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View Full Version : Carpe Diem Feb 09 - Thursday 5th Packing and Gatwick



Skywatcher
24-02-2009, 09:44 PM
Well the day dawned that we thought we would never get to, the first properish day of the holiday. I had a day owing from work and Lisa an I got up as usual to send the kidlets off to school. They were stuffed into their respective classrooms both frothing at the mouth and bouncing. :excited::excited: - their teachers were not so impressed :toetap: .

Quick dash home and a repeat performance of the ever popular game - 'find the cats , stuff them into the carrier and cart them off to the cattery before it closes'. This was made easier as our neurotic tigress and expert hide and seeker 'Dipstick' was asleep :evil:. Disney peered out of the carrier and his face clearly stated that he had done ' yet another poo in the house that you will never find', oh and 'your cases smell so utterly of cat that the security dogs at Gatwick will be glued to them.'

The rest of the day was spent with me staring at lists and checking the window locks a bazillion times whilst Lisa packed everything. I was surprisingly calm about all the papery stuff for some reason :unsure:.

When there was a break in the rain and the birds had left the tables for a few seconds I then spent the best part of an hour covering every available inch of back garden in birdseed and fat blocks ( ick) to try to keep our garden occupied until we got home - if you have ever wondered what they do with the stuff they get from a liposuction op - then wonder no more :blech:

Backup all the photos onto a portable hardrive and hide that - hide the laptop and it is time to pick the kids up ( seriously how they find time to learn anything in school is beyond me :rolleyes:

Kids were still :excited: and by now their teachers were more :dance: at not having to hear about dolphins for 2 weeks.

Rushed home with them and changed into civvies then it was off in the cold and pouring rain (that only a few days before had been forecast as snow :D) to Gatwick.

Now we had paid a bit more for parking this time (not that much more as it happens) so we could just drop it off outside and we followed the drop off e-mail precisely but there was no one there to pick up the car.

out comes the mobile

'erm.. hello yes , we booked a valet pickup for 5 and there is noone here'

'I think you'll find I am here' came a thick Birmingham accent.

'erm... well could you wave or something because I can't see you'

'where are you?'

'At the drop off point'

'At the Hilton?'

'No , the one you sent me in the e-mail'

'You've had the wrong e-mail, shall I send you the proper one?'

':unsure: er, no.. not really'

'see we have you down as Hilton not South terminal'

'Oh ok but as I said to the chap we are doing twilight check in tonight - are you far away?'

'Well alright I could come to you I suppose'

'Thanks that would be great you see we already have our luggage out how long will it take you to get here?'

'2 minutes' good grief we'd been talking for 5 already.

Anyway we then took our meager 3 cases to the Virgin desk to check in, nice lady gave us the bulkheads upstairs :D - we always ask for these not for any extra room ( as there really isn't any but so Matthew can't annoy any of the posh people by kicking then in the backside for 10 straight hours). She then told us ESTA wasn't working and we'd need to do the green forms again, the white one , and oh and she also needed the zip code of the hotel.

'you've never needed it before' :unsure:
'its now policy sir :D'
'where do you suggest I get it from?'
':D Directory inquiries sir'
'Seriously directory inquiries in this country? :dozey: who struggle to find their posterior without a compass and a map will be able to tell me the zip code of the wilderness lodge in Florida???'

':D'

:unsure: 'well?'

':D'

'Are you just going to smile?'

':D'

I have a brain wave and try and rifle through the paperwork I have, find the UK WDW travel companies number call them listen to IASW over and again, do battle with poor reception and the announcements over the tannoy at Gatwick ( starring the teacher from Charley Brown), get the info explain she can't help me with dining reservations at this time, I swear to her I will have a magical day and finally get checked in.

Right time to check in to the hotel and have some din-dins.

The room is the usual mahosive family room at the Hilton 1 double 2 single, large bathroom, all very large and impressive but utterly without charm or warmth. A hotel built for convenience, I doubt if any room has ever been occupied for more than 1 consecutive night by the same people and as such I don't like it as a place to stay. Smells funny too, bit like old cigarettes and farts and air freshener.

Any way we are all starving so head off to Frankie and Bennie's for some tea. Boys are now at a level beyond :excited: as it actually looks like we are going to go now and we are all starting to feel a little intoxicated with anticipation, excitement and in my case Stella Artois. Boys have pizza and Lisa and I have calzone ( folded in half pizza) {Honestly Italian cuisine :rolleyes: how difficult can it be, pasta - every shape you can imagine different name, white sauce, red sauce,meat either on or in pasta, pizza done- thats it} it was a fantastic meal and for sure the proper beginning of our trip.

