Leon and I took my parents’ lead and booked into the Manchester Airport Hilton for dinner, bed and breakfast the night before the flight. This was mainly to avoid the rush-hour train we would have had to take on Monday morning otherwise.
The room was fine, although the view from the window was of a roof, and it was noisy with the window open – then it is under the flight-path! The windows were soundproof anyway. Leon and I arrived at about noon, so we had a pricey lunch in the hotel and then whiled away some time in the beer garden. Mum and Dad arrived a bit later and we had a lovely dinner in the hotel restaurant.
We finished breakfast pretty early, and so headed off to the airport to meet Gayle and her boyfriend, Paul.
Waiting for the flight was its usual mind-numbing boredom (and no knitting!) I had provisions though – two chocolate flapjacks!
We were flying on a 747 300, which has an upstairs. However we didn’t get individual TVs – I didn’t mind though as the movies weren’t to my taste.
We arrived in Florida at around 5pm local time (about 10pm UK time). There was a minor panic (not me) when Paul had to explain why he had a new passport (coz the old one ran out – duh) but the security man who checked Leon’s and my passport was really nice. Bag collection was smooth, Sanford airport is so much of an improvement compared to Orlando International!
We picked up the rental car (sorry, no pic yet) which was a Dodge Grand Caravan. It was pretty pants, really. It didn’t handle well, the ride wasn’t especially comfortable – the Caravan (not Grand) that we had the time before was much nicer.
Then off we went to the Villa…
Some road works and a missed turning later, the villa is fabulous. It was a four bedroom three bathroom villa, it could sleep up to ten! My sister graciously let Leon and I have the double room, mum and dad took the king room and Gayle and Paul took both twin rooms! Our bathroom was en-suite, and the towels were folded into an elephant (nice touch!).
There was even a loo-roll available! Leon unpacked a bit – I didn’t. I don’t like to have my stuff in other people’s drawers, it feels odd. Anyway, other than not being able to turn on the lamp (try plugging it in, dummo) the room was smashing, so we stripped to our swimwear and tested the pool. Some of the group (not me and Leon) went to Publix (an American supermarket, a bit like Waitrose) to buy some bits.
The next morning we were all up early (still on UK time, you see) so we had plenty of time for a swim, breakfast, showering and getting sorted before going to see the Travel City reps down the road in Kissimmee itself. The rep was nice and gave us some useful information. Then she passed us on to another lady who said she could save us big money on some tickets to a show, and entry into a museum. (If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is) the catch was that we had to go have breakfast at some resort called Orange Lake. More about that on the bit about Day 3.
We all had a bit of a drive in the rental car, did a bit more shopping and played in the pool. Fairly uneventful. We also discovered that we had left the itinerary at home but as we could remember it, and our plans had changed due to the rescheduled shuttle launch, that was okay. It was hot, there was no rain and it was not humid.
That’s all for now, I’ll do the next few days tomorrow or something.
Oh - there's some pics on Flickr (see link nr top - I'm tired) but only up to this day, and only if you're listed as a friend or family. If you want to be listed as a friend or family you need a Flickr account, then you can do so. Provided that I have the foggiest idea who you are, I'll add you (probably). This is so that pics of my family aren't all over the web, as requested by them at various times!