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juliebro
04-28-2010, 01:51 PM
Thanks for all the hints, tips, recommendations and nuggets of wisdom! Including the dancing partners last week! ;)

Off to Manchester airport bright and early in the morning for the 11:15 am US Airways flight to Philly and then on to MCO.

Hopefully all the ash is now out of the way. :)

Am taking a netbook so may get to post on the odd occasion.

Bye for now!

eeyorefanuk
04-28-2010, 01:54 PM
Have a brill time :goodvibes

Mrs Doubtfire
04-28-2010, 02:03 PM
Have a great time - hope the flights go well :goodvibes

DISWolves
04-28-2010, 02:05 PM
Enjoy! :goodvibes

jjk
04-28-2010, 02:06 PM
have a great time :goodvibes

wayneg
04-28-2010, 02:06 PM
Looking forward to some updates, Have a great trip.:goodvibes

stacy87
04-28-2010, 02:14 PM
so jealous!!! Have a great time! :cool1:

2Tiggies
04-28-2010, 02:30 PM
You go on and enjoy it! Have a safe flight and a wonderful trip. Don't forget all us lovely people back here ;) patiently waiting for a full report when you get back. :goodvibes

Pinky166
04-28-2010, 03:03 PM
Have a magical time. :wizard:

Pooh's-Honey-Pot
04-28-2010, 03:10 PM
Hope you have a pixie-dust filled trip!!

Tinks1984
04-28-2010, 03:11 PM
Have a great trip! :thumbsup2

taylor91
04-28-2010, 03:13 PM
Hope you have an amazing time :thumbsup2

AlexJB
04-28-2010, 05:19 PM
Have a fantastic time, i'm sure you will, afterall - you're going to disney!!

Netty
04-28-2010, 05:32 PM
Have a brill time!!:wizard:

Pegasus928
04-28-2010, 05:44 PM
Hope you have an uneventful trip and a fantastic holiday.

Looking forward to seeing some updates - but only if you have time of course :thumbsup2

JACKIE153
04-29-2010, 02:14 AM
Have a safe journey and a fantastic holiday. :banana:

juliebro
04-30-2010, 05:38 PM
Hi there!

Had an eventful couple of days so far. The Manchester to Philly flight was delayed yesterday for over an hour due to mechanical problems once we were onboard. Unfortunately, this meant that we missed our connection at Philly.

US Airways had put us on another flight - but we then found that had been cancelled. The next flight was full - so it was either arrive in MCO after midnight local time or stay overnight in Philly and fly out early this morning on the 6:45 am flight. We opted to stay over. US were pretty good, giving food and hotel vouchers - as well as a couple of toiletry kitas we didn't have our bags.

We stayed at the Hilton and caught up on some sleep before leaving the hotel at 4:40 am for our flight.

The flight this mornnig had few passengers and we arrived in MCO at 9:00 am to find our bags waiting for us.

Setting off to get the hire car, we headed over to the Hertz #1 Club Gold office in the car park and they accepted a voucher we had got for a free upgrade - to Full size.

DH asked if there was a Mustang - but was told there were none available. We then were allocated a Toyota which had had a scrape and a boot that didn't shut very well, so DH went back and they assigned us another car. This was a Toyota again, but wasn't fullsize and the numberplate wasn't fixed on properly, so DH went back again.

He was looking very pleased when he came back. We had a Mustang - one had come in while we had been messing about with the Toyotas. It's fabulous! Shiny red with black leather interior, Sirius radio etc.

So glad we didn't accept the first two cars.

Skies are rather overcast today - so we've pottered around - going to Publix for groceries, toiletries etc and had a walk around the three lakes at Celebration before delicious sandwiches at Market St Cafe and shake and ice cream at Kilwins.

Planning to have an early night again before going to Mount Dora tomorrow.

wayneg
04-30-2010, 05:48 PM
Great to hear an update.:goodvibes
Bit of a pain having delay but sounds like US took care of you OK.
I have had to refuse cars at Budget last year(twice), also with Alamo at Easter, with them you have a row of cars to choose from, found best cars right at the far end.
Glad you got the car you wanted in the end:thumbsup2

Have fun tomorrow.:goodvibes

Disneytinker
05-01-2010, 02:54 AM
Hi sorry about the delays
Glad you are there now, thanks for the update. Have a wonderful time :woohoo:

jjk
05-01-2010, 02:56 AM
shame about the delays, have fun tomorrow :goodvibes:goodvibes

disneyholic family
05-01-2010, 03:31 AM
thanks for the update - i love live trip reports!!

sorry about the delays, but it looks like your luck has turned with the mustang!!

i would have been very hesitant to accept a toyota...so it's great that you didn't have to!

i hope everything is perfect for you now!!! pixiedust:

Pegasus928
05-01-2010, 04:38 AM
Well done for not accepting the first cars you were offered. I know people that probably would have done, especially after such a long trip, just to get on the road.
Looking forward to hearing your updates - when you can fit us in of course.

Cyrano
05-01-2010, 05:05 AM
Well done to DH maintaining his ground about the car....result :thumbsup2

Hope the rest of your trip is fantastic :goodvibes

wicket2005
05-01-2010, 07:21 AM
Glad you got there all right in the end and got a fantastic car. Enjoy.

howlongtillsummer?
05-01-2010, 08:58 AM
Sorry to hear about your delay but hoping everything goes smoothly from now on!

juliebro
05-01-2010, 06:29 PM
Just back for showers and a quick change before heading off to Old Town for the Saturday Car Cruise.

Had a very enjoyable, relaxing day in Mount Dora - which we climbed to the very summit! :lmao:

Started with breakfast at Ponderosa before we set off - not my favourite I have to say, but DH likes the breakfast custard (and probably the prices!).

Quite a hot day - temperatures were due to hit 90 degrees for the first time this year according to the TV news. (At 6:15 pm I noticed the car was indicating that the external temperature was 94 degrees.)

Did the lake cruise on the Doctor Doolittle from the Lakeside Inn at Mt Dora - it was $20 each and lasted 2 hours. It was fun - we went across Lake Dora (setting off to the music from Gilligan's Island for those of you old enough to remember it) and through the Dora Canal - which is supposedly the most beautiful stretch of water in the world (not sure who voted on that one but it was pleasant enough). Saw turtles, egrets, eagles, vultures, snakes and a gator or two - one of which had just caught its catfish lunch between its jaws.

Wandered around the town for a while, sat in the park by the lake and then set off back. We called into DD to book the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues for tomorrow morning and then went to eat at Joe's Crab Shack. We shared an appetiser of spicy crab balls (can't remember the exact name), then DH had crab cakes and I had a huge bowl filled with crab, prawn, sausage, corn and potatoes. It must have taken me about an hour to eat it! We also solved the restaurant anagram puzzle which resulted in a visit from the manager who described us as geniuses, gave us her business card and also a coupon for a free appetiser at our next visit to any of their restaurants.

DH wanted to try a Cold Stone Creamery shake -so we called in. He had a large vanilla shake and I tried the non-fat, no sugar ice cream, which wasn't bad. Wonder what it's made of though? Maybe it'sbest not to know.

Just off to the Car Cruise now. Will try to post an update tomorrow.

Wish I'd brought my cable so I could post some piccies too!

wayneg
05-01-2010, 06:33 PM
Wish I'd brought my cable so I could post some piccies too!

Me Too :rotfl2:

Enjoy the car cruise.:goodvibes

Natasha&Matt
05-02-2010, 01:30 AM
Have a great trip :)

juliebro
05-02-2010, 07:19 PM
i would have been very hesitant to accept a toyota...so it's great that you didn't have to!

i hope everything is perfect for you now!!! pixiedust:

Never thought about the Toyota angle to be honest, till you mentioned it. DH very pleased with the Mustang - and has had a few comments from other people about how nice it is.

We were both a bit tired at the Car Cruise last night - so didn't really spend much time looking at the cars. It was very busy at Old Town. Lots of people milling around. We just watched the Parade and came back to the house.

