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Kevin Stringer
07-05-2009, 06:19 AM
DAY 16 SATURDAY 6th JUNE & SUMMARY

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, Sharonís son.

If you want to know more about us, have a look at www.kevinstringer.co.uk/index

Letís face it nobody likes getting up on going home day. Still, it has to be done and packing is carried out as swiftly as possible.
By 10.30am weíre done and we take the luggage down to the Boardwalk entrance where Tam and I are going to pick up the car from the Dolphin, leaving Ind, Georgia and Grandma with the luggage.

Susan has an afternoon flight to Tulsa and is going into Epcot to meet up with Sharon and Evan for a couple of hours, so we are bidding her farewell here.
She says something along the lines of ĎFate brought us together and I cherish the day you all came into my lifeí. I can see she has tears welling up in her eyes and look around to see Grandma starting to cry as well. Oh lord, Tam and the girls are at it as well now! Susan, being the sensible lady she is, recognises that things will just get worse from here and makes a swift exit to prevent a full blown crying session.
Itís been a pleasure to have Susan along with us again (Sharon and Evan as well), I think Grandma has particularly benefited from having a room mate.

Tam and I walk to the Dolphin where we pick up our 7 seater van for the drive to Tampa airport. This is a simple and painless process; we go to the Alamo counter next to Guest Services and they give us a slip of paper to give to valet parking who then fetch the vehicle for us. Iíd have no trouble using Alamo at the Dolphin again.

I drive back to the Boardwalk and we pack up the van for the start of the long journey home. First we have to make a stop at Downtown Disney where Georgia is hoping to find a pair of Nightmare Before Christmas pyjamas she saw earlier in the holiday in the Villains shop. We eventually track these down in the Christmas shop resulting in one happy daughter. We also have one happy father as we clamber back into the van just as the heavens open again.

We drive along the I4 to a shopping complex called Posner Park where we drop into the Envy hairstyling studio to meet Jana, Vernonís wife. They have just opened this new business, so if you are thinking about DVC next time you are in Florida, contact Big Vern and heíll arrange a tour for you and a hair cut afterwards.

Iíve spied a sports goods store, so we head there briefly to buy some golf balls, a glove and some tees. Weíve also spotted a Perkins just down the road and stop there for an early lunch, as India has not had pancakes this holiday. Lots of eggy, pancakey things later we continue to Tampa airport.

The Alamo car return at Tampa is off site, but this is not really a problem as the shuttle bus drops us off right outside the BA check-in desk.
Check-in is easy and we have a drink in the Chilliís in the departure lounge before we board.

We are sat together this time immediately in front of a bulkhead. The lady in front of me reclines as soon as we are airborne. I know there is a lot of debate about reclining of seats, those who are in favour say if everybody were to recline the space would be the same. Well, this is not strictly true. When a seat is reclined the sitting part of the seat stays in the same position while the area around the documents pouch moves back with the reclining seat. This leaves less leg room and my knees are touching the seat in front. Iím sure this would be rather uncomfortable for anyone 6 foot plus. This is not meant as a criticism for those who recline, just an observation.
By the way, the flight attendants are excellent in asking the recliners in front of us to put their seats upright when the food comes round.

I watch a couple of films Ė Taken (pretty average) and Cinderella Man. I have been meaning to watch this for ages, but never got round to it. Itís the true story of James J Braddock a down and out boxer at the time of the Great Depression in the US.
It may sound like a film for the boys, but itís much more than that, an uplifting, feel-good film starring Russell Crowe and Rene Zellweger.

Generally the trip home is fine and we arrive back to a ton of washing. I guess the Ďweí part gives me a little too much credit in the washing department, Tam being the primary person involved in this particular process. Still, Iím sure she appreciated the occasional encouraging word from me as I sat in the chair enjoying an aprŤs trip beer.


SUMMARY

Walt Disney World

This was the first time for many years that we actually spent 2 weeks on-site. With Grandma there we wanted to do as much as we could for her sake.
Next year will be spent somewhere else in the world, we wonít have any DVC points available until 2011 at the earliest and I suspect that this is not entirely a bad thing. A break will make it all seem fresher next time we go.
I also suspect that we will be unlikely to spend a full two weeks on-site again in the near future. Hilton Head, Vero Beach, Captiva, or even California are bound to feature in our next trips to the States.

Weather

I guess we were both lucky and unlucky with the weather. We certainly saw an awful lot of rain, especially in the first week. That being said, it was even worse the week before we arrived and we were incredibly fortunate that we seemed to miss the really heavy downpours, being indoors whenever they occurred. You might say that is hardly surprising given the amount of eating and drinking we did, but that would make you a very rude person and I would have to pour scorn and derision upon you.

