Pre-trip Report March 2014

(according to Kev)

Written by Kev

This trip came about in a slightly unusual way. Sit down and grab your beverage of choice – I suggest a cold beer – this could take some time.

Our eldest daughter, India, finished her Renewable Energy degree from Exeter University and found herself a job as a Renewable Energy Planner in a company in Truro, although she still lived in Falmouth. She always liked Falmouth, but Cornwall is so far away from anywhere else in the country that it became increasingly difficult for her to indulge her passion for live music. It takes a lot of time and money to get to gigs and festivals when there is a minimum 400-mile round trip involved.
So, she decided to move back home and find a job in the local area. This she did quite easily, in fact she was offered several – clever girl is India.
Living back home with her family (or as I call it – sponging), she finally has some cash in her pocket thanks to her parents undying generosity in charging her a pittance for rent. There is a downside for her. She has to live in a tiny bedroom and when you are as untidy as India, that’s not easy. There have been many times when Tam has declared that we must have been burgled, as India’s room has been totally trashed.
Hang in there people – we’ll get round to how the trip came about very soon.

India’s best friend at Uni was Anna. They shared an interest in music and other things – boys and alcohol I suspect. India told Anna about Disney’s Cultural Representative Programme where young people from around the world work for Disney, usually in Epcot, for 12 months. Anna applied and was successful.
So Anna trotted off to Florida and India started planning a visit.

Meanwhile Georgia, the youngest daughter (20 years old – this is very important), got herself a job as an assistant in a local pharmacy, so she also had a bit of money in her pocket too. (Repeat the previous grumbles of loving parents working their fingers to the bone to keep their offspring in a life of luxury). When I say she has money in her pocket, this is not strictly true, as it doesn’t remain in her pocket for long. Her wardrobe is constantly being upgraded and her shoe collection rivals that of Imelda Marcos. Never one to knowingly miss the opportunity of a visit to Walt Disney World. Georgia and India talked about going together. They then booked two weeks in March 2014 staying at Port Orleans French Quarter.
Here is where the ‘20’ part becomes important. 21 being the legal drinking age in Florida, there will be no drinky-poos for Georgia.

So, you now know how the girls got to go, but how did Tam and I get to tag along? I’d grab another beer if I were you.

Both Tam and I had resigned ourselves to going somewhere else in the world in 2014, but we didn’t know exactly where. The limiting factor was time off work. With Glastonbury already booked and various other gigs lined up as well, there wasn’t going to be much time left for a holiday – two weeks at the most. One good thing is that we have the potential to take time off work unpaid, although we’ve never done this, primarily because I’m tighter than a duck’s bottom and always see it as potential income being lost. Anyway, I start to thinking that we could possibly fly out for one week to Orlando. The upside of this is that we could have another holiday later in the year, so it gives Tam the option of going somewhere else as well. Hmmm…. This is going to take a bit of devious planning on my part.

Less than 3 months until the girls are due to fly out and I look at potential flights and DVC availability. With Miles Plus Money flights with Virgin and free accommodation via the DVC, this might just be doable.

So we arrive at a Sunday lunchtime in the Stringer household in early January. I nearly always cook the Sunday lunch and make the cocktails ( I know, I spoil the woman). It’s not easy, toast doesn’t burn itself you know.
Tam has a nice relaxing pre-lunch bath and I make her a cocktail to enjoy. This little beauty is a mixture of absinthe, meths and diesel fuel. Tam looking slightly squiffy, we sit down to eat. A glass of wine with your lunch, madam? At this point I casually mention that we could join the girls in Orlando for the second week of their holiday as flights are available and we can get Kidani Village through the DVC. Tam looks through alcohol-glazed eyes and tries to focus on what I’m trying to explain to her. At some point she slurs something along the lines of ‘Oh, I suppose we could’. That’s all the encouragement I need. Flight tickets and accommodation are booked before dessert is even finished. So, there you have it. One week in Orlando staying at Kidani Village, which is a first for us.

Purely by coincidence - although I prefer to think it’s fate – our good friend Susan (from Oklahoma) is in WDW the first week the girls are there and her last full day is our first full day, so we are meeting up for a meal at Sanaa in the evening.

Our intention is not to rush around too much. We only have 3 meals booked – the aforementioned Sanaa, Via Napoli and Paradiso 37. This should allow for a more relaxed touring plan and some downtime for Tam to enjoy the Florida sunshine. India has also declared her intention to do a trip report for the first part of the first week of the holiday, I'll take over when Tam and I arrive. Could be fun.