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Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

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Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Flew into Tampa which is a lovely clean and easy airport to navigate. Car rental next to baggage reclaim. No queues so straight onto I275 to Orlando for 4 Days at the Hilton Grand Vacation on International Drive. Nice place to stay with good facilities and great pool. Did not like the screen on the balcony or the building work that was still in progress but overall it was an excellent stay and the staff were nice. If you see this place cheap take it because it is really good value.

During the stay we ate with friends a few times but when we went out I tried to cross off the places you all had recommended :-

Texas de Brazil. excellent and just as everyone had predicted. The amount of meat was too much for me because I had gone large on the lovely salad bar. Good wines at reasonable price - impressive. Great value and well worth a visit but you must book to make things easy. I registered on their loyalty club and the reservation went thru Open Table and that all worked well.

Cheescake Factory was brill - I loved the cakes and the foods and the salads. Could never finish what they served me it was really well done and the servers have got their act just right. They were pleasant, polite and showed a sense of humour ... and served well.

This year I was shocked by the very few places that serve water with your meal as standard - I usually got it ... but I had to ask ... I just love that Florida water.

We shopped for days on end and lay by the pool for the rest ... except when we went to Sea World. It is a wonderful Park and I am glad we went there instead of Disney. We were given free tickets for Disney but did not use them because we wanted to do SeaWorld. I am glad we did because the whole day was excellent. We went back to HGVC for a swim, sun and some Premier outletting and then returned back for Shamu Rocks which was very impressive. The Americans do that sort of spectacle better than anyone. I think SeaWorld is excellent value and is one of the parks I would say is a must see. We went to the Busch hospitality suite for lunch and had a fabulous sandwich from the carvery before we did the BREWING presentation . We were very worried that we were wasting our time as we sat waiting to be called thru but it was brilliant - don't miss this. We tried beer after beer in their smaller glasses with cheeses and chocolates they suggested went with the taste. It was a really good experience - glad I had my ID.

After a lot more shopping at Millenia where I got the Discount voucher that was spent on getting money off some Diana Von Furstenburg dresses for Mrs V . We went to Buena Vista Outlet to get Lee Jeans and other stuff for me. I love Lee jeans and they were $18 each. They also sell Reef clothes and Wrangler among others - I never understand why more people do not use Vanity Fair for the denim, t shirt and Chino stuff. The weather was pretty rough during the time in Orlando and we worried that we would be hit by storms but after that first blip it was just VERY hot for the month of August.

I really enjoyed the shopping at the Premier Outlets and I am glad Belz has gone ... there is a new outlet in its place and will be opening up next month (I think) so there will be a lot of competition between the two places at each end of International Drive. On the way back from Millenia we stopped at Fuddruckers and had a huge burger each that stuffed us for the rest of that day. Good product in good surroundings - we will go there again.

Both confrontations with IHOP and Hilton Timeshare staff came to nothing after I had hyped myself up for days.

After all the shopping of things - we set off for our condo on the Gulf. It teemed down 'Florida' rain during the journey but became very hot as we travelled over the 'Courtney Cox' Bridge ( as we call it) and stayed that way all the time we were there. A storm hit Jamaica in mid August and caused huge damage in Mexico but we saw nothing of it because of the high over Florida that gave record temps. 95f with humidity giving a reading of 105.

I am sorry it is a ramble that will be done in parts but I did not want to make it ... well you know.

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11. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

An excellent TR,

and even better it shows how to have a good time in Orlando to newbies who might want to do too many parks lol.

Waiting for Part 2!

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12. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Great Trip Report Vegas. Look forward to reading the next part.

By the way, where is The Cheesecake Factory in Orlando?

Have been to the ones in San Fran and Waikiki and love the food.

Drogheda Ireland
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13. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Hi Vegas

Good report,sounds like you had another lovely Floridian holiday.I'm thrilled to hear your good reports about the HGVC on I.Drive.We've booked a 3 week stay there for next April.I'm rent a Timeshare from an owner so I got it a good price.

Love your food reports too.I must try theTexas de Brazil one,it sounds yummmmy

Drogheda Ireland
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14. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth


Sooooo sorry,I forgot to ask you,where and what if you know are the building works at HGVC?


Halifax, Canada
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15. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Hey Vegas, did ya go shopping? :) LOL Good trip report.

I agree with Vanity Fair in LBV outlets. I'm like a kid in a candy shop in there. We're planning to take the young grandkids to Seaworld this year and was wondering about the night time shows, if they would be worth keeping the kids up to see.

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16. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Nova - the Vanity Fair outlet is a gem that people tend to disregard but they sell top stuff. Why spend more for jeans and only have a limited selection - you choose from hundreds in there.

Irish - We stayed in Building 6 and building 7 was being completed this month. We had a look around the timeshare rooms and they were fabulous with the spec being exceptional. You have nothing to fear on that hoilday.

Disney - we went to the Cheesecake on Millenia.

If anyone is going in late August 08 please remember the dillard's slae. They reduce lines by 50% for the back to school sale and then 3rd Weekend in the month they reduce by another 30% so the prices become cheaper than the outlets and this is all top stuff. I only twigged it a few years ago but is creates a huge saving if you know what you want.

North Scituate...
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17. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Hey vegas,

Great report. Good to have you back! lol

Regina, Canada
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18. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Vegas darling,

It's so good to have you back!! As always, I can count on you for some concise and informative reporting!!!

Your advice is always heeded and welcome!

Continue on, my friend. I look forward to you next report. Could you please post it soon, as I'm waiting with baited breath!



Derbyshire, United...
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19. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth


I think perhaps I was rather hasty in my summation of your excellent trip report. Yes it is long but it is choc full of useful information & helpful travelling tips.

Glad you did Seaworld- it is such an uplifting feeling to see those majestic creatures dancing along to rock music. Wonderful. Just what nature intended.

Long & detailed as it is I am disappoionted that here is no mention though of Sweet Tomatoes or Bahama Breeze.

Are these in Part 2. Am I jumping the gun?

And you said you were going to Mount Dora. Did you?

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20. Re: Trip Report - Part 1 ...Revenge of the Sharkstooth

Your gun mistress Jenni has been well and truly jumped and ... I love to see Killer Whales jumping in time with Van Halen riffs - doesn't everyone?