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  • Day5

    Rolling with the thunder and lightening

    May 20 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    Today was a ‘resort day’. We slept until 10AM - that is what Animal Kingdom did to us. We made our way to the quick serve eatery at the resort for coffee, Mickey waffles and cereal.

    Then off to the pool. The forecast was rain in the afternoon so we did not expect to get much pool time. But, what we have learned is common, the weather totally shifted from the forecast and we had a m sunny pool day. The kids made friends, rode and re-rode the water slide and joined the poolside activities. They even found some of the treasure a pirate buried earlier in the day. We did a load of laundry at the very handy laundry room. Then at 4PM, with limited warning the skies turned black and we went inside to watch a movie and have a rest.

    Hit the boardwalk just after 6 to go ride the gondola that leaves from near our resort, but it was down because of the weather. Then we went to do a boat ride but the boats were down too. Lightening was in the area. No gondola, boats or campfires to go to. We headed into the resort and discovered a solarium with chipper ‘cast members’ who are now entertaining our children.

    It is 8:30PM now. Kids are entertained and Mel is off to pick up our take away orders from one of the resort restaurants and we will dine in the solarium where the kids can be maniacs and watch Zootopia. We may need to get a timeshare.

    Have a magical night.
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    Jonathan Karpetz

    Impressive swimming skills from Eleanor!

    Lorie Burns

    That pool is amazing! Seems to be everything you had heard about it. There are so many interesting and fun activities for the kids just at the pool. So glad the weather held out for you for the most part. I’m sure you appreciated the downtime!

    Heather Parry

    Wow, I think I’m on thew wrong vacation!!

    What a great trip! Looks like too much fun! Linda and John [Linda and John]

  • Day3

    Around the world at Epcot

    May 18 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Okay - quick primer. Epcot is all about the world with a civilization bent. It has the iconic globe which covers both human history and futuristic space type stuff. Then there is a large lake surrounded by “pavilions” from twelve countries. Each pavilion has experiences (food, rides, concerts) that are culturally connected to the country represented.

    Epcot is said to have the best food of the Disney parks since it has offerings from a variety of countries. Our resort is a 10 minute boardwalk stroll from the France pavilion so we set out at 9AM with empty stomachs to be filled at the patisserie.

    Shortly after getting onto the boardwalk Goofy, Donald Duck and Pluto came out to say hi to the kids who were equal parts thrilled and scared. It felt like we were in a Disney resorts commercial - maybe we were?

    Once at the France pavilion Melissa kindly waited in line at the patisserie while the kids and I took in a Beauty and the Beast sing-along attraction. Belle is from France so Beauty and the Beast feature prominently at the pavilion along with Ratatouille. Eleanor was annoyed people were signing at the sing along, but otherwise it was a great way to wait for croissants and tartes. Carb loaded and sunscreened we tackled the walk around the lake which is 1.2 miles but feels WAY longer in 35+ degree heat.

    Norway was our destination because it is home to Arrendale, where Elsa and Anna live. One of the reasons we chose Epcot is the new, very popular ride created around the Frozen characters in the Norway pavilion. Melissa woke up at 7 am to deploy two layers of paid privilege that allowed us to book a time to go on the ride. At 11:40, we arrived, scanned our cards and basically walked on. The ride was excellent. Very elaborate - very Disney. Eleanor was scared so it was more for the rest of us in the end. It was a boat ride and everyone left a little wet which helped us keep cool.

    We checked out a mariachi band at the Mexico pavilion and then another ride about the development of communication through the ages in the iconic Epcot dome.

    At 1PM we went to Space 220. Having learned yesterday it is wise/necessary to have reservations for food, I made this one late last night. Space 220 is a new experiential dining restaurant where you are brought 220 miles into space, via very convincing simulation, to dine looking down at earth. It is ‘fine’ dining meaning the food is not deep fried and there is a server. Expensive, time consuming, but memorable.

    Post-lunch we went back for a siesta at the resort and then u-turned back to Epcot in the evening. The kids protested; they wanted to check out the very exciting resort pool which they have yet to play in.

    10 minutes after arriving back at Epcot we got caught in a torrential downpour that lasted about 30 minutes. At first we all huddled under an umbrella and then the kids got bored of huddling and danced in the rain. Our ponchos and umbrellas were left behind at the resort. We had some dry clothes for Eleanor but nothing for Malcolm. Lessons were learned.