Slept for about 9 hours again last night - and then got ready for the Gospel Brunch at HoB. Our first time - so we weren't entirely sure what to expect. We only had the option of the 10:30 am brunch - there was a concert at 5:00 pm which may have been the reason.

We arrived at Westside DTD around 10:15 and there was quite a queue already. The food was very good and the gospel singers and band were excellent. My only slight criticism is that it didn't last long enough. We were all finished and out of the door not long after midday - absolutely stuffed full though!

We then strolled across Pleasure Island and went in and out of the shops for a while, had a drink (Margarita for me!) at the side of lake and then (after a few more shops) hired one of the 2-seater boats for half an hour - managing to get drenched in the process! We were in the wake of one of the ferries on the return and that coupled with a stiff breeze helped us to get the equivalent of a couple of buckets full of water all over us.

We wandered slowly back to car - managing to dry off a bit on the way - and then called into the Premium Outlet mall for a look around. We will go back later in the trip to buy things - but we were just browsing today.

We're back at the house now - and have not eaten since our brunch. Neither of us can face anything else till the morning.

Sea World tomorrow. We have 14-day passes for SW, BG and Aquatica, so need to get some use from them.

By the way, the weather is glorious. Nineties all day - hardly a cloud in the sky.

katiec
05-03-2010, 01:48 AM
Love reading your live updates - thanks very much :thumbsup2

jackieleanne
05-03-2010, 03:02 AM
Thanks for the updates sounds like lovely weather. Glad you managed to get the Mustang and that US treated you well after the trouble with the flights.

wicket2005
05-03-2010, 03:14 AM
Sounds like a good day, glad you are enjoying yourself.

Mrs Doubtfire
05-03-2010, 11:02 AM
A good start to your holiday, with great weather - are you in a villa at Emerald Isle?

juliebro
05-03-2010, 07:11 PM
A good start to your holiday, with great weather - are you in a villa at Emerald Isle?

We're in a townhouse. There's only the two of us these days - DS is now 21 and doesn't come with us anymore. We stayed at this place last year too - and have already booked it for next year!

Another glorious day. 98 degrees at 6:45 pm according to the car earlier.

Breakfast at First Watch today. Good food, service and value - especially with a BOGOF coupon. We both went for eggs, ham steak, potatoes and english muffin with coffee. It was the first thing we'd eaten since the gospel brunch yesterday.

Got to SW as it was opening - parked close to the entrance. Crowds were fairly light -but we are used to Easter crowds. Rode Manta for the first time. That's quite a ride! Very strange position to ride in too. We loved the experience and rode it a couple of times again during the day.

The Shamu show is very different now - as you would expect, given what happened. The dolphin show has grown on me - I didn't used to be too keen on it -but I really enjoyed it today.

We also go to the Clyde and Seymour show just to watch the mime artist. He's our favourite!

I noticed that the Clydesdale Hamlet had a sign saying it was closed today, but didn't see any sign at all of the horses - so I guess they've gone for good. Anyone know? DH and I used to enjoy the beer-related elements of the park and quite miss them now - the beer school, the Budweiser adverts playing and (of course) the free beer!

Sweet Tomatoes was the choice to eat at tonight. We tried the newer location -which I actually preferred, but DH (like Wayne!) likes the old one better. Great fresh food - and still good value. We do notice that the prices have risen each visit though.

We're going to Aquatica tomorrow.

wayneg
05-04-2010, 02:59 AM
Matt and I loved Manta, Karen didn't, only problem was after riding it about 7 times in 3 days the bruising on my upper arms, after 2 weeks just about gone.

Shame about the Shamu show, it just isn't the same, hope they get back to how it was one day.

The mime artist should have his own show, one of best things in SW.

I think thoughts on the new ST location is split down the middle, half think its nice clean and fresh other half prefer the older homely feel. We called this year without a coupon:scared1:, yes its gone up in price, much better with BOGOF or at least 15% off(in Idrive leaflet)

Hope you enjoy Aquatica, somewhere we have not been.

juliebro
05-04-2010, 07:25 PM
Not sure if I should have created a new thread for this live trip report - but I'll carry on on this one for now.

Started the day with breakfast at Denny's on 192. It's DH's birthday today, and he got a coupon for a free breakfast. We both had eggs, sausage links, hashbrowns and pancakes with coffee. Not bad - and great value with the coupon.

Got to Aquatica wellbefore 9:00 am and were among the first to get in. It was pretty quiet - especially for the first 2-3 hours. Very different experience to our first time there 2 years ago when it opened and the park had to close due to reaching capacity almost every day.

DH is a bigger water park fan than me. I don't like the slides - or certain raft rides - but I enjoyed the river rapids and the lazy river. The rapids are great fun - even better when wearing a life jacket due to the increased bouyancy.

Another hot day - car thermometer was tipping 100 degrees when we left the park at around 3:00 pm.

After showers, doing some washing, phoning DS etc at the house, I rang ahead to Manny's and a table was ready for us when we arrived a little over half an hour later. It was busy in there, as always. Still as good as ever. We had the never-ending salad bowl, bread rolls, 14oz Angus sirloin steaks with baked potato (for me) and fries (for DH). The steaks were so tasty and tender. As it was still Happy Hour (4-7) there were 2 for 1 Margharitas (lovely!). DH stuck to lemonade - as he was driving. Total bill was less than $40.

Weather forecast says rain tomorrow - so not sure what we are going to do yet. Had been planning to go to BG, but may change plans if the rain is on its way.

Mrs Doubtfire
05-05-2010, 12:54 PM
Sounds like you are having a great holiday :goodvibes

We love SW and spent quite a lot of time there last time we went, we also enjoy the horses and Budweiser hospitality. We shaw the Shamu show on Christmas Eve and it was really good - so not really looking forward to the changed version.

Hope the weather stays dry for BG - looking forward to your next update :)

jjk
05-05-2010, 01:13 PM
sounds like your having a fab time, looking forward to the next update :goodvibes

juliebro
05-05-2010, 09:38 PM
Weather forecast at 6:30 am today talked of rain and storms this afternoon, so BG plans were put on hold and we went for Plan B - St Augustine.

Breakfast at Mimi's at Millenium en route. DH and I both had stuffed french toast (his with blueberries and cream, mine with cream cheese and marmalade) with eggs, sausages, coffee and orange juice. Had another coupon (free breakfast up to $9) - so total came to a very reasonable $12 before tip. Service was slow sadly, so we were later leaving there than we'd hoped. Food was really good though.

We'd never been to St Augustine before but we really enjoyed our time there and will certainly visit again to explore it further. We parked at one of the Welcome centres for the Trolleybus Tours and signed up to the base tour ticket - which gave us unlimited on/off tours on the bus, free parking and admission to the Old Jail and one of the museums.

The whole round trip tour (which does tend to go round in a number of different circles) takes about 75 minutes. The drivers give a live commentary on the way round. We stayed on the bus and did a full tour to get a feel of the place before then getting off at the Old Jail on the 2nd time round. That was one of the highlights, I thought. Our guide was totally in character as one of the inmates, never letting her act drop for a second! She was very entertaining and brought the brutal reality of being an inmate there to life, including details of the hangings.

The skies were darkening as we left the prison (there are blank 'pardon' certificates which you can take with you as you go - a nice touch) and we went into the history museum which was at the same trolleybus stop. Not a very sophisticated museum but it had plenty of information and artefacts relating to the very chequered history of St Augustine. Worth a look but not a place to linger too long.

When we came out, the heavens had opened and the rain was getting heavier. We made a dash for the trolleybus and headed back into town. The bus company were clearly prepared for such things, handing out free ponchos to everyone and a towel for wiping the wet seats.

The city itself has some fascinating buildings - many of them relating to Henry Flagler's creation of the 'resort' of St Augustine for rich Americans. The old swimming pool of the Alcazar Hotel (now drained and converted in antique shops and a restaurant) was the biggest in the world and must have been an incredible sight.

