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Old 10-19-2006, 04:12 PM   #1
Who says these things pass you by.....
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Laur’s & Andy do the Universe and the World – Day One

Laur’s & Andy do the Universe and the World – Day One

Me – Laur’s – 27
DH – Andy – 28

Day one – 21 September 2006 – Are we nearly there yet?

Well, after counting down from over 100 days, the morning finally dawned and we were off to Florida again! The usual frantic panicking from me had been in full force for at least a week, and I was wishing (as usual I might add) that I could just magic us there. I had checked and rechecked (and rechecked and, you get the idea) our hand luggage against the hand luggage regulations, pondered many times whether hand wipes were allowed, and what difference it made that we had safety matches (surely you can still set things on fire with them?!)

The taxi arrived to take us to Manchester at 6.15 am. The taxi driver was very concerned with how much everything cost at Disney and proceeded to question us on this, far too early in the morning for me and I let Andy field most of the questions. We got to the airport about 7.30am and checked in fairly quickly thanks to the delights of Premium Economy. We were also told that we could use the fast track passport control queue which was great as we had been expecting to have to wait a l-o-n-g time to get through. We got through quickly and easily, and went to a café to share a ham and tomato sandwich, and a hot chocolate for me and latte for Andy. We smoked a lot as usual in these situations, and bought some cigarettes which meant we got a cheap bottle of gin. I was quite surprised that we were allowed this, but they had the system of picking up your duty free at the gate in place.

We boarded the plane at 9.30 am, had our welcome drink (orange juice for me and champagne for Andy), and I gave Andy his lyrics quiz to puzzle over. We didn’t set off until about 10.45 am, by which time I was already fed up of being on the plane. We got drinks and snacks pretty much as soon as the plane was up – Andy had a Stella and I got a diet cola, and the yummy Worcester Sauce pretzels. In no time at all they we round with lunch at 12 noon, I had hardly had time to ooo and aah over the make up in the duty free magazine. We both had beef for lunch, which came with potatoes, carrots and broccoli, greek pasta salad, bread roll, cheese and crackers and a Gu chocolate pudding (soooo good). We had a baileys after that and then settled down to watch Over the Hedge – cute film. We also watched most of the Da Vinci Code though I dosed through this so need to watch it again. We had a strawberry choc ice type of thing in the afternoon, and then tea at 6 pm – a chicken caesar salad sandwich with apple slices and red grapes.

The flight overall took eight and a half hours (plus the eternity we seemed to sit on the plane for before it took off) which was too long for me. The air conditioning seemed to be blowing worse than usual and I felt pretty terrible for the last couple of hours of the flight and just couldn’t wait to get off. When we did arrive in Orlando a miracle occurred. For the first time in five visits – we filled the visa waiver form in correctly – hallelujah! We nipped outside for a cigarette before picking up the luggage, and whilst looking for our “safety” matches, lo and behold what did I find in my coat pocket but a lighter! So much for all my checking and rechecking! We collected the cases, and Andy left me sat with them whilst he sorted out the car. He had been able to get us a great deal on a Chrysler Sebring, which we were both excited about. Finally, out into the sunshine and off to the Hard Rock Hotel!

Now, I’m sure some of you will have heard me say (seriously, I tell everyone this) that the Hard Rock Hotel is the only hotel I’ve ever wanted to live in – it’s true. There is music playing almost everywhere which is the major draw for me, but the plush rock star mansion styling doesn’t disappoint either. We pull up, park up and skip up to reception to check in.

We get our room assigned no problem and are welcomed back to the HRH. Also, given our free CD (you get a CD with a few rock tracks on to keep) and a map of the hotel. Over to the concierge desk to pick up our park tickets (which I somehow amazingly got free with the room package, yes, I even surprised myself) and then off to explore the room.

I was a bit disappointed that by the time we arrived it was a little late to go to Universal Studios, but it shut at 5 pm. So we sorted the luggage and showered and started to feel a bit human again. As I am a member of the Loews scheme, a guy came to the room to deliver us our free gift. We had the surprise regional gift which was a HRH pin (uber cool, especially as I collect them) and a HRH tin with a big chocolate coin in, and a card welcoming us to the hotel.

