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Old 09-06-2003, 06:13 AM   #1
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Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Day 1

DAY 1 - Tuesday 19th August 2003

Cast list:

Shaun - 40 something 'If it's not alcoholic I won't drink it'
Alison - 30 something 'If it spins I won't even look at it'
Alexandra - 10 'If it goes upside down I won't ride it'
Laura - 8 'If it's not pizza I won't eat it'

Well, here we go with this years set of trip reports - take them as you find them - just our personal observations etc. Alison and I have done these reports together (Alison's note here….Shaun puts the basic info in and I embellish it a bit, put all the side comments in and change all the bits that he got wrong!)

There were several reasons we went in August this year - initially we weren't going to go abroad at all! We've been planning next years holiday for a while - 3 weeks over Easter, so decided we'd save up and maybe do a bit of work on the house instead this year (I know, I know - how many of you others have said that! LOL) Anyway, once we'd realised that we'd be buying APs next year anyway - so all we needed to do was to buy them a bit earlier (i.e. August this year) then that was a cost we'd allocated to next year. Therefore we only needed to find the money for the flights and the accommodation! Well, as you can see we talked ourselves into that one really quickly!! We decided that we'd only do Disney and that we wouldn't hire a car(to save money) and also stay onsite at Disney. (Ahem, what do you mean - you can see how off track we went??)

Alison had to work in the morning so I pottered around packing hand luggage etc and doing some tidying etc until Alison got home about 1pm. Her Dad came to pick us up about 2.30 and we set off for Le Meridien at Gatwick. This which was really nice for us as we usually set off at the crack of dawn and gives me the earliest opportunity to start being grumpy with the kids! - LOL

So after an uneventful trip down the M25 / M23 we arrive at the Le Meridien hotel - and boy is it swanky! - This really is the way to travel although I can't help feeling a bit guilty as we only live about 40 mins away.

We got a Atrium view room up on the 5th Floor and it's MASSIVE! I wanted to call room service for a cat to get a picture to show you just how big it was! It was L-shaped with the girls' 2 single beds in one part and our king size bed in the other part.
Room at the Meridien

"You're spoiling those kids you know" was the comment from Alison's dad - but it's just a case of what we want and the kids have to come along too - unless someone doesn't mind babysitting for a couple of weeks - pretty please!

The next couple of hours was spent touring our playground i.e. Gatwick Airport North & South Terminal via the shuttle - not quite WDW Monorail but it'll do for now. We had a quick swim (and sauna for the adults) in the hotel fitness centre - the pool was about the size of a postage stamp, but we were the only people in there so it didn't matter much!

After much discussion we settled on dinner at Frankie & Bennys - nice food and good service. I had pasta with chicken and pesto, Alison had chicken and ribs, Alexandra had spaghetti carbonara and Laura had…wait for it…..pizza!

Back to the room, but I thought "hey - I'm on holiday!" - so I went down to the bar in the atrium. I asked for a large scotch and ginger but it cost more than a bottle of scotch at Tesco!

The whole place seemed to be geared up for the business traveller with loads of expenses or people that have just won the lottery!

Off to bed earlyish holding a bruised wallet and set the alarm for an early wake-up call

1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2007 ~ POR, HRH, GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Old 09-06-2003, 08:58 AM   #2
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Great start Onto day 2.
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Old 09-06-2003, 10:13 AM   #3
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Great start
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Old 09-06-2003, 01:00 PM   #4
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Nice room at Le Meridien, might have to think about that instead of the Hilton next trip. How did you think they both compared in room and location?

Off to the next stage
Annie O
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Old 09-06-2003, 05:14 PM   #5
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Annie, we've not stayed at the Hilton before so can't compare. But the Meridien is connected to the North Terminal and the Hilton to the South, so that may make a difference to you. However we kept getting the monorail shuttle between terminals - for breakfast, dinner, to wander around etc and it wouldn't be a long journey at all if you're travelling from the South.
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1989 - Offsite
1994 - EuroDisney
1999 - Offsite
2001 - CBR & Polynesian
2003 - Wilderness Lodge & Hard Rock
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Old 09-16-2003, 04:33 AM   #6

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Fab start!!!
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Old 09-23-2003, 07:54 AM   #7
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Hooray - Finally got round to reading your trip reports (bout time too Astrid !!).

My folks are staying at Le Meridien in November so I shall pass on your good comments (and tell them to pack the cat in case they want to try your experiment out!).

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Old 10-11-2003, 04:18 PM   #8
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Just getting round to reading these - better late than never though, right?

I've stayed at both the Hilton & The Meridien and given the choice (ok, as long as the price wasn't silly) - I'd always choose The Meridien!

Right...off to read the next!

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