We left the city at about 5:00 pm and drove back to the Loop - and the other Mimi's. We both ordered the turkey breast dinner. DH had another coupon - this time for my birthday (a bit late as it was a month ago) - which gave us $10 off. Little did I know that I would get a birthday song and a free dessert with a candle on it! A little embarassing. It was DH's birthday yesterday (really and truly!) so he should have had the song not me!!!

Weather forecast tomorrow is for a little more rain - so we think we'll go and have a look at Clermont and do some shopping - Florida Mall and Prime.

Further update tomorrow!

Pooh's-Honey-Pot
05-06-2010, 01:18 AM
Anothet great day! Can I ask how long it took you to drive to St Augustine, as that's something we would like to do? Thanks

wayneg
05-06-2010, 03:07 AM
We have only been to Mimi's Millenia once(evening meal) service was slow so we always use one at the Loop now, even at peak times like Easter we have never seen it busy here.

You are doing way better than me with the coupons,:thumbsup2 I was so busy with work before our Easter trip I never got around to sorting any. Karen got the Birthday cake and song last May when it was her Birthday:rotfl:

Have fun shopping.:goodvibes

disneyholic family
05-06-2010, 04:39 AM
i'm enjoying your live trip report!!!

you're doing some really interesting things...

i look forward to your pictures when you get back home!! :goodvibes

juliebro
05-06-2010, 06:30 AM
Anothet great day! Can I ask how long it took you to drive to St Augustine, as that's something we would like to do? Thanks

Hi -it took us about two hours. We drove along the I4, the I95 and then the last part took us on Route 1 into the town.

juliebro
05-06-2010, 06:36 AM
You are doing way better than me with the coupons,:thumbsup2 I was so busy with work before our Easter trip I never got around to sorting any. Karen got the Birthday cake and song last May when it was her Birthday:rotfl:

Have fun shopping.:goodvibes

DH deserves all the credit for the restaurant coupons! I have sorted ones for the shopping though!

Will let you all know if we get any bargains!

PJB71
05-06-2010, 09:39 AM
Really enjoying reading about your holiday:thumbsup2

Sounds like your having a lovely time:hug:

juliebro
05-06-2010, 10:44 PM
Just a quick update tonight as it's getting late and we are getting up early tomorrow to go to Busch Gardens.

We went to Clermont this morning. Had breakfast at Denny's - both chose exactly the same as we'd had the other day. Getting very predictable.

Clermont was easy to get to. We followed signs for the historic downtown area and parked up near the lakefront. It was very peaceful and pleasant with few people around. It reminded us a little of Lake Wales which we visited a few years ago. We walked down the fishing pier and two lovely ladies who were out for their power walk offered to take a photo of the two of us together. Almost everyone we passed smiled and said 'good morning'. The historic downtown area itself is little more then a few blocks. It was hadly bustling -but I imagine that it gets quite busy with fishermen and water sports devotees at weekends. There are a couple of old houses on the waterfront that we noticed are open for guided tours at weekends.

We left after less than a couple of hours - as we'd seen as much as we were able to.

This afternoon we did some shopping. Florida Mall first - for some Bare Escentuals makeup and some Yankee Candles. Never had any Yankee Candles before but so many people on the DIS can't be wrong, can they!

Then it was to Prime Outlets for some Polo Ralph Lauren polo shirts and undies for DS and some Calvin Klein undies for him too. Got some good prices at the RL shop via the Prime Outlet 'membership' extra discounts.


Called in to Festival Bay to see if it was any busier - it's not. DH likes to wander round the Bass Pro shop and Ron John's - but we didn't buy anything today.

Will go back to Premium outlet next week for the rest of the shopping.

At tonight in Sweet Tomatoes again - DH had got another coupon! Fortunately no-one came to sing at our table though tonight. The cashier must have recognised him as a coupon fiend and gave him two coupons for free breakfasts!

Weather looks like it should be ok to risk BG tomorrow. Shuttle launch is confirmed (as far as it can be at this stage) for next Friday - our last full day - so hopefully we'll get to see it.

Shattered now - off to bed!

wayneg
05-07-2010, 04:15 AM
Fingers crossed the shuttle goes as planned.
Seen 2 from Titusville and one while on the Disney Magic last August but a few miles away. All great to see.

Mrs Doubtfire
05-07-2010, 07:32 AM
I love reading about other parts of Florida that other people visit - can add them to my list (just never seem to get round to going:rolleyes1) - although we did go on the boat trip at Winter Park last time.

Hope you get to BG :)

disneyholic family
05-07-2010, 08:19 AM
Just a quick update tonight as it's getting late and we are getting up early tomorrow to go to Busch Gardens.

We went to Clermont this morning. Had breakfast at Denny's - both chose exactly the same as we'd had the other day. Getting very predictable.

Clermont was easy to get to. We followed signs for the historic downtown area and parked up near the lakefront. It was very peaceful and pleasant with few people around. It reminded us a little of Lake Wales which we visited a few years ago. We walked down the fishing pier and two lovely ladies who were out for their power walk offered to take a photo of the two of us together. Almost everyone we passed smiled and said 'good morning'. The historic downtown area itself is little more then a few blocks. It was hadly bustling -but I imagine that it gets quite busy with fishermen and water sports devotees at weekends. There are a couple of old houses on the waterfront that we noticed are open for guided tours at weekends.

We left after less than a couple of hours - as we'd seen as much as we were able to.

This afternoon we did some shopping. Florida Mall first - for some Bare Escentuals makeup and some Yankee Candles. Never had any Yankee Candles before but so many people on the DIS can't be wrong, can they!

Then it was to Prime Outlets for some Polo Ralph Lauren polo shirts and undies for DS and some Calvin Klein undies for him too. Got some good prices at the RL shop via the Prime Outlet 'membership' extra discounts.


Called in to Festival Bay to see if it was any busier - it's not. DH likes to wander round the Bass Pro shop and Ron John's - but we didn't buy anything today.

Will go back to Premium outlet next week for the rest of the shopping.

At tonight in Sweet Tomatoes again - DH had got another coupon! Fortunately no-one came to sing at our table though tonight. The cashier must have recognised him as a coupon fiend and gave him two coupons for free breakfasts!

Weather looks like it should be ok to risk BG tomorrow. Shuttle launch is confirmed (as far as it can be at this stage) for next Friday - our last full day - so hopefully we'll get to see it.

Shattered now - off to bed!

i love wandering around the bass pro shop.......though i only usually buy a gag tshirt..nothing big..

how do you get membership in the prime outlets?

and where do you get coupons for sweet tomatoes? i can't wait to eat there in june - never been to the one in LBV....DD and i ate at the one on I-drive almost every day the last time we were at WDW together..

as for Denny's - haven't eaten at the one in orlando, but 3 years ago when i was with DD on her round of auditions, we found ourselves in Austin Texas....there was a denny's in the parking lot of the doubletree inn there...
since we arrived late at night, we went over there to eat....we really enjoyed it....or else we were hungry....but no, we ate there again the next day and enjoyed it just as much the second time.....

wayneg
05-07-2010, 09:03 AM
how do you get membership in the prime outlets?

and where do you get coupons for sweet tomatoes?

https://www.primeoutlets.com/prime-my-closet/sign-up.aspx

http://www.souplantation.com/clubveg/
Enter your Birthday for a couple of days before you arrive, they will send extra coupons. You then get an email evey month with BOGOF & other offers.

disneyholic family
05-07-2010, 11:40 AM
https://www.primeoutlets.com/prime-my-closet/sign-up.aspx

http://www.souplantation.com/clubveg/
Enter your Birthday for a couple of days before you arrive, they will send extra coupons. You then get an email evey month with BOGOF & other offers.

thanks Wayne!!!!!

juliebro
05-07-2010, 08:48 PM
[QUOTE=Mrs Doubtfire;36560354although we did go on the boat trip at Winter Park last time.
[/QUOTE]

We did that trip a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Keep meaning to go back but then find other new things to do!