We then went out for our usual first night tea at McDonalds. I got a Happy Meal as always, one because this is our umpteenth meal of the day, and two because I am a big child and am always more interested in the toy than the food! I got what was supposedly a girl’s Happy Meal, but the toy was a Hummer! Not to worry, that is one of my most favourite cars.

After tea we dropped the car off and went for a drink from the walk up bar at Margaritaville. I was hoping that the alcohol would take the edge off how ill I was feeling since the plane journey. It didn’t work, but at least I had my first strawberry margarita in ages. We amused ourselves by watching another customer who was playing the ring toss game and trying to get other passersby to do the same. He managed to get loads of people involved but I sadly didn’t feel up to it. Left after one drink and straight to bed.

May 2001 DLRP Santa Fe/September 2002 WDW All Star Music/December 2003 DLRP Sequoia Lodge/September 2004 WDW Wyndham Orlando/Pop Century/May 2005 WDW Hard Rock Hotel/Coronado Springs/Disney Wonder/April 2006 WDW Pop Century/ September 2006 WDW Hard Rock Hotel/Animal Kingdom Lodge/September 2007 WDW Wyndham Orlando/Hard Rock Hotel/Polynesian/Pop Century

Last edited by arieljasmine; 10-21-2006 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:49 PM   #2
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I had a Sebring my first two visit's and loved it!

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Old 10-19-2006, 07:39 PM   #3

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Great start. Hope you are feeling better tomorrow

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Old 10-20-2006, 02:38 AM   #4
I need a cup of tea and a big bar of free chocolate now
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I will be back later to stalk some more
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brilliant start....i am always freezing on planes hope you are better tomorrow
April 2003 DLRP, November 2004 WDW and Barbados, September 2005 WDW, September 2007 WDW,October 2009 WDW

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Old 10-20-2006, 02:39 AM   #5
Has had Capt. Jack Sparrow on her desktop !!??
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Great start Looking forward to tomorrow
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:39 AM   #6

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I have always booked myself
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Hard rock Hotel sounds great,I hope you feel better tommorow
Rachel "Play up Pompey, Pompey Play up"

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Old 10-20-2006, 05:54 AM   #7

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Who's Next??
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Excellent start ~ Looking forward to day two
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:30 AM   #8
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Excellent start. I know what you mean about those visa waiver forms, I hate doing them.

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Old 10-20-2006, 06:49 AM   #9
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Enjoyed the start - HRH is the coolest hotel in the world
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Old 10-20-2006, 03:32 PM   #10
If It's Not A Bahama Mama Then I'm Not Interested
Can I put my Christmas Tree up yet ?
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Great start Laur's, the HRH sounds fab
Mandy xx

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Old 10-21-2006, 02:51 PM   #11
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Great start, looking forward to the rest

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Old 10-24-2006, 11:48 AM   #12
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Great start off to read some more.
April 2005 - Rodeway Inn International - September 2005 - Radisson Barcelo International Drive - May 2006 - Pop Century - September 2006 - All Star Music - January 2007 - All Star Movies September 2007 - All Star Movies - January 2008 - All Star Sports - December 2008 - All Star Movies - September 2009 - POFQ - September 2010 - OKW - January 2011 - OKW - November 2011 - OKW, GF & AKL - May 2012 - Kidani, OKW - January 2013 - OKW & Kidani

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Old 10-25-2006, 03:57 AM   #13
Repeat after me....I LOVE CROC's, I LOVE CROC's, I LOVE CROC's!!!!!!
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Great report!
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:38 AM   #14
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Great report
June 2003 & August 2004 - Off-site Wyndham Orlando (I-Drive)December 2005 - Off-Site Doubletree at Universal. July 2005, December 2006, August 2007, December 2008, August 2009 & December 2010 - Marriott Fairfield LBV - August 2013 on site Disney's Yacht Club - December 2013 Marriott Fairfield LBV

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Old 10-30-2006, 02:28 PM   #15
I keep trying to convert everybody, but they just don't want to be converted
I can only get a tag if its near the weekend. a monday, tuesday and some wednesdays are definately no tag days
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I was absolutely freezing this year on the plan over to Orlando and really hot on the way back! I felt just like you the last couple of hours over to Orlando seemed to last forever and were so unpleasant. DD got a sore throat a couple of hours after landing and I am sure it was because of the full on air conditioning.

Thanks for the great report.

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