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Kevin Stringer
06-08-2009, 02:34 PM
The participants:

Me, Kev, 51, husband, father, son, friend. In fact, just about everything to everybody on this holiday.
Wife, Tam, 45.
Daughter 1, India, 18.
Daughter 2, Georgia, 15.
Grandma, 84. The girls Grandma, my mother.
Susan, age kept quiet for fear of kick in soft tissuey area. Our friend from Tulsa.

Attending in part:

Sharon, see above for age. Friend from Texas.
Evan, 21, Sharon’s son.

The day you leave for the airport is always an exciting time, but a day at work has to be endured before departure. It actually doesn’t go too slowly and Tam and I leave early to be home around 2.30pm. Showered and refreshed we’re off to pick Grandma up just before 4.00pm.

Here comes the first dilemma. How to fit 4 suitcases and 5 people into a Citreon Xsara? The people part isn’t too bad, but the suitcases turn out to be a bit of an issue. They are moved in and out and repositioned several times before a conclusion is reached – these babies ain’t all going to fit in the boot together! We always knew it would be a tight squeeze and had thought about getting a train or taxi to the airport, but financial constraints meant driving was the wisest choice. In the end Grandma’s holdall has to be positioned on the floor in the back of the car between poor India’s legs. India is very good about it and barely moans at all even though her legs are quite squashed. The only thing she says is that her sponge hurts. Now ‘sponge’ is an affectionate term her boyfriend coined for the squeezy bits at the top of your buttocks and has become a bit of a family saying. As descriptions of fatty deposits go, we like sponge.

Anyway, India’s sponge does take a fair pounding as the trip to Gatwick takes over 3 hours. Normally it would be an hour or so shorter, but it’s the start of the bank holiday weekend and the traffic is heavy. We have to leave the M4 due to warnings of bad delays further up and make most of the journey across country. Still, we’re in no hurry and some of the countryside is very pretty.

We arrive at the Gatwick Hilton and drop off Grandma and the girls along with the suitcases while Tam and I drive to the car park – a great deal at £59 for 16 nights using Summer Special Parking.

By the time we get back to the Hilton, check-in and drop the bags in our rooms, it’s 8.30pm. We’re all hungry and so head off to the airport to eat in Frankie and Benny’s. Not the most sophisticated place to eat, but better than paying the extortionate prices at the Hilton.
The place is packed, but we get a table almost straightaway. Food consumed includes a burger, calzone, pizzas and chicken strips. It’s all reasonable enough and is enjoyed with drinks, Tam and India having Mai-Tai’s to celebrate the start of the holiday and the end of India’s International Baccalaureate exams. Grandma has a glass of Chardonnay, which Tam tries. When Tam remarks how much she is enjoying the calzone, Grandma says ‘You mean the white wine dear?’ We all fall about laughing and decide it’s time to take what’s left of Grandma’s glass of ‘Calzone’ away from her. This may have come just a bit too late as Grandma spies a rather tall gentleman serving food. ‘Oooh, he’s a big man’ she exclaims. Kev grabs Grandma’s ‘Calzone’ and downs it in one. It’s the safest thing to do.

Back to the Hilton where we have a drink in the lounge before bed around 11.00pm.

tony64
06-08-2009, 02:47 PM
YES.... A Kev Stringer trip report.:goodvibes
Very quick start on the trip reports old boy you must still feel like you're on Florida time?

Glad you've started mate. I've been looking forward to this.:thumbsup2

Kevin Stringer
06-08-2009, 02:55 PM
Very quick start on the trip reports old boy you must still feel like you're on Florida time?


Not really Tonester. I don't go back to work until tomorrow, so a game of golf was enjoyed.
I always start the trip reports as soon as possible before I lose interest!

Kev

natalielongstaff
06-08-2009, 02:58 PM
great start to your trippie :cool1:

Thats a great price for parking Kev ! where did you book that ??

Claire L
06-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Oh great start but where are the piccies?

Claire ;)

jen_uk
06-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Great start! :banana:

fuse04
06-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Will be watching the 3 June with interest :thumbsup2

Might try a trip report but didn't make any notes after the third day !

Miffy2003
06-08-2009, 03:17 PM
Great start, Kevin (is there any other start for a Stringer trip report? ;) )

Kevin Stringer
06-08-2009, 04:12 PM
Thats a great price for parking Kev ! where did you book that ??

Hi Nat

We got it through BCP Parking. I'm not sure if they are always this good or if we were just lucky.

Kev

Kevin Stringer
06-08-2009, 04:15 PM
Oh great start but where are the piccies?

