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Old 01-28-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
wilma-bride
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Fred and Wilma - They're Back and They're Child Free (Day 0 - Travelling)

Wednesday 25th August

Surprise, surprise! I was awake early. While Gary tried to doze, I watched Beauty and the Geek Ė what a load of rubbish! Finally, I managed to prise his eyelids awake and persuade him, with the promise of copious cups of tea, to get out of bed and shower.

Once we were both ready, we headed down to the restaurant for breakfast. Buffet breakfasts are generally wasted on Gary since he is really a cereal-and-toast kind of guy. Today was no exception and, whilst I did my best to make up for the lack of effort on his part, I only managed a couple of rashers of bacon, toast and a croissant. Still, it was technically free so it didnít matter too much.

After returning to the room and packing up our last few bits, we gathered our hand luggage together and walked over to the terminal. We were through security easily enough and heading straight for duty free since I really wanted to buy some perfume. I had been promising myself I would buy it for months so was really disappointed when the duty free didnít have it

To cheer myself up, I bought some really expensive blinged-up flip-flops from Accessorize. Sadly, this turned out to be a big mistake as I canít (and never have been able to) wear flip-flops. Iím still, to this day, not entirely sure what possessed me, however, my best friend Natalie ended up getting herself a nice new pair of shoes out of the deal so somebody was happy

By 10.30 we were boarding and we took off dead on time Ė a first, for us, on an outbound flight with Virgin. The flight is one of the times I really appreciate not having kids with us (especially Daniel) as we are able to relax, read, watch films without constant interruptions (well, only those of the cabin crew) and generally enjoy 9 hours of peace and quiet.

I spent most of the flight reading but also managed to get a couple of films watched. The Disappearance of Alice Creed, which is a British film with a cast of, literally, 3 people. It was really good, a got-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat type thriller. I also watched Date Night, which was pretty disappointing considering I normally find Steve Carellís films funny. Gary didnít enjoy it either.

The food was plane food, what more can I say. A choice of sweet and sour chicken or sausage and mash with a choc/raspberry (extremely sickly) Gu pudding.

Throughout the flight, we chatted on and off with a family sitting next to us who were staying at the Yacht Club. They hadnít been for a few years so were interested to know what might have changed since their last trip.

We landed 40 minutes early (again, practically unheard of) and followed the herds of people towards immigration. Imagine my disappointment when we arrived into the hall to find that the set-up had changed and you could no longer just head to the right in the hope of being called forward to the US Citizens line

Still, we got through immigration quickly enough, collected our luggage and hire car and were on the road in record time, by 4pm.

Within half an hour, we were checking in to the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. We had booked a King room and got a great Stay More, Save More rate. I had requested a high floor, theme park view in tower 1. Although we got a tower 1 room, the lady on reception apologised as ther ewere no theme park view rooms left. Although it would have been nice, I didn't much care. I was just thrilled to be there. The room was lovely, with a swish Keurig coffee (and tea, to Garyís delight) maker, and plenty of space for the two of us.





No theme park view but a 'woods and glimpse of pool' view



As we had made such good time, it seemed a shame not to visit a park and, since I could hardly wait any longer to see Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we decided to catch the boat and head over to Islands of Adventure. We walked down to the boat dock and had a short wait for the next water taxi.



We had a slight problem at will-call when I realised I had left my photo ID in the room but, luckily, since I had my RPR room key and other cards with my name on, they let me exchange my voucher for a ticket. And we were in.

I was so excited. We have never, ever visited a park on the day of arrival before. It all felt a little surreal, being in the glorious Orlando sunshine at Islands of Adventure, having just left a dull and not particularly warm England that same morning.

As desperate as we were to see WWOHP, we couldnít walk past The Hulk without a ride. And, with our room keys, we were on in less than 5 minutes. A quick trip on Dr Doom and we hot-footed it round to see Harry Land.







Wow! I have to say, I really hadnít known what to expect and I was amazed Ė and stunned. It was absolutely brilliant. And thatís from someone who isnít that big of a fan so I can imagine, to the die-hard Harry Potter fans, it must seem completely awesome. The only thing that felt odd was being there in shorts and t-shirt in brilliant sunshine with Ďsnowí on all the rooftops. Very weird.

WWOHP was still pretty busy but we had not intention of riding anything this evening as we would be coming back the next day. We were content just to wander and take pictures. When we got to the Hogwarts Express, the conductor asked me if I had escaped from Azkhaban since I was wearing a stripey shirt. He told me I had to be careful not to get captured and taken back and that, next time, I should wear something floral







Gary was starting to flag and we were both in need of food so we left IOA and caught the water taxi back to RPR. After collecting the keys and my bag from the room, we drove to Friendlys on International Drive.

