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Old 17 Nov 18, 12:47 PM  
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minnie52
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Our 'one last time' trip - October 2018 - Travel Day

Our pre-travel day was pretty uneventful, so I havenít made too detailed notes about this. I'd had my nails done the day before minnie style!



As we hadnít told the kids we were going tomorrow we hadnít booked an airport hotel which was making me anxious. I was imagining all sorts of hold ups on the motorway but itís only an hour (ish) drive to Gatwick and it was a Sunday morning. We were aiming to leave at 7.30am for a 1pm flight so giving ourselves plenty of time. Leah suffers with migraines, triggered by excitement, anxiety and tiredness, & when we flew long haul to Mexico last year she had an awful migraine and threw up everywhere in the airport hotel the night before meaning none of us got much sleep, I wanted to try and eliminate some of the build up to hopefully make it easier for her. So, although they know weíre going, they think itís next week. We went to my mumís for lunch, and the in-laws popped round ours in the afternoon with my brother in law. I was packing the final bits and checking and rechecking we had passports, money, tickets and that everything was in place. I checked in on-line and the kids were in bed, asleep for 8pm. Part of me wanted to share my excitement with them and tell them tonight but the sensible side of me said its best they donít know and get a decent night sleep tonight ready for there long day tomorrow!

Leah had a nightmare in the night around 4.30am so she came into me for a cuddle and then went straight back to her bed and back to sleep. I tossed and turned from then until half 5 when I gave up and got up. We were going to Disney today! My fit bit tracked my sleep at 6 hours 43 minutes which I thought was pretty good! I must have got to sleep pretty quickly last night.



We woke the kids up at 6.45 and filmed their reaction. Ellie barely moved (she is not a morning person) but Leahís reaction was priceless and I had tears streaming down my face. She thought we were just saying it to get her out of bed and when she realised it was true she gave us both such big hugs. Needless to say once they were up they just wanted to get on the road and we were on our way by 7.25. The drive there was uneventful, the M23 was slow with roadworks but we arrived at 8.50. We rung our meet and greet company who said that we were early and they would be about 20 minutes so we stopped at the petrol garage and the girls used the toilet and Dan got a coffee and me a cereal bar thing. By the time we pulled into the car drop place our driver was already there and helped us unload the car. Goodbye car! See you in 3 weeks!

We headed into the airport and there was no que for bag drop! This was going well so far, plus all our cases were under (as they were half empty ready for my shopping sprees!).

Next, as we had booked the No1 My lounge we were able to use premium security which again had no que! We were through by 9.30 but only able to access the lounge from 10am so there was only one thing for it Ė shopping! I popped into W H Smiths as Leah wanted a notebook Ė she ended up with a holiday puzzle book and Ellie a sticker book. Dan went into Superdry and ended up with a coat (great I have to pack that on the way home!) and some t-shirts while I got some new flip flops from Ted Baker.

By this time it was 10 so we headed to the lounge. It was clearly signposted and easy to find. We entered and found somewhere to sit. First impressions were that it was small and busy and there didnít seem to be much food out. However, the staff did continually re-stock and we enjoyed what we ate. The kids played on the computers for a bit and they were both given a colouring pack while me and Dan checked in with our parents and read. At 11, they changed the food over to the lunch menu. For breakfast they had Danish whirls, croissants, omelette, beans, ham hock and for lunch there was nachos, chilli, wedges, cake selection and bags of popcorn.





I am usually such a stress head before flying but this time I felt so much more chilled, I made sure I drank plenty and stayed hydrated to try and avoid any headaches. I also suffer with migraines and after our flight in 2016 I was violently sick when arriving at AKL not the best start and I really wanted to avoid that today! Our gate was called at about 12ish and it was number 563. As soon as we left the lounge and headed into the airport I felt the stress come back there were people charging everywhere with bags, I was worrying about the kids staying close to us while making sure we had all our hand luggage and the lounge had obviously made a big difference despite our reservations.

Our plane was called Tinkerbelle (as is our rabbit) so the kids were pleased.



We headed straight to the gate but should have waited in the lounge a bit longer as they boarded in sections and as we were row 34 we were the last to board. I had brought both the girls lol dolls to open once we got on the plane and Ellie was dying to open hers (when she eventually did when we were sitting down it was a limited edition Ė worth the wait!). This would hopefully give us an advantage the other end though! Once we'd boarded as we were last it wasn't long before we took off. It was on time and without any issues.

Dan watched Maze Runner and the kids watched Peter Rabbit and Horrid Henry and did sticker books. We were finally Disney bound!