Claire ;)

Crikey woman! Hold your horses! :lmao:
I didn't think anyone would want to see me driving to the airport, lovely a sight as it might be. ;)

Kev

Goofyish
06-08-2009, 04:17 PM
I always start the trip reports as soon as possible before I lose interest!

Kev

I always thought it was due to old age and memory loss Kev :thumbsup2

Welcome back :)

PS you need to restock the chat room beer store - it seems to have been stolen while you were away :rolleyes1

Boss Hogg
06-08-2009, 05:03 PM
Glad to see you started there Kevster.

See you changed your car then, thought you had a Citroen!!:lmao:
Thank you for the explanation of "sponge" as I think that there are some people on these boards who would've made other conclusions as to its meaning:rotfl2::rotfl2:

Look forward to more antics.

SusanEllen
06-08-2009, 10:29 PM
The participants:

. . .
Susan, age kept quiet for fear of kick in soft tissuey area. Our friend from Tulsa.


Really, Kevin, I don't mind if you tell people that I'm 37 (and I was once--for an entire year!)

natalielongstaff
06-09-2009, 01:57 AM
Hi Nat

We got it through BCP Parking. I'm not sure if they are always this good or if we were just lucky.

Kev

thanks ! I will have a look xx

UKDEB
06-09-2009, 02:02 AM
Thank you for the explanation of "sponge" as I think that there are some people on these boards who would've made other conclusions as to its meaning:rotfl2::rotfl2:
I read the explanation with increasing alarm, until I reached the word "buttocks" and then breathed a huge sigh of relief! :rotfl:

irongirlof12
06-09-2009, 02:35 AM
off to a fab start :thumbsup2

mandymouse
06-09-2009, 07:57 AM
Yay ! Another Stringer Family trip report. Great start Kev :thumbsup2 I look forward to reading some more

saratogagirl
06-09-2009, 11:33 AM
great, great start, I am so relieved that Indias sponge is not what I was expecting it to be - phew !!

Pugsly
06-09-2009, 12:02 PM
As always, a great start!

Be sure to keep an eye on your mum and her "calzone" intake. ;)

jockey
06-09-2009, 03:58 PM
Great start, looking forward to more :)

suzycute
06-09-2009, 04:53 PM
Yipee!! Another long awaited Stringer report!! Great start to this one - only sorry that I'm off to Vancouver tomorrow for 2 weeks and will have to wait till my return to read the rest :sad2:

jjk
06-10-2009, 02:09 AM
great start :goodvibes

Latte Lover
06-10-2009, 02:33 AM
Great start, Kev. I can't beleive your mum is 84! You can tell her she really doesn't look it.

Natasha&Matt
06-10-2009, 02:56 AM
Great start cant wait to read more :thumbsup2

Chilly
06-10-2009, 03:51 PM
YEAH! (That's all I have to say).

cap'njack.
06-11-2009, 03:06 AM
Great start to your tr!

Netty
06-11-2009, 07:46 AM
Great start!! quite funny too!!

tennisfan
06-11-2009, 02:23 PM
A great start:goodvibes

raph_b
06-12-2009, 11:57 AM
Great start Mr Stringer.

I'm just off to crack open a nice cold bottle of calzone before enjoying the rest :lmao:

Lizzybear
06-13-2009, 04:15 PM
:rotfl: at the calzone wine, your mum sounds a lot like my nan (they're from the same generation methinks ;))

Cyrano
06-13-2009, 06:29 PM
:woohoo::woohoo: The start of a Stringer trip report :)

GOS
06-16-2009, 07:02 AM
Great start Kevin and I enjoyed reading the pre-trippee as well. Off to read part 2.

Pinky166
06-23-2009, 03:34 AM
All I have to says is - "Calzone" & "Sponge" :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

Off to find part 2. :surfweb:

wicket2005
06-23-2009, 04:08 AM
Lovely start.

Pegasus928
07-03-2009, 05:13 AM
Just catching up with this one - so I will have a read whilst pretending to do some work :cool1:

cannp123165
07-04-2009, 03:43 PM
Great start! :thumbsup2

zummerzet66
07-06-2009, 02:32 PM
Thoroughly enjoyed all your reports - one of the reasons we've moved here from the "rival" site we used!

PudseyChancer
07-09-2009, 01:03 PM
:confused3 How've I managed to miss this? Love your reports Kev, got the next hour sorted! :thumbsup2

Dizneemad
07-13-2009, 09:27 PM
Great start I better get reading to catch up with the rest.