Grandma

Iím sure she enjoyed this trip more than any of us. Iím equally sure that she looked upon this as her last trip to WDW and many times I caught her just staring at the scenery and mentally storing up memories. Never say never, I recall her thinking that it would be her last trip in 2000, who knows what the future may bring?
I think she pleased herself with how well her body held up to the rigours of theme park attendance, as you all know, you walk many miles every day in the parks and Grandma was with us every step of the way.
She never complained, never stopped smiling and enjoyed everything she did with a spirit and unrestrained happiness that we all could learn from. My mother is a very special lady.

Friends

Once again we had the privilege to enjoy and share our holiday with friends old and new. Susan, Sharon & Evan, Vernon, Rob & family, Mandy & Martin, all enhanced our holiday. Thank you to all of them.
We also missed our good friends Deb and Matt. In happier times they would have been with us. Doubtless weíll be together in WDW again at some point in the future.

The Swan and The Boardwalk

The Swan was a very nice hotel and I certainly had no problem with its lack of Disney feel. The pools are nice and there is certainly no lack of eating establishments. I did miss having a balcony and it does feel a little corporate, but I would stay there again if the rate were good.

The Boardwalk is our home resort and I love the feel to the place. Obviously the location is its biggest attraction, but the Boardwalk view is lovely and I still get a kick out of sitting on the balcony watching the comings and goings.
I know there has been some discussion about the state of the rooms, but apart from a couple of minor faults, our room was clean and tidy. The furniture is a little old fashioned now and could do with updating. Probably the worst thing I saw was the carpet in the hallways. It looked old and tired and needs replacing.

Well, I guess thatís the end of another holiday and another report.
Who knows when and where the next holiday will take place. Much depends on money. If anybody would like to employ me on a highly exorbitant salary for doing not very much, I will consider your offer carefully. I can tie my own shoelaces and only need help getting to the toilet on bad days.

Finally, thanks for reading and for all the comments on my latest report. I hope you all enjoy your next trip to Florida, whenever it may be.

Cheers

Kev

jamjar84
07-05-2009, 06:28 AM
What a great Trip Report, sounds like a fabulous holiday. :)

Thanks for posting, I've really enjoyed reading it. :)

Pegasus928
07-05-2009, 07:01 AM
Just when I was coming to terms with finishing your TRs you hit us with an apendix A. Excellent :thumbsup2

Your Grandma does indeed sound like one very unique and special lady. We all need someone like that with us on our trips, so when we are complaining about the rain, heat, queues, food, that were tired, hungry (need I go on) we can look to her as an example and for inspiration.

Glad you all had such a good time - and looking forward to tomorrows TR

A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 17 - How we sorted out the washing and watched Grandma putting the suitcases back in the attic (after she had cut the grass and changed the gearbox of course)

Kevin Stringer
07-05-2009, 07:27 AM
Glad you all had such a good time - and looking forward to tomorrows TR

A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 17 - How we sorted out the washing and watched Grandma putting the suitcases back in the attic (after she had cut the grass and changed the gearbox of course)

LOL. Sorry, that's the end of the report. There is no more. This is an ex report.

Anyway, Grandma couldn't possibly be changing the gearbox, that's just foolish talk. She was far too busy wiring the extension she's just built!

Kev

irongirlof12
07-05-2009, 07:38 AM
thanks for sharing your trip, really enjoyed and laughed out loud reading it :thumbsup2

mandymouse
07-05-2009, 07:53 AM
Thanks for sharing your fab trip reports and photos Kev, I've really enjoyed them ~ roll on 2011 for your next one ;)

Lizzybear
07-05-2009, 09:59 AM
A fab conclusion to a fab trip :goodvibes

suzycute
07-05-2009, 12:39 PM
Fantastic trip reports! I've loved reading them and feel quite sad that there are no more instalments to look forward to - but maybe I can get off this :surfweb: and do some real work now!! :)

saratogagirl
07-05-2009, 01:32 PM
wonderful Kev, and you never spoke a truer word, Dot is indeed a wonderful lady, when she put me and Ian up she was an absolute gem, I love her to bits x

Jets fan
07-05-2009, 02:14 PM
Have thoroughly enjoyed all of yout trip reports. Your mum seems like a great person, it must give you all pleasure to do things together that make perfect memories.

Thanks
Tina

tennisfan
07-05-2009, 03:45 PM
Really enjoyed reading your report Kev. Thanks for sharing:goodvibes

lin85prest
07-06-2009, 10:02 AM
Have really enjoyed your trip reports, cheered me up on such a wet day.

