A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 16 & Summary
DAY 16 SATURDAY 6th JUNE & SUMMARY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh Kevin, I am soooo excited to see this. I am hardly ever on these boards, so never read reports nowadays (I hardly have the time to write my Boozin' & Grubbin' ones) but I do check your website every once in a while. I love reading your reports! I feel like I have watched your girls grow up from this side of the pond.
Thanks for posting - can't wait to read your report. :)
As always another awesome adventure!!
Luv watching the girls grow up.
Thanks for taking the time to write it.
Your web site is saved in my "Favorites", which is appropriate because your trip reports (where ever they may be) are my favorite to read.
I'm coming out of lurking to tell you how much I've enjoyed your trip report. I also checked out your homepage and read some of your other reports. Your family seems like they'd be a lot of fun to hang out with...looking forward to more reports in the future.
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