    We finished the day at a building devoted to Nemo and friends. More rides, immersive experiences and some live dolphins and manatees (which made me feel sad).

    Before crossing the bridge back to our resort for bed we paused at the France pavilion to watch Epcot’s big fireworks show accompanied over speakers by music from around the world. The kids played with their glow sticks and we ate French crepes.

    It is 11:30 now. Kids are asleep. Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom and at this point I know virtually nothing about it, nor do we have a reservation to eat. Epcot is walking distance. Animal Kingdom is not which likely effects how we plan our day. Mel and I will need to figure all of that out - plus what ride we want to book at 7AM. Whatever we end up eating or whichever rides we go on we will be accompanied by ponchos.

    Have a magical night.
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    Heather Parry

    That’s a cute picture

    Heather Parry

    Looks like you guys were in Europe yesterday as well! Hope you enjoy the animals today. We have a travel day today.

    Lorie Burns

    They are so brave!

    12 more comments
  • Day21

    Harry Potter World of Wizardry

    May 17 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Bec has grown up with Harry Potter and as parents of a young 7 yr old we also became devout followers of the cult storyline.
    Passing through the halls of Hogwarts and experiencing the entirety of the town of Hogsmeade and the wizardry with Diagon Alley and the laneways of Nocturn Alley brought so much of the movies to life. Such a wonderful experience.Read more

    Fantastic! Again bringing more memories for us. Loved all the parks in Florida so good for any age.xx [Jean.x]

    Lady Sue Stafford

    Hi Jean, I’m glad you are enjoying the posts. Going on a fan boat swamp ride tomorrow.

    He wasn’t called Captain Jack was he? We did the Airboat inland from Port Canaveral. It was brilliant.x [Jean.x]

    Lady Sue Stafford

    Haha, no we had a lady. Hope you are all well.

    3 more comments
  • Day14

    On The Homeward Stretch

    May 14 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Fully replenished we stop for an Ice Cream before heading to the next brewery, this may be a big mistake.

    Next one up is The Caledonian Brewing, this was my least favourite (Deb)

    Then last but not least we make it to the Soggy Bottom Brewery. This is the nearest to the place where we are staying.

    Martin and Mark change from beer to Cider, Pineapple and Peach flavours, this could be a mistake, but we seem fine at the moment.

    Now comes the hard bit, crossing 4 lanes of traffic, thank god for traffic lights.

    Safely back at the ranch and not too worse for wear we have another drink, well why not, and a couple of games of 'Sorry' before turning in for the night.
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    I'm sure there's words for this photograph but just at this moment, they fail me! [Fiona]

    I could find far worse words to describe his backside!!! [Fiona]

    "You light up my life!" [Fiona]

    Martin and Debbie Kinally

    That's one spooky picture x

    2 more comments
  • Day18

    SpaceX Liftoff

    May 14 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    What a once in a lifetime event, being at Cape Canaveral when a launch is in progress, also having access to the VIP viewing area at Banana Creek.
    What cannot be expressed in this post is the vibration and thundering sound that came to us 20 seconds or so in, it was absolutely incredible, the video cannot do it justice.Read more

    Bernie de Git

    WOW!!@ How awesome is that, and perfect timing to be at the right place at the right time. Feeling so envious of you guys. 👌👌👌💖💖💖

    Robert Wallbridge

    That was really something to see

    Geoff Hansen

    I can only imagine the sound when you’re right there. The crackle sounds awesome. Can tick that one of guys.

    3 more comments
  • Day11

    Naples by night

    May 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Early evening we walk into town along 5th Avenue, a road packed full of expensive shops and restaurants, most of which seem to be Italian.

    We continue walking until we reach the beach, beautiful white sand but as there is quite a breeze the sea looks a bit choppy. We walk along the shoreline until we reach the Pier and then head back into the town in search of a drink and a meal. The price's in these restaurants is quite a bit more than we expected but then again when we looked in a realtors window you don't get much around here for under a couple of million dollars.