Made it to BG today.

Had a light breakfast at the townhouse today after getting up early and checking the election results (or lack of!). Got to BG about 9:30 to find all lanes into the car parks backed up. The park opened at 9:30 and we don't think they were allowing anyone onto the carparks early like they used to.

Parked the closest we had ever been to the tram.

To be honest, we were rather disappointed with BG this time. It felt like they had cut back quite a bit on staff .e.g some of the toilets were not kept as clean as we'd seen in the past. Some of the attractions were closed, due to maintenance (the railway and one of the coasters). We were also very sad to see that Rhino Rally is now merely a shadow of its former self, the water part of the ride now having been removed. The Clydesdale horses have also gone from here, as they seem to have done from Sea World.

There were absolutely hoards of kids there on school trips. Not sure if this was due to it being a Friday. We've made a mental note to only visit at weekends from now on. We queued for the Gwazi wooden coaster - and the noise from the schoolkids was deafening! We're getting less tolerant as we get older, I think! ;)

Got stuck in a traffic jam on the way back. There'd been a few minor crashes. We had planned to go to Manny's again but it was almost 7:00 pm by the time we got there and the wait was 60 mins for a table. However, as we were prepared to sit out on the front porch, we got served straightaway. Had exactly the same as we'd had on the last visit - same high standard too.
They know exactly what their customers want and give it to them, consistently well and at a good price.

Both feeling a bit tired tonight. We've never been here before after 5th May and are definitely feeling the difference in temperature to our usual late March/April dates.

I think it's going to be EPCOT tomorrow - our first (and probably only) Disney park this trip.

If back in time, will post another update tomorrow night.

Pegasus928
05-08-2010, 12:55 AM
We've still never been to BG in all of our trips there so it was interesting to read your report.
Hope you enjoy Epcot today.

disneyholic family
05-08-2010, 03:02 AM
the clydesdales were removed because Anheuser-Busch no longer owns busch gardens...(i think it was even part of the deal - they were required to remove the horses)

fairytale
05-08-2010, 04:15 AM
We've still never been to BG in all of our trips there so it was interesting to read your report.
Hope you enjoy Epcot today.

You know Kenny, BG is our favorite park :thumbsup2

But, as a frequent October visitor its surprising how much of a different take certain element can have, ie October Low crowds, great climate etc etc...

Maybe the park was just having an "off" day :confused3

By the way, I am loving your trip report, thank you so much for taking the time to post. Its great to read about other aspects of Florida and not just the usual parks. :)

juliebro
05-08-2010, 08:32 PM
Change of plan again today. Decided to go to Cocoa Beach instead of EPCOT, which we'll do next week.

Had breakfast at Cracker Barrel - Momma's Pancakes with Cherry topping (and the obligatory eggs and sausage!). Bought some birthday cards and Yankee Candles too while we were there.

Made a slight detour to check out the Space Park at Titusville so we know where to go on Friday for the launch, then parked up near Cocoa Beach pier. Went onto the fishing pier and to the Mai Tiki Bar - one of my favourite spots to relax (and to have a Margharita ;) )

Did a bit of sunbathing - going for a cooling dip every now and then - and then one last drink on the pier again. The pelicans were very tame - taking fish from the hand of one the young lads fishing there. Got a couple of photos - will post some of my photos on this thread when we get home to UK.

Were going to eat at Texas Roadhouse on John Young Parkway when we got back, but it's gone! Just a For Sale sign up outside the building. Went to Chili's at the Loop instead. Never been to a Chili's before, so we weren't sure what to choose (although we had already decided to go for Wayne's recommendation of the White Chocolate Molten Cake for dessert). We opted for burgers, but are interested to know what anyone else recommends there.

Going to Lakeridge Winery tomorrow. They have a 'Jazz on the Vineyard Green' event this weekend. We've been to a Blues event there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. It's very relaxed, sitting in deckchairs under the trees, listening to the music and people-watching.

Pegasus928
05-09-2010, 12:47 AM
Sounds like a great day - totally different to the usual hustle and bustle of the parks. And a good move checking out your shuttle viewing spot beforehand :thumbsup2
Enjoy the festival

Cyrano
05-09-2010, 04:46 AM
Were going to eat at Texas Roadhouse on John Young Parkway when we got back, but it's gone! Just a For Sale sign up outside the building. Went to Chili's at the Loop instead. Never been to a Chili's before, so we weren't sure what to choose (although we had already decided to go for Wayne's recommendation of the White Chocolate Molten Cake for dessert). We opted for burgers, but are interested to know what anyone else recommends there.

Shame about the Texas Roadhouse as we enjoyed a meal here last summer :goodvibes

Sounds like you are having a great trip. Looking forward to hearing about your Space Shuttle launch :)

howlongtillsummer?
05-09-2010, 03:10 PM
Are there still a lot of shops closed in Festival Bay? DH likes Bass Pro sports too but there didn't seem to be much else there. Glad that you are having fun.

Dollyrar
05-09-2010, 03:51 PM
We were also very sad to see that Rhino Rally is now merely a shadow of its former self, the water part of the ride now having been removed.


I did not know about this at all! Very disappointing! :sad2:

juliebro
05-09-2010, 07:16 PM
Are there still a lot of shops closed in Festival Bay? DH likes Bass Pro sports too but there didn't seem to be much else there. Glad that you are having fun.

Festival Bay is very quiet. We don't know how they make enough money to keep going. We noticed that most of the shop and stall staff were reading books or playing computer games. They must get so bored with having no customers to serve.

Of the shops that are there, some of them seem to be running down the stock levels e.g. Nine West which hardly had anything left to sell, except the shoe racks themselves.

juliebro
05-09-2010, 07:30 PM
I did not know about this at all! Very disappointing! :sad2:

We only found out from the driver on the way round.

juliebro
05-09-2010, 08:18 PM
Had a lie-in this morning - till after 8:00 am. :)

Thought, as it was Sunday, we'd give Sweet Tomatoes a try for breakfast. However, we found out (when we got there) that the new LBV one doesn't do breakfast. So that was a bit of a waste of time. Went to Bob Evans on 192 instead. Got served quickly and the food was pretty good - usual fare of eggs, sausage, pancakes and coffee.

Drove to the Winery (listening to the football commentaries on the radio on the way). Did the free wine tastings first. Then it was only $2 entry (and free for mothers due to it being Mothers' Day over here) to the jazz festival. There were two different bands who each did two sets. Very relaxing few hours sitting under the trees, listening to the music. The wines were available by the glass. Beer was also for sale, and several different stands were selling food - from ice cream and burgers to crab cakes and chilli. We didn't eat there - but many people seemed to be enjoying the food. The setting was idyllic. Again I'll post some pictures when we get home.

Weren't sure where to eat this evening, as everywhere was busy for Mothers' Day. We had never been to Golden Corral for dinner, so went to the one near Celebration on 192. It was packed to bursting point, so we went into Celebration and to the Market St Tavern. DH had turkey and I went for the herb crusted chicken. Was slightly disappointed in mine, but it was ok.

Going to the West Coast tomorrow.

juliebro
05-10-2010, 10:27 PM
Interesting night last night - an attemted intruder!

DH and I were asleep when I was woken up by a noise. I thought I heard someone on the balcony outside our bedroom window. I woke up DH who did a quick check round, said he couldn't see or hear anyone and went back to sleep again. :confused3 I kept listening and heard it again. I was terrified someone was breaking in. I woke up DH again (he was not amused) and he opened the vertical blinds to the patio door to be confronted by the culprit - a raccoon! We had seen the creature (or one of its friends) a couple of nights ago when we came back after dark to the house and thought at first that a large cat was wandering about till we saw it properly.

Also, I forgot to post last night that we saw a couple of crocodiles (not alligators we were told) in the Lake at Celebration. They were not large ones but they came fairly close to the steps.

Onto today. 7:30 am b'fast at Ponderosa then we drove I4, I75 and I275 over the Sunshine Skyway bridge - which was quite a spectacular sight.