We just love Friendlys. It is cheap and cheerful and certainly not haute cuisine but itís great for us.

We shared some mozzarella sticks, a chicken tenders platter and Gary had a shake Ė he had ordered a Fribble (Friendlys speciality) shake but got just a regular thick shake. He was too tired to send it back, though, so drank it anyway but said that we needed to come back later in the trip so he could get his Fribble fix.





We paid the check ($30 inc tip) and drove back up to RPR. We unpacked a little bit. Gary was most surprised to see a spider (only a small one) in with his stuff when he emptied his hand luggage and we did wonder if it had hitched a lift from the UK.

We were unpacked and in bed by 9.30. Zzzzzzzzz.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:01 PM   #2
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A spider in my bag would have freaked me out.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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great start, we've never yet managed to make our accommodation before dark - we'll keep trying until we manage it. The reason - DH's lack of navigational skills and lack of trust in mine
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #4
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Perfect travel day. Really enjoying your belated trippie. Fab pics

Tina
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:42 AM   #5
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I LOVE the 1st day best and yours sounded extra specail
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:56 AM   #6
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The hotel room loves lovely Joh. Great to be so near to the parks.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:19 AM   #7
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I agree the hotel room was lovely.

How great is it that you made great time and got to head straight to a park!

I'm a big HP fan and I agree it's brilliant, the themeing to top notch. x
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:56 AM   #8
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Joh, you have just made me want to book another stay at The Royal Pacific

What a lovely arrival day, we usually just wander around looking like zombies on our first evening but I may take a leaf out of your book on our next trip
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
To cheer myself up, I bought some really expensive blinged-up flip-flops from Accessorize. Sadly, this turned out to be a big mistake as I canít (and never have been able to) wear flip-flops. Iím still, to this day, not entirely sure what possessed me, however, my best friend Natalie ended up getting herself a nice new pair of shoes out of the deal so somebody was happy
Way to score, Natalie!

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Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
We walked down to the boat dock and had a short wait for the next water taxi.
Awesome self-portrait!!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:30 AM   #10
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Great start Joh
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
A spider in my bag would have freaked me out.
It was only tiny Claire - I am a complete arachnaphobe and I was OK with it

Quote:
Originally Posted by loobzuk View Post
great start, we've never yet managed to make our accommodation before dark - we'll keep trying until we manage it. The reason - DH's lack of navigational skills and lack of trust in mine
Gary has learned to (have to) trust my navigational skills otherwise we'd never get anywhere. Gotta admit. though, this was the earliest we'd ever made it to our accommodation

Quote:
Originally Posted by strawberry blonde View Post
The hotel room loves lovely Joh. Great to be so near to the parks.
It really was a lovely hotel Lesley and we enjoyed staying there. We are looking forward to going back this summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by princess_ariel_85 View Post
I agree the hotel room was lovely.

How great is it that you made great time and got to head straight to a park!

I'm a big HP fan and I agree it's brilliant, the themeing to top notch. x
It really was a great feeling to be in a park on arrival day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Joh, you have just made me want to book another stay at The Royal Pacific
Do it Linda - it must be about time to book your 2013 trip anyway, isn't it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
What a lovely arrival day, we usually just wander around looking like zombies on our first evening but I may take a leaf out of your book on our next trip
So do we normally - and, to be fair, Gary did look like a zombie within a couple of hours

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Way to score, Natalie!
She's a lucky girl

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Originally Posted by runskyhy View Post
Awesome self-portrait!!!
Why, thank you Wendy - that's quite a compliment from an accomplished photographer such as yourself

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Great start Joh
Thanks hun
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:03 AM   #12
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Great start I love the look of WWoHP.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:57 AM   #13
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Just started to read Jo. Am not feeling well on valentines day dave snoring next to me after his night shift so a TR session in order to cheer me up. Great start too I must say. We hv never once made it to a park on our first day. Really must try it. Love the RPR. Really tranquil resort. Did club level as was a special deal. Off to read the next day
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:25 PM   #14
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Your Trippie has been on my list of things to do for ages and today I found the time to make a start and woo-hoo what a start! Love your room at Royal Pacific and love that you were able to hot foot it to the park on your arrival day - fun!! I did WWoHP back in 2010 but it was heaving and I didn't really get to appreciate it fully. Friendlys ... gosh I have to take Cinderfella there as it used to be one of my favourites years ago.

Love that you take the time to do Trippies!
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