    We have a drink in a bar and then it's The Old Pub for a burger. We then retrace our way back down 5th Avenue which is now lit up with fairy lights around the Palm trees, halfway back we sit and listen to a busker playing the violin, he was very good.
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    this is a beautiful picture of you Mum...Next profile pic on FB xx [sarah]

    Martin and Debbie Kinally

    Ah thanks xx

    good one of you too dad xx [sarah]

    6 more comments
  • Day9

    The Speakeasy Inn

    May 9 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We're stopping at The Speakeasy Inn on Duval Street, which is the main street in Key West.

    It is a Rum Bar with rooms, a lovely white wooden building with balconies all around the upper floor.

    The room is very comfortable and has a mini kitchen so we can make our own breakfast.

    After a rest and freshen up and a rum cocktail in the bar we head off into town for some food.
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    That looks lovely, good find Martin [Fiona]

    A pint and a Map always makes Martin smile [Fiona]

    Lovely photo Deb, hope it was a good pint! [Fiona]

    4 more comments
  • Day9

    The Drive To Key West

    May 9 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    On the road again, (that's just for you Mark). We're up and off early today as we have a fair way to go and we want to get past Miami before there's too much traffic. What is it they say about best laid plans.. We end up sitting in a traffic jam for over an hour due to a 'fender bender'.

    Once past Miami the traffic thins a bit and the journey becomes less tense.

    We stop in Key Largo for breakfast at a Cuban café and Martin has his first stack of pancakes, with sausage and syrup.

    Driving down the I1 through the Key's was interesting, the sea is an amazing colour and the town's have lovely houses situated right on the seafront, but there doesn't seem to be many beaches. The town's are literally either side of the road.

    We stopped at Robbie's Marina for a leg stretch and to watch people feeding the Tarpon fish and to watch the Pelican's trying to pinch the fish.

    Onwards over the 7 mile bridge and we stop again at Bahia Honda Park for another leg stretch and a paddle in the sea. We also snuck in an Ice Cream, Mart's was Moose flavoured.
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    Did you make the leap across that Deb!! [Fiona]

    Beautiful scenery down there and crystal blue sea❤ [Fiona]

    Lookin good road trippers! [Fiona]

    4 more comments
  • Day8

    Palm Beach

    May 8 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Up early today as we are leaving Fi and Mark at the villa and heading off on our own. (They really could do with a rest from us, bless them.)

    We are heading off to Palm Beach, to Bates' Motel, no not really but we are staying at a 1960's Motel.

    Traffic was not too bad so we made good time, think we may need a car wash though after getting covered in MayFlies.

    We arrived early but were able to check in, room is very good much better than I expected.

    We pop next door for a spot of lunch before calling a taxi to take us into town.
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    May bugs are a pain but we have been VERY lucky up to now. APND this is not a bad year!! [Fiona]

    Glad to hear this was OK for your overnight x [Fiona]

    See I told you that it would be 👍 [Fiona]

    2 more comments
  • Day6

    Everglades National Park

    May 7 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Hoje saímos de casa às 8h e seguimos para o Everglades National Park! Parámos numa bomba de gasolina a meio da viagem para comer o pequeno almoço. A zona do parque por onde entrámos está surpreendentemente perto de Miami, apenas a 45 minutos de carro (sem trânsito!).

    Chegámos ao "Coopertown The Original Airboat Tour" para o qual já tínhamos comprado vouchers e só foi preciso aparecer lá numa altura qualquer para os redimir.

    Primeiro assiste-se a um pequeno show sobre jacarés, são apresentados os jacarés que o sítio tem em cativeiro e deixam-te segurar e fazer festas num jacaré bebé (com 2 anos), depois finalmente vai-se numa airboat tour pelo parque (só que nós fizemos isto pela ordem inversa).

    A nossa airboat tour durou 1 hora e pudemos ver muitos jacarés, pássaros e ficar a conhecer um pouco do habitar! Acho que de vez em quando também se apanha tartarugas, mas nós não as vimos 😢 O nosso guia foi muito engraçado e informativo!

    Depois da airboat tour ainda fomos até ao Shark Valley e demos uma volta a pé onde vimos mais jacarés e bebés jacarés!

    Quando saímos do Shark Valley parámos para comer num restaurante local onde provámos alligator bites, frog legs e catfish!

    Depois continuámos a viagem até Miami.
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    Sofia Oliveira

    Está ficou nice. Com a câmara?

    Helena Frutuoso Oliveira

    Esta foi com o telemóvel ahaha

    Sofia Oliveira


    2 more comments

You might also know this place by the following names:

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