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Old 07-05-2009, 06:19 AM   #1
Kevin Stringer
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A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 16 & Summary

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
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:28 AM   #2
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What a great Trip Report, sounds like a fabulous holiday.

Thanks for posting, I've really enjoyed reading it.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:01 AM   #3
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Just when I was coming to terms with finishing your TRs you hit us with an apendix A. Excellent

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)
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:27 AM   #4
Kevin Stringer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegasus928 View Post

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
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:38 AM   #5
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thanks for sharing your trip, really enjoyed and laughed out loud reading it
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing your fab trip reports and photos Kev, I've really enjoyed them ~ roll on 2011 for your next one
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:59 AM   #7
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A fab conclusion to a fab trip
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:39 PM   #8
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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 and do some real work now!!
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:32 PM   #9
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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
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:14 PM   #10
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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.

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Old 07-05-2009, 03:45 PM   #11
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Really enjoyed reading your report Kev. Thanks for sharing
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:02 AM   #12
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Have really enjoyed your trip reports, cheered me up on such a wet day.

Thanks Linda
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:36 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:52 PM   #15
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Thank you again for sharing your photos & memories. I look forward to the next Stringer report.
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