Tuesday, 11th November Were fairly late rising this morning and by the time Ive written up yesterdays trip notes and weve carried out our ablutions, its around 11:30am before were ready to head out for the day. No matter how many times I remind him of the havoc to be wreaked by the Florida humidity, Matt will insist on straightening his hair every day . We want a relaxing day as were off to the Magic Kingdom for Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party this evening and have deliberately left the itinerary free. We elect to head to Pointe Orlando and specifically to Maggianos Little Italy as its been on the to do list for several trips now. After parking up in the garage, its still a little early for lunch, so we set off with the intention of doing a full circuit of the lower level shops, before returning to Maggianos. We half-heartedly browse Foot Locker before moving on to the Boardwalk surf shop which has moved to a smaller unit roughly opposite its former location. Its not nearly as nice. The old place was fairly big and cleverly conceptualised, with a distressed wooden floor and a tiki hut style pay-station at its centre (it was so authentic, Matt tried to get a drink there on more than one occasion). Its now housed in a homogenised single unit with no theming. Yet another victim of the economic downturn, I guess. Were the only people in the store (in fact, we may well be the only people at the Pointe, full stop) and the young assistant wants to chat. Hes originally from Michigan and apparently knows our good friend Susan (who lives there) well. OWN-LEE KIDD-ING! (Hes only ever met her the once. ) He reckons Brits all go crazy for Fit Flops and always seem to be keen to show him their photos of Sea World. We assure him well be doing neither (although we do have a penchant for Scholls and some snaps of the Saltdean Lido if hes interested). All trip, Ive been trying to get Matt interested in looking at wallets as his is falling apart. Here I successfully convince him to look at an Oakley one, which, to my amazement he loves and is paying for before I can wheel out my now polished argument about precisely why he needs to be showing some enthusiasm for the task. I think the price-tag of $52 (for full leather) may have spurred his eagerness as its considerably cheaper than the others Ive seen and is undoubtedly a small price to pay to silence my nagging. As we approach Tommy Bahamas Tropical Café, the lure becomes too great for both of us and, knowing that this may not only be our last opportunity this trip, but for some time to come, we find ourselves perched at the bar ordering lunch. I cant resist the Crab Bisque as its so delicious and Matt goes out on a limb with the Scallop Sliders. We both follow up with cheeseburgers, cooked medium. In our haste, we forget to take photos of the starters and achieve just one blurred burger shot. Matt swills his down with one each of the Bungalow Brew and Bungalow Blonde, whilst I imbibe of a Tommys Twisted Mojito and a Flip Flop Orange Drop martini which has a fabulous cinnamon sugar rim (and which our bartender tells me is called Li Hing Mui). Back at the car, we decide to take a drive south along Universal Boulevard and out past Rosen Shingle Creek where we spent a few nights a couple of years back. Were always interested to see how the Central Florida area is developing and we discover that The Westin is now complete and theres a new Publix opposite the entrance to Rosen Shingle Creek, cradled between the two condo resorts of Vista Cay and The Isles at Cay Commons. We continue on our journey looking out for a liquor store to get what we want to take home, and quickly spot one next to a Publix on the junction of the Central Florida Parkway and Orangewood Blvd. We buy Tommy Bahama Sand rum and Wild Turkey Russells Reserve bourbon, neither of which are available in the UK. We also want a bottle of wine for a planned evening in front of the TV tomorrow evening (tune in for tomorrows enthralling instalment for details), but are struggling to get excited about the offerings in the liquor store, so we head next door to Publix. Its small and old with a limited selection, so we jump in the car and head back to the new Publix weve just passed opposite Rosen Shingle Creek. Its smaller than the one we visited on Sand Lake Road a couple of days back, but very nice nonetheless, and were tempted by the amazing fresh cakes in the bakerys chiller cabinet. We each choose one for tomorrows TV extravaganza.