We then drove to have a look at Fort de Soto Park (Tripadvisor's Best Beach 2008 & 2009). It was realtively unspoilt and quiet - but I guess it gets busy at weekends and holidays. We also had a look at Pass-a-Grille beach before going north along Gulf Boulevard to John's Pass - which I'd describe as a cross between Kissimmee Old Town and the queuing area for Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-rat Barges! It's a pity that all the seafront is now bulit upon and you can't get any sight of the dea as you drive along the beach resorts. North again to Clearwater Beach and we booked tickets for Little Toot for 3:00 pm sailing. Spent a little time on the beach and in the sea till just before the boat sailed. Sadly, we only saw about half a dolphin during the trip! However, we have been promised a free trip next time we are there.

Ate at Manny's again on the way back. It's getting to be a habit! The top sirloin is just sooo lean and tasty. Will miss that place when we go home. Only had a 5 minute wait for a table tonight.

We are going jet-skiing tomorrow morning, all being well, and finishing off the shopping in the afternoon.

Pegasus928
05-11-2010, 12:45 AM
We have never actually seen a racoon - but I have had to tidy up the mess left by one a couple of times when they been through our rubbish bins :mad:

Sounds like you had a good day - shame you didn't get to see the dolphins on Little Toot but at least you got a free trip out of the deal. I am looking forward to all these pics when you get back :thumbsup2

wayneg
05-11-2010, 04:18 AM
We had a raccoon outside our hotel a few years ago, going thru the bin each evening.
Wonder if we saw crocs or gators around Celebration.
Enjoy Jet skiing:goodvibes

juliebro
05-11-2010, 09:52 PM
Things didn't quite go to plan today. I've had a problem with my leg and ended up in Celebration Hospital's ER. I'm ok now, but it did mean we didn't get to the jetskiing. That'll have to wait till next year. We've jetskied a few times in Wales anyway.

Spent the afternoon and early evening at Premium Outlet mall - buying Kiehl's products at the Lancome outlet, running shoes at Nike and t-shirts at Eddie Bauer - all for me. DH didn't see anything he particularly wanted. Is it just us or are the bargains getting fewer and further between these days? I had been looking for new gym gear but didn't think the prices were much better than back in the UK. The Kiehl's stuff was much cheaper then it would be at home though.

Went to Texas de Brazil for dinner but it was packed and would have been 40 minute wait for a table. Decided to try Bubbalou's instead. A very different experience to TdB but the food was good and we were served quickly. I had the baby back ribs and shrimp while DH had brisket and chicken. Tasty, well-cooked and good value.

Hoping to get to EPCOT tomorrow. We haven't been there for about 3 years, so we expect to be there for the full day.

Questions for Wayne - do you know when and why Texas Roadhouse closed? And whether they have another location in the area?

wayneg
05-12-2010, 03:05 AM
Hope you don't have anymore problems with your leg.

From one extreme to the other with TdB and Bubbalous. About $50 compared to $10-15:goodvibes, I had the 3 meat combo there, loads of food. Did you use the $5 coupon off their website?

Texas Roadhouse was open last August when Nigel(DISwolves) ate there, I believe it closed not long after that.
Just found a few posts on Tripadvisor from Sept 2009 saying it was closing so I would say Sept/Oct.
Couldn't believe it when our friends told us, it was always packed when we went.

Mrs Doubtfire
05-12-2010, 02:29 PM
Just catching up with your trip again :)

Glad your leg is better - how did you find the Celebration hospital?

Your day at the winery sounds ideal - a lovely day.

I keep reading about Mannys - have never been in all the time we have been to WDW - where is it? It sounds like it's worth the drive :)

Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Girlsontour
05-12-2010, 03:01 PM
Its great to read your reports...and you do stuff that we wouldn't think of doing which is making it even more interesting :thumbsup2 I always like "live" reports cause it makes you feel as though you are really there:rotfl:

juliebro
05-12-2010, 09:41 PM
Hope you don't have anymore problems with your leg.

From one extreme to the other with TdB and Bubbalous. About $50 compared to $10-15:goodvibes, I had the 3 meat combo there, loads of food. Did you use the $5 coupon off their website?

Texas Roadhouse was open last August when Nigel(DISwolves) ate there, I believe it closed not long after that.
Just found a few posts on Tripadvisor from Sept 2009 saying it was closing so I would say Sept/Oct.
Couldn't believe it when our friends told us, it was always packed when we went.

Leg much better now, thanks.

Yes - DH had the $5 coupon for Bubbalou's! He doesn't post on the board but reads it regularly and always looks out for any coupons and deals that you mention. :rotfl:

Shame about Texas Roadhouse. We had been looking forward to going there again.

juliebro
05-12-2010, 09:51 PM
Just catching up with your trip again :)

Glad your leg is better - how did you find the Celebration hospital?

Your day at the winery sounds ideal - a lovely day.

I keep reading about Mannys - have never been in all the time we have been to WDW - where is it? It sounds like it's worth the drive :)

Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

I have to say that the Celebration Hospital was not quite what we expected. It's our first encounter (hopefully the last!) with hospitals in the US and we had sort of expected the care to be along the lines of private care that you get in the UK. To me though, it was very much like the NHS - only with a big bill at the end! We were there ages - waiting to register, waiting to see a nurse, waiting to see a doctor, waiting for tests, waiting for results, waiting to be discharged, waiting for the bill, waiting to pay. All took far longer than I expected. I was probably expecting too much. All in all, it was a very similar experience to going to A&E at our local NHS hospital at home.

Manny's is South on highway 27 - at Haines City

http://www.mannyschophouse.com/locations.html

The steaks are fantastic.

juliebro
05-12-2010, 10:24 PM
Quick report on today's activities.

Up at 6:30 am and early breakfast at Cracker Barrel - Momma's Breakfast Pancakes with Blackberries (and eggs and sausage) and coffee.

Got to EPCOT around park opening at 9:00 am. Walked straight onto Test Track and then Mission Space. Got fastpasses for Soarin' and then went on various other rides and attractions without having to queue long for any.

Went to Beaches and Cream late afternoon. It's only the second time we've been - the last time must be over 5 years ago - but will definitely go again. Very good service and fresh food. DH had the hot beef sub with fries and I had a burger. DH didn't want some onion rings to share, so the server suggested I change my fries for onion rings which I did - and we were only charged $1 extra for that. DH then had a vanilla shake - or should I say two? There was enough to fill his glass twice over!

Stayed at the park till after ROE at 9:00 pm.

Aquatica again tomorrow.

Dollyrar
05-13-2010, 02:28 AM
Aquatica again tomorrow.

Very jealous! I love the floating river they have there without the inflatables, just with the lifejacket. Bliss! :goodvibes

wayneg
05-13-2010, 02:59 AM
DH had the hot beef sub

Aquatica again tomorrow.

Thats what Matt had last month, it will be what I have next visit.
I had same expectations from a US hospital, hope I never have to go now.
Enjoy Aquatica

juliebro
05-13-2010, 07:01 PM
Its great to read your reports...and you do stuff that we wouldn't think of doing which is making it even more interesting :thumbsup2 I always like "live" reports cause it makes you feel as though you are really there:rotfl:

Thanks! We always like to do something 'a bit different'. Over the years we've done all sorts of things, like seeing an Orlando Magic basketball game, Exotic Car festivals, Antique Boat festival, Pie Festival (including all you can eat pie buffet!), concert at Hard Rock Live, lunch at Chalet Suzanne, swamp buggy ride, visited Disney Wilderness Preserve, Cypress Gardens, Fantasy of Flight (where DH arranged for me to fly a plane as a surprise) helicopter flight, Daytona Raceway and probably more that I can't remember at the moment. DS once did the indoor skydiving - but DH was warned against it as he had a previous shoulder dislocation.

I was hoping to get to the Silver Moon drive-in cinema this visit - but the films were starting a bit too late for us. DH likes to get up and out early in the day, so we tend not to stay out very late.

