The big day has finally arrived. We fly to Orlando at 1pm
We set off at about 8.15/8.30am. (This is only 15-30mins after we planned – all good so far) and stop in for a breakfast at the “golden arches”
We’re all so excited and we are making good time until the car stutters and cuts out a few miles from the airport.
Fortunately, the car starts again and we make it to Gatwick airport without further mishap.
We find the offsite carpark that we’ve booked (it really does seem like it’s hidden down a lane) and get on the bus to the airport.
The youngest two have never flown before, and Scooter has only flown once, but at 9mths, obviously couldn’t recall it. Even Pixie can’t really remember it, as she was only 2 when she last flew.
We have fortunately pre-booked 6 seats together (2 rows of three, one behind the other), thanks to Virgin’s courtesy call a few days ago. On the outward flight, we’ve agreed that Squiggle sits by the window, me in the middle and Pixie in the aisle. Behind us, Tumble is by the window, Hub in the middle and Scooter in the aisle.
They are fascinated by the eye-masks, blankets and socks. Pixie decides to wear the socks. Tumble spends the entire journey wearing her eye-mask like a hairband.
The airline food is another source of fascination and delight (apart from Pixie was unimpressed with hers)
The flight goes incredibly smoothly – not so much as a cross word. That excitement really does help – in fact, I think Tumble spends the entire flight on a metaphoric high (thanks, in part, to the inflight films) and calls it the best day so far.
We land at Orlando International Airport at about 6pm their time. We spend rather a long time in the queue for immigration and then an equally long time (it seems) in the queue to collect the hire-car.
We finally make it to the hire car, a Dodge Caravan, and discover we needn’t have bought satnav… one is already built in and pretty much everything in the car is automatic or electric, including the sliding back doors.
On the way to the villa, we decide to get something to eat. We end up at a burger king (which turns out to be disappointing due to having to wait a ridiculous amount of time)
The villa is massive. There is an open plan, double-height sitting room/dining room at the front. The stairs go up to an open plan balcony/landing. There is a large L shaped room at the back, with the kitchen area, the breakfast area is behind it and another sitting area is to the right of the kitchen area.
The breakfast area and sitting area look out onto the pool, with patio doors from the sitting area. Off the sitting area is the fourth (double bedroom) and a bathroom. There is another door to the patio. The games room is behind the garage and contains a pool-table/table tennis, table football/foosball and indoor basketball thing.
Upstairs, the master bedroom is at the back, (over the kitchen/breakfast/sitting area). Through an arch, there is a door to the walk-in wardrobe and there is a massive ensuite (bath, shower, two sinks).
Also off the landing is the laundry room (containing a washing machine and dryer) and a cupboard (for towels)
There are two other double bedrooms upstairs, each with walk-in wardrobes and with a “Jack and Jill” ensuite between them.