Day 1 October 2017


Written by Kev

We wake up at the Premier Inn at 7.15am. I look out of the window and get excited to see the little train that shuttles back and forth between the terminals. Tam knows I'm excited as I hop from one foot to the other shouting 'There's a train! There's a train!'. I loves me a train.

We get the shuttle to the South Terminal (I'm on a train! I'm on a train!'). After checking for our flight we go through security and decide on the Wondertree Restaurant for breakfast. We are seated by the window and have a great view of the aircraft taking off and landing.

The breakfast is actually very good here and I'm happy we chose this over the places in the departure lounge.
We head off to the gate at 11.15am and it's not too long before we are heading up into the sky. It's a lovely bright morning as we fly along the south coast, passing the Isle of Wight on the way.

We are flying with BA directly into Tampa on a rather old Boeing 777. The entertainment system is fine, but the TV screens are very small (about 4") and not very clear. I struggle to watch anything on it and turn to my tablet to view 3 episodes of Star Trek Discovery instead. I even listen to a Taylor Swift CD. This is because Georgia and Charlie are always telling me how good she is. Although I'm never going to be running to buy a ticket to see her in concert, it's pleasant enough. Mind you, we need something to take our mind off things as its a particularly bumpy flight. The seat belt sign is on for the majority of the time.
We land at 4.30pm and are at the very back of a big queue at immigration. To be fair, it moves quite quickly and we are through the airport and picking up our Dodge Caravan from Alamo at 5.30pm.

The drive to Anna Maria Island is straightforward as I always enjoy driving on Floridian roads.

We find our accomodation for the next 4 nights. It's called Great Palms and first impressions are very good, the pool is huge. We drop the luggage, change into shorts and head straight for the beach, which is only a short walk. The aim was to get here for sunset, but we're just a little too late, although there is still some light left.. As soon as we get to the beach India says 'Look, there's a dolphin'. And that's why I love Florida.

We are heading for The Sandbar Restaurant, which is about half a mile up the beach. The place is quite full, but we are lucky to get a table at the edge of the beach and enjoy our first beer with our toes in the sand. The food is pretty good - I have fried shrimp.

Time for a Margarita I believe, although this proves to be not particularly good. We walk back along the beach and I introduce Charlie to the scuttlers. These are the little birds that run around at the edge of the surf and scuttle back and forth as the waves come in and out. Charlie is in a band called Drogo (check them out if you like rock music, they're on Spotify) and he's always thinking about new band names. He reckons that The Late Night Scuttlers could be a hit. With a name like that they would need to play Bluegrass. Just as we leave the beach it starts to rain. Drat. Let's hope this is not an indication of things to come. It isn't too hard and it's easily 80F, so we certainly aren't cold.
When we get back to the villa India decides to take a dip in the pool. My bed is beckoning. We haven't done too bad really as it's now 10.45pm. It's certainly been an excellent start to the holiday

I intend to put a bit of video from each day as well. Here's the first:-