DH was hoping to go to the Revolution offroad driving place and was thinking about the Safari zipwire activity - but neither he nor I have really got a head for heights! :confused3

All these (and the jetskiing) will just go on the list of things to do next year! We always end up running out of time. :)

juliebro
05-13-2010, 09:08 PM
Today we were up early again at 6:30am and had breakfast at Perkins. We both had similar meals, but with different fillings for our omlettes which came with hashbrowns - and pancakes. Quick service - but we were just about the only ones in there at that time.

Got to Aquatica as it opened - and got the first regular space next to the preferred parking. It was very quiet there for the first 2-3 hours. We went on the Roa Rapids first (with the lifejackets on :) )and there were only four people on the whole thing. It's our favourite thing there too so it was great having it almost to ourselves. Not many more people even on the lazy river until later. Perhaps some people get a lie-in on holiday? Not if they were anywhere near DH! :rolleyes1

Weather was hot - but not as hot as last week. Partly cloudy, but still plenty of sun. Nice relaxing day.

Left the park just before 4:30 pm and went to Texas de Brazil as it opened at 5:00 pm. Excellent quality food and service - but pricey if you don't have a BOGOF coupon. We had one for DH's birthday :thumbsup2

Looks like the launch is still on for tomorrow - so it'll be an early breakfast and then heading off to Titusville to get parked up.

wayneg
05-14-2010, 06:10 AM
I had a customer in yesterday, not to buy anything just to tell me about TdB:rotfl: telling me how much he enjoyed it.
We have not been because we are a family of 3, even with voucher we would still have to pay full for 2 of us. I am sure we will try it one day when I feel like splashing out.

All looks well for the launch, enjoy.:goodvibes

dynamite100
05-14-2010, 07:22 AM
We did that trip a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Keep meaning to go back but then find other new things to do!

Made it to BG today.

Had a light breakfast at the townhouse today after getting up early and checking the election results (or lack of!). Got to BG about 9:30 to find all lanes into the car parks backed up. The park opened at 9:30 and we don't think they were allowing anyone onto the carparks early like they used to.

Parked the closest we had ever been to the tram.

To be honest, we were rather disappointed with BG this time. It felt like they had cut back quite a bit on staff .e.g some of the toilets were not kept as clean as we'd seen in the past. Some of the attractions were closed, due to maintenance (the railway and one of the coasters). We were also very sad to see that Rhino Rally is now merely a shadow of its former self, the water part of the ride now having been removed. The Clydesdale horses have also gone from here, as they seem to have done from Sea World.

There were absolutely hoards of kids there on school trips. Not sure if this was due to it being a Friday. We've made a mental note to only visit at weekends from now on. We queued for the Gwazi wooden coaster - and the noise from the schoolkids was deafening! We're getting less tolerant as we get older, I think! ;)

Got stuck in a traffic jam on the way back. There'd been a few minor crashes. We had planned to go to Manny's again but it was almost 7:00 pm by the time we got there and the wait was 60 mins for a table. However, as we were prepared to sit out on the front porch, we got served straightaway. Had exactly the same as we'd had on the last visit - same high standard too.
They know exactly what their customers want and give it to them, consistently well and at a good price.

Both feeling a bit tired tonight. We've never been here before after 5th May and are definitely feeling the difference in temperature to our usual late March/April dates.

I think it's going to be EPCOT tomorrow - our first (and probably only) Disney park this trip.

If back in time, will post another update tomorrow night.

Just a quick note. The water portion of the Rhino Rally ride has not gone, we were there a couple of weeks ago and it was still there. They were, however, having technical difficulties with that portion of the ride throughout the day, and kept announcing that they were only able to run the land-based part of the ride. We got lucky, they got it all up and running just as we boarded our vehicle. I would be very sad if they did away with it altogether.

Glad you're having a great trip, loving reading about it. When we got to the Budget garage on our recent trip, the guy offered me a Ford Focus or a Mustang. No prizes for guessing which one I chose!!

juliebro
05-14-2010, 07:08 PM
Just a quick note. The water portion of the Rhino Rally ride has not gone, we were there a couple of weeks ago and it was still there. They were, however, having technical difficulties with that portion of the ride throughout the day, and kept announcing that they were only able to run the land-based part of the ride. We got lucky, they got it all up and running just as we boarded our vehicle. I would be very sad if they did away with it altogether.

Glad you're having a great trip, loving reading about it. When we got to the Budget garage on our recent trip, the guy offered me a Ford Focus or a Mustang. No prizes for guessing which one I chose!!

Not sure what 's happening with Rhino Rally then. I think we'll have to see what future visitors have to say when they come back - as the driver definitely told us that the ride had been changed - and it would be a permanent change. He didn't seem too happy about it either.

The Mustangs are great, aren't they? We actually paid extra in advance three years ago so we could have one for DH's birthday, but had decided we couldn't justify the extra expense this year. We hit lucky, I suppose.

juliebro
05-14-2010, 10:11 PM
Today has been our last full day here in Orlando and we managed to get to see the shuttle launch.

Early breakfast at Bob Evans - usual eggs, sausage and pancakes for DH, but I had french toast instead of the pancakes today. We set off at about 9:00 am for Titusville - but the traffic was really heavy just about all the way. We parked up in Titusville at about 1:15 pm! The crowds were unbelievable!

Managed to find a spot to watch just by the new bridge that's being built. Launch was on-time, spectacular to watch. As there were so many people and cars around, we decided to stay around in Titusville for about 90 mins while the worst of the traffic left. Massive queues for the Ladies'! :eek:

Journey back took about two hours - traffic was still quite heavy.

As we were both quite hungry (as usual we had not had anything since breakfast), we opted to go to Sweet Tomatoes again. (No BOGOF this time Wayne ,though ;) )

Our flight to Philly is at 3:00 pm tomorrow, and the flight out of there to Manchester is at about 8:30 pm.

Not exactly looking forward to going home. Had a fantastic time again, as always, and already have a list of things to do next year!

wayneg
05-15-2010, 03:50 AM
Been great following your trip, thank you.
Have a safe journey home.:goodvibes

wedreamofdisney
05-15-2010, 06:00 AM
Can't you stay a bit longer, I've really enjoyed your 'live' reports:)

fairytale
05-15-2010, 06:03 AM
Have a safe journey home.

Thank you so much for posting during your trip, its been an enjoyable read :thumbsup2

DisneyAdventurers
05-15-2010, 08:43 AM
This afternoon we did some shopping. Florida Mall first - for some Bare Escentuals makeup and some Yankee Candles. Never had any Yankee Candles before but so many people on the DIS can't be wrong, can they!


Called in to Festival Bay to see if it was any busier - it's not. DH likes to wander round the Bass Pro shop and Ron John's - but we didn't buy anything today.


Shattered now - off to bed!

Firstly I hope you are having a great time despite the leg issues!! I know this is very random - but I have a couple of little questions:

1. How expensive were the Yankee Candles? Ie large candle, air fresheners etc

2. Did the Ron Jon Surf Shop have home decor items?? If so was there a lot of home stuff??

I would really appreciate if you can offer any up to date info!!! We are off next week! :)

Enjoy Orlando!!!

Mrs Doubtfire
05-15-2010, 02:01 PM
Wow - how quickly it's gone. The shuttle launch must have been a sight to see :)

Have a safe journey home :thumbsup2

juliebro
05-16-2010, 08:22 AM
Just a quick post saying that we are back home.

Will post more later - and some pictures in a day or two.

Thanks for the messages from everyone. Glad you enjoyed the live reports. It was fun to do and great to see the responses.