Thanks Linda

SusanEllen
07-06-2009, 12:12 PM
Itís been a pleasure to have Susan along with us again . . .
I love you, too.

. . . I think Grandma has particularly benefited from having a room mate.
As did I.

. . .


Grandma

Iím sure she enjoyed this trip more than any of us. Iím equally sure that she looked upon this as her last trip to WDW and many times I caught her just staring at the scenery and mentally storing up memories. Never say never, I recall her thinking that it would be her last trip in 2000, who knows what the future may bring?

Who indeed knows? But I can certainly picture a future with Dorothy visiting Oklahoma, can't you?

My mother is a very special lady. AMEN

. . .

Friends

Once again we had the privilege to enjoy and share our holiday with friends old and new.
I could have said that!
We also missed our good friends Deb and Matt.
I could have said that, too!
. . . Doubtless weíll be together in WDW again at some point in the future.
With or without an invitation, I plan to be there then.

. . .

Next year will be spent somewhere else in the world, we wonít have any DVC points available until 2011 at the earliest . . . or even California [is] bound to feature in [one of] our next trips to the States.
Let me repeat that part about visiting Oklahoma. I know your travel calendar fills up years in advance, so I'd like to remind you to book Disneyland via Route 66 from Tulsa ASAP. Of course, we'll need extra time for side trips. I really want a picture of Dorothy on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

carolfoy
07-06-2009, 02:36 PM
well Mr Stringer, another remarkably great trippie done. Thanks so much for the attention to detail. I really hope your mum enjoyed it more than the rest of you, because it sounds like the rest all had a ball.
Love to you and your family.
:lovestruc

Pinky166
07-06-2009, 03:52 PM
Thank you again for sharing your photos & memories. I look forward to the next Stringer report. :thumbsup2

tony64
07-06-2009, 04:18 PM
Come on Kev, surely you've got to write up Dot does Gladsto....:thumbsup2

Thanks for a great report, had me smiling from start to finish. :)

Loubbylou
07-06-2009, 04:23 PM
Just wanted to say I have really enjoyed your trip report. However DH and DS now think I am mad becuase I keep giggling at the laptop.:laughing:

melk
07-06-2009, 06:49 PM
Just had to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your latest trip report. I laughed out loud more than a few times, I just love your dry British wit.

I had read one of your trip reports a few years ago so knew I had struck gold when I stumbled upon this one. Then I followed the link to your website and read about your California trip. After reading that report about the beauty of Yosemite and your visit to Disneyland, I am now itching to go there! I've gotten some books out of the library on California and am trying to work out our DVC points, the cost of airfare for five across the country, and most importantly, convincing my husband to go! I must get him to read your report on it, the beer references alone should get him to look favorably on it!!:goodvibes

Thank you for sharing your escapades with us, you have a beautiful family and I'm glad you had such a wonderful vacation together.

Melissa

jtlover
07-07-2009, 03:10 AM
Really enjoyed your report Kev.

I think your Mum is amazing - 84 years young and going on TOT - I am 42 and am too scared to do that!!!!!!:rotfl2:

All Star Paul
07-07-2009, 07:53 AM
Thanks very much for the great report. I never was really into reading trip reports until I started reading this one. Now I am looking for others but few have your eye for comic detail.

disney_princess_85
07-07-2009, 08:46 AM
Thanks for taking the time to do this TR, I really enjoyed it!

Boss Hogg
07-07-2009, 01:58 PM
Well done Kev, another wonderful tale. An immeasurable sadness that we couldn't make it, however reading your reports has all but transported me to the scene - minus the hangover though!

As the song goes we'll meet again, and I am sure that some time we'll reprise our holidaying:thumbsup2

royal99
07-07-2009, 03:10 PM
Hope you had as much fun in glastonbury as i did!! Great holiday report and pictures, best i have read on here.

Just wandering why you decided to just do disney parks across the two weeks, i could nt imagine a orlando holiday without universal or seaworld! Was anyone in your group tempted to jump into a taxi to ride dueling dragons or say hi shamu?

cap'njack.
07-08-2009, 03:16 AM
What a great trip report Kevin...thank you for sharing it with us

Kevin Stringer
07-08-2009, 02:08 PM
Just wandering why you decided to just do disney parks across the two weeks, i could nt imagine a orlando holiday without universal or seaworld! Was anyone in your group tempted to jump into a taxi to ride dueling dragons or say hi shamu?

Well, the original plan was for the first 3 nights to be spent in a Universal hotel. Unfortunately things at work have been a bit touch and go and so we couldn't justify the additional £600 it would have cost the 4 of us for rooms and tickets.
We haven't actually spent two weeks on site for many years, so we thought we would give it a try.

