in law and Dad with details about where we were staying and the flight etc as I hadn't got round to doing this yet! It was then lights out by 9 ready for our busy day tomorrow!

I will leave you with a couple of pictures from our relaxing afternoon 😊

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Unread 27 Dec 17, 01:54 PM  
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New Photo Added by pretty71 - 27 Dec 17 12:54 PM.
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Unread 27 Dec 17, 03:35 PM  
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Shame about the service in the restaurant but otherwise it sounds like a not to bad travel day.
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