Now - where's that washing machine? And do I really have to go back to working for a living tomorrow??? :sad2:

juliebro
05-16-2010, 03:06 PM
1. How expensive were the Yankee Candles? Ie large candle, air fresheners etc

2. Did the Ron Jon Surf Shop have home decor items?? If so was there a lot of home stuff??

I would really appreciate if you can offer any up to date info!!! We are off next week! :)



Hi. I'm new to Yankee Candles and so I just bought several votives - $1.99 each from the Florida Mall. I then bought some small jar candles - 3 in a set for $19.99 - from Cracker Barrel. I can't really remember the prices for the rest of the items they had. Sorry!

:idea: Perhaps the Yankee Candle website prices are similar to those in the shop???

I don't recall seeing any home decor items at the Ron John's at Festival Bay, but I wasn't really looking too closely. However, I have seen their home decor stuff at their Cocoa Beach shop on previous trips.

Afraid I haven't helped you much, have I?

tracipierce
05-16-2010, 04:18 PM
OMG, you are back at work tomorrow!!! I don't envy you that, I'm always really jetlagged for a couple of weeks when we get back, then again, I'm getting old ;)

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that work goes quickly :hug:

wayneg
05-16-2010, 04:25 PM
OMG, you are back at work tomorrow!!! I don't envy you that, I'm always really jetlagged for a couple of weeks when we get back, then again, I'm getting old ;)

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that work goes quickly :hug:

We always go back to work/school next day. Easter was the 1st time for years we planned to land back on Saturday and have Sunday at home. With Volcano and 4 day delay it didn't go to plan, got in the house about 1am, up for work at 5am after a 31 hour journey home:goodvibes

tracipierce
05-16-2010, 04:34 PM
Wayne, you are a machine!!!! :rotfl: I'm such a baby, we are only going for a week at Xmas because I couldn't face going to work the day after we landed :blush:

dixonsontour
05-17-2010, 03:40 AM
Thanks for posting, really enjoyed your live reports and the different places you went to.

Pegasus928
05-17-2010, 07:16 AM
I have just been catching up with this and would also like to say thanks for taking the time during your holiday to keep us all updated :thumbsup2

It's been great reading all about it and I would love to see some pics now :goodvibes

juliebro
05-17-2010, 03:10 PM
Well - I survived my first day back! Just about.

I had decided to work from home - but DH was getting up at 6:00 am to go into work. When the alarm went off at 6:00 am I felt awful!! But I forced myself out of bed before 6:30 am and was checking my hundreds of unread emails not long after 7:00 am. :surfweb: As there was nothing that couldn't wait till 9:00 am, I went to the gym. :banana: I had to force myself - and it was hard work - but I felt much better after I'd been. :goodvibes

The day went pretty quickly and I'm going to work from home again tomorrow but will be going to work in our Leeds office on Weds and Thurs, so am hoping the tiredness will have eased off by then.

I plan to try to upload some photos later.

juliebro
05-17-2010, 03:35 PM
The first piccies!

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P1010007.jpg

Our guide at the St Augustine jail

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5050047.jpg

The oldest wooden schoolhouse in the US

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5050085.jpg

wayneg
05-17-2010, 03:46 PM
Car looks great, we are considering a trip to St Augustine in August now.:goodvibes

juliebro
05-18-2010, 05:01 PM
Gator with catfish lunch at Dora Canal (to left of centre of photo)
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P1010020.jpg

Historic Downtown area - Clermont
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5060111.jpg

One of the regulars at Cocoa Beach pier
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5080115.jpg

Cyrano
05-18-2010, 05:59 PM
Hope you are slowly getting back to normality. Thanks again for sharing :goodvibes

UKDEB
05-19-2010, 02:38 AM
I've just read the whole thing from start to finish - didn't realise it was a live trip report :o. We also enjoy getting off the beaten track (or so I thought until I read this - you're much more adventurous than we've ever been). I'm going to save the link so that I can review it before our next trip. I'd love to see lots more photos when you've got time.

Pooh's-Honey-Pot
05-19-2010, 02:59 AM
Really enjoyed your report!! Can I ask how long the drive to St Augustines was? That's something we are considering! Thanks!

stephensmum
05-19-2010, 10:59 AM
Thanks for doing this, i have really enjoyed it.

juliebro
05-19-2010, 01:54 PM
Really enjoyed your report!! Can I ask how long the drive to St Augustines was? That's something we are considering! Thanks!

Thank you!

I think it was less than two hours - but can't remember exactly. Will talk to DH later. He'll know. :)

I'm so glad people have enjoyed the report.

Mrs Doubtfire
05-19-2010, 02:06 PM
Nice to see a few pictures - the sky looks lovely & blue. Thought that was you at first at the jail - until I read the caption!

juliebro
05-19-2010, 02:31 PM
Thought that was you at first at the jail - until I read the caption!

:lmao: I bet you wondered what on earth I was wearing!

I'll post some more photos when I get back home tomorrow night. I'm working away at the moment.

wilma-bride
05-19-2010, 02:42 PM
Great pics :thumbsup2 I am really looking forward to our trip to St Augustine in August now. What would you say was the best thing you saw/did there?

juliebro
05-19-2010, 04:27 PM
DH has confirmed it took a little under 2 hours to get to St Augustine.

It's hard to say what the best thing was that we saw. We weren't there long enough to look at everything, so will be going back and spending more time there.

We thought the trolleybus tour was good - as we were able to park the car for free (elsewhere in town there are charges) and see the town with the benefit of the guides giving their commentary. It isn't a particularly large place, so you could walk round it though.

I enjoyed the tour of the old jail - and also found the history and architecture of the town to be interesting. There's a 'fountain of youth' a fort and many other things which we didn't get time to see.

I guess it depends how interested you are in history etc

wilma-bride
05-19-2010, 04:33 PM
DH has confirmed it took a little under 2 hours to get to St Augustine.

It's hard to say what the best thing was that we saw. We weren't there long enough to look at everything, so will be going back and spending more time there.

We thought the trolleybus tour was good - as we were able to park the car for free (elsewhere in town there are charges) and see the town with the benefit of the guides giving their commentary. It isn't a particularly large place, so you could walk round it though.

I enjoyed the tour of the old jail - and also found the history and architecture of the town to be interesting. There's a 'fountain of youth' a fort and many other things which we didn't get time to see.

I guess it depends how interested you are in history etc

Thanks - I definitely think we will visit the jail. We want to go over to the lighthouse too but we only have a day or so. We are staying overnight though so don't necessarily have to rush off the next morning so will get a chance to do anything we missed. I suspect a day is not going to be enough though.

juliebro
05-20-2010, 12:42 PM
Thanks - I definitely think we will visit the jail.

There are a number of ticketing options for the trolleybus tour that include entry to various attractions. The ticket we went for included the jail and the museum near to the jail.

juliebro
05-20-2010, 01:22 PM
Back home again now - so have uploaded a few more piccies. Sorry - didn't take any pictures of any food!

Mai Tiki Bar at Cocoa Beach pier - great place for afternoon cocktails!
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5080135.jpg

Jazz at the Winery - singer left stage & went on walkabout through the audience
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5090153.jpg

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5100168.jpg

Shuttle launch
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5140230.jpg

Fort de Soto Beach
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5100176.jpg

dynamite100
05-21-2010, 04:14 AM
The first piccies!

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P1010007.jpg

Our guide at the St Augustine jail

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5050047.jpg

The oldest wooden schoolhouse in the US

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz242/juliebro_bucket/P5050085.jpg

My god, I think you had the exact same car as we did last month, heehee. Ah, happy memories.

Also, love the pic of the heron on Cocoa Beach pier. We drove to the beach for the first time on our recent trip, but not being familiar with the area, we missed the pier altogether. I just parked up at Ron Jon's, walked across the street, and we lounged on the beach all day. Must try to locate the pier next time we go. Were there various amusements there, or not?

juliebro
05-22-2010, 07:15 AM
My god, I think you had the exact same car as we did last month, heehee. Ah, happy memories.

Also, love the pic of the heron on Cocoa Beach pier. We drove to the beach for the first time on our recent trip, but not being familiar with the area, we missed the pier altogether. I just parked up at Ron Jon's, walked across the street, and we lounged on the beach all day. Must try to locate the pier next time we go. Were there various amusements there, or not?

