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Old 01-28-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
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Fred and Wilma - They're Back and They're Child Free (The Day Before)

Before you get really excited - or not - about the prospect of a new trip report from me, I must confess that this is, in fact, an old trip report. About 18 months old, to be truthful. Sorry

Anyway, enjoy - or not

Tuesday 24th August 2010

Wow! It seems like a long time ago now that I wrote the pre-trip report and actually went on this holiday. I do have some notes, though, so I hope I will be able to recount it well enough.

To be honest, I am mostly writing this for four reasons:

1) It is a lovely way to look back on a great holiday
2) It is a great way to get excited for the next holiday
3) I really need to get rid of all the receipts and notes I took but don’t want to do so until I’ve got a more permanent record of what we did, where we ate, who we saw, etc.
4) I am desperately trying to diet and, in an attempt to ignore food, I am finding all sorts of things to do to keep myself busy

Anyway, on with the show…

Our trip starts way back on Tuesday 24th August, the day that our middle child was due to get her GCSE results (since she’s almost finished her A-Levels now, that’s an indicator of just how many eons ago we are talking).

I had a terrible night’s sleep, partly due to excitement about the holiday but mainly, I think, because I was nervous (for Rea) about the GCSE results. She had worked so hard that I really didn’t want her to be disappointed. As a result, we were all up and about early. Generally, once I’m up and about, nobody gets to sleep in

We had left Daniel a few days earlier, with his Grandparents in Great Yarmouth so it was just the four of us.

Some bonus Great Yarmouth pics for you

We pottered about a bit until Gary announced he was going to mow the lawn. Of all the things that needed to be done this morning, cutting the grass in a garden we weren’t going to see for the next fortnight was not high on my list of priorities but Gary insisted it needed to be done

The girls and I tried to keep ourselves busy and, soon enough, it was 10.00 and time to head up to the school. Rea went on into the hall to collect her results while we all waited outside…and waited…and waited. Eventually she came out clutching the brown envelope. She opened it and her face fell, I guessed it wasn’t good news. As it was, she had done pretty well but was disappointed with a couple of her grades. We had a little Mother/Daughter moment and then she was fine and we trooped back home to finish up packing the girls’ stuff as they were going to be staying with my Dad and Step-Mum while we were away. Yes, I might be a ‘bad’ Mother’ but I’m not a stupid one – no way was I leaving two teenage girls alone in my house for a fortnight

We had a leisurely lunch and headed over to my Dad’s around 2.30. I was desperate to get going but Gary insisted that we actually stop and drop them off, rather than just kicking them out on the way past Kington Langley to the M4. After kisses and hugs and extracting promises of good behaviour (the girls clearly know what I’’m like when I’ve had a couple of cocktails), we drove the couple of miles to the M4 and then we were finally on our way!
We were just about to get on the M25 when my phone rang – it was Tony (tony64) but I accidentally pressed the reject button and cut off his call. I did call him back, although I can’t remember for the life of me what he wanted. I think it was probably just to wish us a safe trip (or it may have been to find out how Rea got on). Either way, we had a nice little chat and then, when he’d had enough of me rubbing his nose in it, he made an excuse about having to get on with some work and we hung up.

We were at Gatwick in next to no time (having since done this journey at tea time on a Friday, I will always choose to travel to Gatwick in the middle of the day from now on) and checked into the Hilton. We had booked our room with Tesco Clubcard vouchers again. It really is a great deal (especially for a family) as breakfast is included in the rate. It cost us £35 in Tesco vouchers and we had to pay £5.70 in cash.

We were using the Summer Special car park so, after taking our bags up to our room, we drove over to the car park, deposited the car and caught the shuttle bus back.

Gary had a little nap while I phoned Daniel and the girls to check all was well, then we wandered over to the South Terminal for twilight check-in. Once we had answered the usual security questions, had our bags weighted (the only time I don’t hold my breath when they put them on the scales) and collected our boarding passes, we went up to Gatwick Village in search of sustenance. We were really disappointed as we had wanted to do a bit of shopping as well but most of the shops were closed (we learned afterwards that there was a multi-million pound overhaul of the airport security and other areas going on) and, with no other real options, we ended up at Frankie and Benny’s. Not a problem for me but Gary is generally not a fan.

Surprisingly, it was very nice although I cannot remember for the life of me what we ate. I know I had a couple of these though

Back at the Hilton, we settled down to watch the Big Brother final. Gary surfed the web on his Tab while Nat and I kept up a running commentary via text, interspersed with the occasional call.

Once it was all over and we had seen Jodie win (whatever happened to her?), we settled down and tried to get some sleep. Tomorrow we’re going to Orlando
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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Good on you Joh - always good to finish a trip report - albeit a little while later.

You can't beat having it all down in black and white so that when you want to re-live those magical holiday moments it is all there.

Looking forward to reading more in conjunction with Theresa's report of your latest exploits.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:10 PM   #3
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Great start to the trip, your cocktail looks lush

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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ooops I read them in the wrong order. Glad your doing a TR, I love looking back at mine.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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I think the day before and the day of travel are the ones that get me excited most (both for my own and other peoples trips) - this TR has got my heart going! It's also given me hope that it might not be too late to do my TR from August last year so I thank you for that!
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:05 AM   #6
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Lookig forward to this one, or should that be backwards to this one.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:54 AM   #7
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Saw the title Joh and thought you'd gone back again after your holiday with Theresa.
Looking forward to more

Last edited by strawberry blonde; 02-08-2012 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:09 AM   #8
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Fab start to your trip report! Looking forward to the rest! x
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:48 AM   #9
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Woo Hoo - a new Joh TR to get stuck into

I'm off to read the rest now so any thoughts of doing some chores this afternoon have just gone out of the window
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
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Yeah! Two Bad Mothers' TRs in one month... it feels like Christmas!

Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Of all the things that needed to be done this morning, cutting the grass in a garden we weren’t going to see for the next fortnight was not high on my list of priorities but Gary insisted it needed to be done
Too funny... I can so relate to this! Same thing at our house. (I just wish he felt the same way about the vaccum.)

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Old 02-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #11

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great start off to read some more
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #12
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Joh i'm seriously impressed that you have the memory to write this up and be as descriptive as you are given how long ago this was! Can't wait to read it - despite your very accurate descriptions to us about Orlando in August and the sticky factor we're going next year so it will be fun to read about your August adventures
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