I paid for the inflight wifi as it helps me pass the time Ė I tend to have sky tracker on for the whole journey so I can keep an eye on how high we are. Totally irrational I know because there is nothing I could do if I wasnít happy! So, I spent the first half of the journey messaging a few friends, scrolling through Facebook and writing notes. There was some turbulence but no tears from me! For lunch the kids had Pasta, water, mini cheddars, crackers & laughing cow, yoyo bear and chocolate pudding. (this was delicious and much better than our option)



I had creamy tomato and mozerella rigatoni bake, passion fruit pudding (hey whereís my chocolate one!) cheese and crackers and a bottle of water.



Dan had sausage and mash and pesto salad (I didnít get one of these for some reason). Sorry no picture of his - he was too quick for me! The food was okay Ė standard aeroplane food but it filled a hole and passed some time.

I dozed and read for the remainder of the flight while Dan watched some episodes of Vikings he had downloaded onto his tablet. Cheese and tomato sandwiches were brought round about 2 hours before landing. This was when I started to get fed up. There was a kid in front of me who had reclined his chair but wasnít even laying back he was sitting upright watching his film. He then proceeded to have some sort of wrestle/fight with his sister in the next chair with punches thrown. The parents were completely oblivious as they were sitting across the aisle and paying no attention whatsoever. They were probably between the ages of 8 Ė 12 and I know everyone gets restless on a 9-and-a-half-hour flight but I had managed to stop my 5 and 7 year old from having arguments and felt other passengers could at least try to do the same. The person behind me was kicking my chair throughout this as well. I had tried to be patient as I had seen they were sitting with a baby Ė I have been there and know its difficult to try and stop a baby/toddler from kicking a chair while sitting on your lap however when I got up to go to the toilet the baby was the other end and the child behind me was about 10. At not one point in the flight did either parent tell them to stop or consider others around them. I did come off that flight knowing at least my girls had behaved better than any of the children around us. I had tried to get them to nap numerous times, but they had refused, until we started the descent of course when Ellie promptly fell asleep! We let her have a power nap and woke her up just after we landed which was at 17.30 as scheduled.

The higher classes and upstairs were first to get off but as we were quite near the front we werenít too far behind. I frogmarched them all to the immigration hall to hopefully avoid long ques and it worked! The guard opened some more booths just as we got there so we didnít have to que at all. As soon as we were through the bags from our flight were coming off so we grabbed a trolley and it didnít take long to find ours. Unfortunately, we had to do the 2nd bag drop, the suitcases kept falling off the trolley and we had the buggy and hand luggage and we were struggling. So we dropped the cases off again and made our way over to the main terminal, the journey over was busy. There was a que for the lift so Ellie jumped out the buggy and we folded it up and took it up the escalator and made our way across on the monorail.

When we reached the 2nd baggage carousel there was Joe waiting for us! He had helped us last time with our bags and had been so helpful so it was nice to see him again. We waited ages for our bags to come out but stood chatting while we waited and a virgin rep came over as well and talked us through anything we wanted to know. Once our bags came out we headed over to the car hire garage Ė we had done skip the counter so the process was fairly straightforward. We had booked a mid-size SUV and there were rows of dodge caravan minivans so I guess we were going with one of those! Joe checked them all over and agreed the one we picked was good and he went off to get our car seats for us. He really is always so helpful, after a long flight and the jet lag I donít begrudge tipping him at all. We were on the road for 7 just as the sun was setting and everywhere looked so pretty and familiar.

We were home.

This makes me emotional even writing about that feeling. I have been travelling to Florida since I was 4, this place holds so many special memories for me and Danís first trip was in 2014. I remember hoping on that trip that one day the girls and Dan would get that feeling about this place too and they definitely felt it with me this time. We were a million miles away from uni and work and had 3 weeks ahead of us of spending time together as a family. Bliss.

We arrived at the Boardwalk for 7.25 Ė there were bell boys out the front ready to help with our cases so I left Dan to it while me and the girls went to check in and wait in the lobby. We were allocated room number 5287. Once Dan had unloaded our luggage and parked the car we told the bell boys we would like our luggage in our room and they went and got it straight away (unlike at AKL last year when we were told it would be a half hour wait Ė I know things like this canít be helped but it is frustrating none the less). Our first impressions of the room were great! It was spacious with plenty of storage and it looked like they had upgraded the toiletries they give you since our last trip. I knew we would be comfortable here.






This lamp was so cute!

We dumped our cases in our room without sitting down as I donít think I would have got back up and headed straight back out again. We went down to the boardwalk and collected our refillable mugs from the bakery Ė they had the Halloween ones so we all got one of those and we watched the street performers for a bit.