Snap! Great car, wasn't it? Did you rent it through Hertz and had you specified a Mustang when you booked?

You didn't miss too much with the pier. It is a bit tacky. There are a couple of other bar/restaurants and that's about it. I like the Mai Tiki Bar as you feel a bit removed from the rest of the place, being above the water and at the end of the pier.

dynamite100
05-24-2010, 11:20 AM
Snap! Great car, wasn't it? Did you rent it through Hertz and had you specified a Mustang when you booked?

You didn't miss too much with the pier. It is a bit tacky. There are a couple of other bar/restaurants and that's about it. I like the Mai Tiki Bar as you feel a bit removed from the rest of the place, being above the water and at the end of the pier.

No, we got our car from Budget, but booked it online here with uscarrental.co.uk (I think that was the site). We opted for Budget after a tip I got on here from Wayne (thanks Wayne), whereby you can pre-register your Budget rental online, then you don't need to go to the desk at all at Orlando airport, you go straight out to the garage and the car is ready for you. Saved us no end of time. And no, we didn't specify any particular car. We got out to the parking garage, and the guy told me I had a choice between a Mustang and a Ford Focus. Didn't take me too long to think about that one!!

Just booked with Complete Orlando for August next year, Old Key West resort, our first time onsite at Disney. More than a year away, and I'm already getting excited, lol. Hope we manage to get a Mustang again!

All the best, Carl.

wayneg
05-24-2010, 11:39 AM
Just booked with Complete Orlando for August next year, Old Key West resort, our first time onsite at Disney. More than a year away, and I'm already getting excited, lol. Hope we manage to get a Mustang again!

All the best, Carl.

What dates you booked Carl?
We have still to decide on OKW or offsite for next year, waiting for clarification on the Dining plan, if desserts are not included I think we will opt for offsite. Our dates will be 4th -21st, 21st-25th Disney Cruise, 25th-29th offsite.

dynamite100
05-25-2010, 08:49 AM
What dates you booked Carl?
We have still to decide on OKW or offsite for next year, waiting for clarification on the Dining plan, if desserts are not included I think we will opt for offsite. Our dates will be 4th -21st, 21st-25th Disney Cruise, 25th-29th offsite.

Hi Wayne.

We're booked for 6th-20th August 2011, at Old Key West. Hope you and some other DIS members will be there, would be great to have a meet.

We've only ever stayed offsite before, and given our humble means, it's always been the low budget places (Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, always on I Drive). Really love that central location, and we are very easy to please, foodwise, so always eat at places like Chili's, Perkins, Denny's, Fuddruckers, Johnny Rockets.

Obviously, this will be our first time on the Dining Plan, and I'm sad to see that it looks like it will change for next year, because I'm a big eater, and all of us love our desserts! The only way I'm gonna get around this is by booking lots of buffets and all-you-can-eat meals. I've had a look already, and with our TS credits, I think we'll do 11 dinners and 3 breakfasts. I'm sure I'll get slated on here for some of these choices, but this is what I've picked out.

Dinners- Crystal Palace, 'Ohana, Cape May Cafe, Boma, Olivia's, Turf Club, 1900 Park Fare, Trail's End Buffet, Biergarten, Liberty Tree Tavern, and Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Breakfasts- Olivia's x2, Captain's Grille.

Any comments on these choices would be very welcome, from anyone.

Also Wayne, how do you rate OKW? Is there any particular area where I should try to get a room when we check in?

All the best, Carl.

wayneg
05-25-2010, 09:48 AM
Hi Wayne.

We're booked for 6th-20th August 2011, at Old Key West. Hope you and some other DIS members will be there, would be great to have a meet.


Dinners- Crystal Palace, 'Ohana, Cape May Cafe, Boma, Olivia's, Turf Club, 1900 Park Fare, Trail's End Buffet, Biergarten, Liberty Tree Tavern, and Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Breakfasts- Olivia's x2, Captain's Grille.

Any comments on these choices would be very welcome, from anyone.

Also Wayne, how do you rate OKW? Is there any particular area where I should try to get a room when we check in?

All the best, Carl.

Even if we stay offsite I will arrange a DISmeet somewhere, either in a park or resort.

Difficult if the DDP does change. We have always enjoyed buffets but found out on DDP last year we didn't enjoy them as much as table service. I think it was mainly down to them being too busy.
Cape May was the worst, lines for food were crazy(a couple of arguments going on with people pushing in) Karen also struggled to find something to eat as she won't eat anything from the sea.
Also didn't like 1900 Park Fare, again too busy and very loud, not helped having to wait an hour to be seated.
Turf Club we enjoyed but more for the server and excellent service rather than the food.
Did Crystal Palace & Chef Mickey's for breakfast, both good but I struggle to eat before lunch so this year cutting it to 1 breakfast at Ohana's.
Paid for trails end about 4 or 5 times, also Boma twice, enjoyed them both.
Our fave place was probably Le Cellier but we also really liked all the family style dining places where you eat as much as you like but they bring it to you, Whispering Canyon, Liberty Tree & Ohana. I guess these will be very popular if they remove dessert from DDP.
We have Biergarten down for this year but might change it yet if we have an exceptional meal somewhere. Also trying Olivia's.

We really liked OKW, nice relaxed resort, not sure if any areas are better than others, I will just take what the give me.

dynamite100
05-26-2010, 08:48 AM
Even if we stay offsite I will arrange a DISmeet somewhere, either in a park or resort.

Difficult if the DDP does change. We have always enjoyed buffets but found out on DDP last year we didn't enjoy them as much as table service. I think it was mainly down to them being too busy.
Cape May was the worst, lines for food were crazy(a couple of arguments going on with people pushing in) Karen also struggled to find something to eat as she won't eat anything from the sea.
Also didn't like 1900 Park Fare, again too busy and very loud, not helped having to wait an hour to be seated.
Turf Club we enjoyed but more for the server and excellent service rather than the food.
Did Crystal Palace & Chef Mickey's for breakfast, both good but I struggle to eat before lunch so this year cutting it to 1 breakfast at Ohana's.
Paid for trails end about 4 or 5 times, also Boma twice, enjoyed them both.
Our fave place was probably Le Cellier but we also really liked all the family style dining places where you eat as much as you like but they bring it to you, Whispering Canyon, Liberty Tree & Ohana. I guess these will be very popular if they remove dessert from DDP.
We have Biergarten down for this year but might change it yet if we have an exceptional meal somewhere. Also trying Olivia's.

We really liked OKW, nice relaxed resort, not sure if any areas are better than others, I will just take what the give me.


Thanks for all this Wayne.

I hear what you're saying about prefering proper table service meals to buffets. I agree with you. But just don't see how I will get the volume of food I need without doing the buffets and the all-you-can-eats, lol! It's a real shame that desserts are being dropped from the Dining Plan next year.

PS We too love Le Cellier, one of the few Disney restaurants we've done. Although that is going to Signature status next year, so will cost 2TS credits each. I also hear there will be even fewer tables in there. We also love Boma and Crystal Palace, so I at least know we're safe with those choices.

Cheers, Carl.

juliebro
07-09-2010, 12:53 PM
Just a quick update for anyone who might be interested in Busch Gardens.....

DH wrote to them expressing our disappointment with the park visit this year compared to previous visits. They have sent us a very good reply, clearly addressing each of the points we made.

They confirmed that Rhino Rally River and the Clydesdale Hamlet have been permanently closed - and removed from both their website and other park information. Rhino Rally River is to be 'repurposed' for a new attraction scheduled to open in 2011.

They also suggested avoiding Thursdays and Fridays in May and part of June to miss the large school groups.

Finally, they have offered to replace our tickets for another visit.

All in all, a very satisfactory reply, we thought. :)

wayneg
07-09-2010, 02:14 PM
Glad you were happy with their response.
We have at least 2 days pencilled in for August at Busch, a Tuesday & a Wednesday so hopefully quieter days.