Kev

JohnnySharp2
07-09-2009, 02:23 AM
Hi Kev,

Haven't had chance to comment on your reports but have enjoyed reading them.

You say something that really rings true for many at the moment, regarding future trips and when we will get the chance to go again 'money' etc
It's become more and more expensive, I suppose many of us have been very lucky to go so often and that's something to be grateful for.

Glad you had a good time. :)

cannp123165
07-09-2009, 04:28 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us - I have enjoyed it so much! :)

GOS
07-09-2009, 01:08 PM
Great trippie..I enjoyed every minute of it. Like they say....all good things come to an end eventually. You have some great memories though.

Chilly
07-10-2009, 05:01 PM
Thanks for a great report Kev :thumbsup2

tekoa
07-10-2009, 10:45 PM
Thank you !! It was fun reading your report.

PudseyChancer
07-11-2009, 01:39 AM
Thanks for your trip report Kev, they're an entertaining read, the accompanying photo's are fantastic also - I know what you're saying about expense, Disney holidays are not the cheapest; but the happy expressions amongst all your family members show that it is money well spent.

Roll on 2011!

jockey
07-11-2009, 10:58 AM
Really enjoyed your pics and reports and look forward to the next set :)

sandshal
07-12-2009, 05:05 PM
:)Great report Kev ..... Thanks for taking the time to share

wicket2005
07-13-2009, 07:41 AM
Thanks for posting.

UKDEB
07-15-2009, 11:36 AM
She says something along the lines of ĎFate brought us together and I cherish the day you all came into my lifeí. I can see she has tears welling up in her eyes and look around to see Grandma starting to cry as well. Oh lord, Tam and the girls are at it as well now!
Now come on, Kev - fess up. I heard you got through a 3-pack of super-absorbent kitchen roll. :sad::sad::sad:

we wonít have any DVC points available until 2011 at the earliest

We also missed our good friends Deb and Matt. In happier times they would have been with us.

2011 is, of course, "the big one" - your 25th wedding anniversary, the girls' 21st and 18th birthdays respectively, and my 50th. I think we need to start making plans now. At least it would give me something to look forward to, even if it does seem like a long way off at the moment. :thumbsup2

And, Susan, Oklahoma is always at the forefront of our minds. Just as soon as we can somehow rustle up the requisite funds, I promise you we'll be there.

A great read, as always, Kev. Having had the good fortune and privilege to holiday with you on several occasions, I can quite literally say that I felt as though I was there with you every step of the way. :goodvibes

wilma-bride
07-15-2009, 12:02 PM
Kev, read and enjoyed (yet again) your trip reports, each and every day - although I do have to go back and look at the pictures now as I read them at work and, for some reason, can't viw them there.

How very lucky you are that you got to share your holiday, once again, with some wonderful people and, as I said to Susan last night, I hope our next trips to the World manage to coincide again - I feel another Jellyrolls trip coming on

wilma-bride
07-15-2009, 12:06 PM
OK, I lied, I haven't read them all - where is Day 15 :confused3

Kevin Stringer
07-15-2009, 12:48 PM
OK, I lied, I haven't read them all - where is Day 15 :confused3

Joh - you really must look harder. :thumbsup2

It's towards the bottom of the first UK Trip Report page.

Kev

LarryFmScotland
07-16-2009, 05:10 PM
I always enjoy your Trip Reports. You are a fantantastic writer.

Many Regards Larry.

pixiepower04
07-17-2009, 06:53 PM
I have to say that you are without doubt the only person who can make me laugh out loud, quite hysterically at times, through a trip report.

Your family are beautiful and you all look so happy to be together and I thoroughly enjoy reading you reports.

I look forward to reading many more in the future, oh, and i'm with you on the pixies ;)

stephensmum
07-18-2009, 11:51 AM
Thank you for your trip reports. I enjoyed them so much & have sat here laughing out loud. Nearly had a panic attack when I could'nt find Day 15! All the best to you, youe lovely family & friends.

Sunset Cliffs
07-22-2009, 01:26 AM
I have been slowly working through your TR and have just finished. What a great holiday for all of you. The main thing that sticks out to me is how much you all seem to love & appreciate each other (family & friends). That is very rare and a lot of people could probably take a few tips from all of you about "how to do WDW in a big group and still get along". :) Thanks for sharing all of the stories & pictures.

Pooh's-Honey-Pot
10-06-2009, 03:55 PM
Just read your whole report (I'm a bit behind!!). Loved it!! Now moving on to your Med cruise one!!!