Back nearly two weeks now and all I can say is thank goodness for melatonin, those babies have allowed me to sleep all night (opposed to the usual of a good night's sleep during the day, lol) This time I will just recount those things that stood out rather than a day by day as week one.
Islands of Adventure- DGD's favorite was Seussland, DH had her on 'one fish, two fish' on one of our previous visits (a much cooler day) so hadn't noticed that all the fish around the attraction were spraying water at various intervals, this time they came off the ride soaked but happy. We made our way across to the character meet & greet area so she could get photos with everyone except the Grinch, every time he moved toward her she ran for cover. Bless him though, he made grumpy signs to DD that he would pose for a photo and sign DGD's book (this he threw back at DD in a grump;)
We took her into the Seuss Landing water play area- she saw a toddler dressed only in a nappy so within seconds she was down to her underwear/pants (if this had been an Olympic sports she would have won a gold!) Lots of small areas for kids to play but I did feel that some of the other parents were a tad laid-back, literarily, lying in the shade while their offspring cavorted in the water. I know this is probably hyper vigilance but there were too many opportunities for someone to approach a child in this environment to be anything less than vigilant.
Although I'm not a HP officionado I had read on here that even people with motion issues were happy to have gone on the ride despite the queasiness. DD and I went on (20 minutes), we loved the queue once we were inside the building but neither of us could find any redeeming features in the ride itself.
MK FP+ On our final day in MK we decided to work the system so that DGD could get to meet as many princesses as possible so I put DH and my card through for three meet & greet and then DD & DGD through for another three. As long as the person zapping the card meets any height requirement I don’t think they are too fussy who goes through. She had her Cinderella dress and light up shoes on for her Cinderella meet and greet and C asked who had who’s dress on? DGD thought for a moment and said she had Cinderella's dress on because she is the best princess in the world, she got a really big hug for that. By chance we met Princess Tiana, another DGD fav who was on her way to the gazebo for the M&G but was still lovely when DGD ran up and launched herself at her.
I stood in line for 35 minutes for a dole whip while DD & DGD were inside waiting to meet the fairies. I know I am new to the whole joy of the dole whip but surely they could make them a bit quicker?!? Both sides of the counter were working but there didn’t seem to be a great deal of organisation.
Florida Mall- DGD went mad in the Disney shop, didn't know where to turn next! She got a Cinderella dress and the jelly-heeled shoes (these light up with every step, so lovely). I had forgotten to take my Sephora card with me so we shelved that for the Mall at Millennia. Went to 5 Guys for burgers and fries for lunch. I went for their bun-free option (metal container) it was lovely, small portions of regular and spicy fries, cooked to perfection.
Festival Bay- People were parking on the grass at the Premium outlet so we decided to go over to FB for a look at the work and a root beer float from Fuddruckers. It's so sad to see the FB this way but hopefully its new incarnation will work.
Mall at Millennia- Really chucking it down the day we were there so had to negotiate huge puddles to get into Cheescake Factory but it was sooo worth it for that alone! We thought that we would go for 2 starters rather than a main course but we were still stuffed by the time the cheesecake came. That may be why I was a bit underwhelmed with the sweet, I chose the ‘lower calorie’ fresh strawberry option, it was nice but just that.
If you have your Brit guide with you take it to the concierge desk and they will give you a gift, a MaM shopper to take home all your purchases. We spent a fortune in Sephora but apart from that the shops were a bit high end for my taste, I will wait for the stuff to appear in TJMaxx at 60% off ;))
Florida State Fair- We visited here the last trip to FL in 2010 and enjoyed the atmosphere. If you’ve not been, think Duck Dynasty meets Blackpool Pleasure Beach meets the Grand ol’ Opry meets Ideal Homeshow!!! My first experience of hot and spicy boiled peanuts! OMG stunning, i’ve seen them in the specialist aisles in publix/walmart but always thought they looked disgusting, how wrong was I?!?!? I also had a roasted corncob, now this is one of those things that I would never choose to eat in front of strangers but it was sooooo good! DH had his Bloomin’ Onion.... on his ‘to do’ list but after one wee bit i’m over it :/
While we were there we saw a couple perhaps in their late fifties with their son who was in a motorised wheelchair, he was perhaps twenty five years old wearing a US Marine t-shirt. This young man had part of his skull missing and his father fed him through a tube that went into his stomach. The mother was dancing in the rain using a cocktail umbrella as a parasol, we spoke and laughed with her. Before they left she said she was so lucky to have her boy home, seconds earlier I had been thinking how difficult their life must be. DH took DGD away for a wander as DD and I weren’t fit for much at that point, we were so grateful for our lives and those in it.
Manny’s Chop House- DD suggested that DH and I get out for the evening without them (they wanted peace....) We did the ring ahead to the Haines City location, got our number and headed out. From the map on their website it looked as if it was to the left just before the big Walmart in Haines but it as actually about half a mile past it on the right. It’s quite easy to spot, covered in neon signs.
We had got dressed for the occasion but you could just as easy turn up in overalls, there were all types there. There were about a dozen Hell’s Angels there, stunning bikes and one of the women had the leather waistcoat but it had the blingiest fasteners i’ve ever seen on a biker!
We had a 55 minute wait even after having called ahead, next time I would go earlier in the evening and take advantage of the happy hour, there were a lot of cocktails going out! The prices are amazing, we had the 14oz super sirloin..... like butter! I would say it was a bit more rare than my usual medium would have liked but I had the garlic smashed potatoes with it and it was one of the best steak meals i’ve ever had!
Regrets....(I’ve had a few, but then again lol!) Really disappointed that Lou Gramm didn’t make the Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock, we had to decline their kind offer to come along in the summer as for some reason they weren’t prepared to throw in a pair of flights :(
I only had about 2 three hour shopping/wandering sessions on my own, I normally wangle a week (or 10 days depending on the weather at Newark) in FL on my own before DH comes out. I like doing my own thing and while I know this was all about DGD I felt even more drained at the end of the 3 weeks than I usually do because there is usually quiet time to sit and contemplate the meaning of life or whether it’s Prime or Premium lol!
I didn’t even get to the Loop! It is on the cards for the next trip but it might be a while as DH reaches a big birthday (think bus passes;) so we are looking at driving the west coast states for three or four weeks. Thanks for sticking with the ramblings and as always, any questions just ask!