The kids were really impressed. We went into the shop and Ellie spotted the huge candy apples which I said no to Ė que massive meltdown. It was 9pm by this point (2am at home) and sheíd not had anything but about a 20-minute nap, so I had been expecting this. I said she could have a chocolate covered marshmallow and went to pay and head back to the room for bed. A wonderful CM at the till managed to turn the situation around and asked if she would like a cupcake she picked one with the BATB rose on (Ellie's favourite film) and left there smiling. They gave one to Leah too. I left a Cast compliment for Vivi by e-mail and twitter because it really made a difference to our day.



Dan was hungry so him and Leah went and got a hot dog and I took Ellie back. We got her PJís on and tucked her up in bed Ė I hadnít shut the curtains yet and as she laid down she spotted the HS fireworks out the window. It wasnít the best view but to her it really was the most magical end to the day. Leah came back not long after and we put Harry Potter on the telly and they watched the end of the fireworks. It didnít take any of us long to fall asleep but it had been a successful travel day.


Edited at 12:55 PM.
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Old 17 Nov 18, 01:09 PM  
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DisneyDaffodil
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Successful travel day, your children did so well to last out so well. Travel day is so tiring. I hate the seat recliners and seat kickers, we usually get them too. You were very unlucky getting both! Of course if itís very small children then itís understandable (still a pain) but we find itís usually older kids or even adults.

You were lucky getting a Halloween mug. We wanted one but they didnít have any at POFQ so we had to make do with ordinary ones 😀.
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Old 17 Nov 18, 01:24 PM  
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And now the adventure begins 👍
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Old 17 Nov 18, 04:24 PM  
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Fab travel day.

I'm the same with the kid's. I constantly made sure to remind the kid's about banging other people's seats and reclining as they didn't need to on the way out. It annoys me when people don't deal with their kid's xx
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Old 17 Nov 18, 07:26 PM  
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minnie52
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Originally Posted by DisneyDaffodil View Post
Successful travel day, your children did so well to last out so well. Travel day is so tiring. I hate the seat recliners and seat kickers, we usually get them too. You were very unlucky getting both! Of course if itís very small children then itís understandable (still a pain) but we find itís usually older kids or even adults.

You were lucky getting a Halloween mug. We wanted one but they didnít have any at POFQ so we had to make do with ordinary ones 😀.
Thank you for reading! It really is - I always struggle with travel day even as an adult but this one seemed to run smoothly which is always nice! That's the thing, if its someone younger you can at least say they probably don't realise how annoying they are being but as an older kid or an adult its just being inconsiderate!

I was surprised to see they had them so of course had to get them lol! We saw the christmas ones later on in the trip which I wanted too!

Originally Posted by Cinderella View Post
And now the adventure begins 👍
Thank you for reading! That's always the best feeling!

Originally Posted by caitlinsmummy View Post
Fab travel day.

I'm the same with the kid's. I constantly made sure to remind the kid's about banging other people's seats and reclining as they didn't need to on the way out. It annoys me when people don't deal with their kid's xx
Thank you for reading! It's so frustrating isn't it when other people don't make the effort! I'm always so conscious of being that person with the annoying kids xx
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Old 17 Nov 18, 08:55 PM  
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Lovely photo at the end of your daughter's in bed with their eye masks on! As travel days go it wasn't too bad. Great views from your room if you can spot the HS fireworks. I'm looking forward to the rest of your report.
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Old 18 Nov 18, 11:38 AM  
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minnie52
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
Lovely photo at the end of your daughter's in bed with their eye masks on! As travel days go it wasn't too bad. Great views from your room if you can spot the HS fireworks. I'm looking forward to the rest of your report.
Thank you for reading It definitely could have been worse it all seemed to run smoothly which is nice. For a standard room it was more than I expected, we could see the lake one way and the fireworks the other, albeit they were far away and we could only see the big ones, but we were just happy to be able to see them
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Old 20 Nov 18, 11:19 AM  
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Great travel day, the girls did really well getting through on almost no sleep. Shame about the children on the flight, I always try and make sure mine arenít kicking seats

The Boardwalk looks lovely
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Old 20 Nov 18, 07:30 PM  
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minnie52
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Originally Posted by Eccle View Post
Great travel day, the girls did really well getting through on almost no sleep. Shame about the children on the flight, I always try and make sure mine arenít kicking seats

The Boardwalk looks lovely
Thank you for reading! I think they do better than me sometimes it must be the excitement that keeps them going.

Me too, I do appreciate it is difficult, it's when the parents don't seem to care that it frustrates me!
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Old 20 Nov 18, 10:13 PM  
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What a lovely start to your holiday (overall!). I'm looking forwards to reading more of your report
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