It is late when we meander back to the room but the boys are in no mood for sleeping despite the long trip ahead. As Matthew is still jumping all over me when I am trying to do the green forms it is suggested that he is put in the cupboard ( which is bigger than our 1st house) to calm down. - He rather likes this idea and goes in voluntarily.

30 seconds later- Mr Tumnus brings him back saying that the good people of Narnia are trying to get some sleep and can he be quiet please.

We all pass out after much giggling and shushings and about a million bathroom trips in the small hours.

Thomas at least trying to sleep....

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb84/sidleydoc/others/floridahilton.jpg

keith
24-02-2009, 09:53 PM
YAAY skywatcher trip reports! EXCELLENT :D

mumof2
24-02-2009, 10:03 PM
OMG how exciting! next one, next one :excited:

keith
24-02-2009, 10:06 PM
Thomas at least trying to sleep....

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb84/sidleydoc/others/floridahilton.jpg

omg that's how I sleep to this day!!! I didnt know anyone else was that weird :lol:

Skywatcher
24-02-2009, 10:07 PM
It is how all geeks sleep the world over :yes:

Johnie
24-02-2009, 11:08 PM
:carpediem:

:smilieuse:


and I LOVE the photos! That smile just says it all :yes:

Dorothy
25-02-2009, 12:07 AM
So then you're saying that the boys were a bit excited :wink: So where's the pictures of you jumping up and down on the bed :lol:

Dawn
25-02-2009, 07:47 AM
:laugh: at the Charlie Brown teacher doing the airport announcements.

Disneybumble
25-02-2009, 07:50 AM
Thank you Skywatcher that reading has made my morning.

Britchick
25-02-2009, 09:49 AM
aww they're so sweet, I can see you as Mr Tumnus he he

I'm actually feeling excited and that i'm going to WDW reading it!

Ursula
25-02-2009, 09:51 AM
Let's just cut straight to the chase.... post the mankini pics now so we don't have to wait for the silver fox day.... (well someone had to tell him and you were all too polite to)

Love the pics of the boys though XX aw bless. scrunch scrunch.

Britchick
25-02-2009, 09:53 AM
Let's just cut straight to the chase.... post the mankini pics now so we don't have to wait for the silver fox day.... (well someone had to tell him and you were all too polite to)

Love the pics of the boys though XX aw bless. scrunch scrunch.

PMSL - btw its water fox, or do you know something i don't? :unsure:

Ursula
25-02-2009, 10:02 AM
Lol.. claps hand over my mouth... oops!

Dizneyblonde
25-02-2009, 11:47 AM
Fantastic first part and just what the Doctor ordered ;) while i'm recovering on the sofa!

Can't wait for the next bit.

uscwest
25-02-2009, 11:58 AM
Smells funny too, bit like old cigarettes and farts and air freshener. Gee, just what I want my hotel room to smell like NOT.

Great start Chris.

Ursula
25-02-2009, 12:57 PM
He knows far too much about bottom burps than is normal.

MystikPiglit
25-02-2009, 01:14 PM
Excellent! :thumbsup:


Kids were still :excited: and by now their teachers were more :dance: at not having to hear about dolphins for 2 weeks.

:lol:




':D'

'Are you just going to smile?'

':D'


:laughhard:

keith
25-02-2009, 01:18 PM
Chris, did you get the sense that you had to have the exact hotel details even if you'd already filled in the API information online??

Skywatcher
25-02-2009, 02:43 PM
I had filled out both the ESTA and API online before travelling both with the usual Wilderness Lodge , WDW, Orlando, Florida address - that was electronically accepted, it was only the :D at the virgin desk who wanted the zip and full address

keith
25-02-2009, 02:47 PM
I had filled out both the ESTA and API online before travelling both with the usual Wilderness Lodge , WDW, Orlando, Florida address - that was electronically accepted, it was only the :D at the virgin desk who wanted the zip and full address

wow ok thanks, I think I'll update the main site with that info since I've just read the same elsewhere!

Really seems like it'll pay off to have the full hotel details at check in nowadays :yes:

Britchick
25-02-2009, 02:48 PM
was looking at my ESTA printout and it didn't even ask for the zip code!

do i have to go back and update something just before we go?

Skywatcher
25-02-2009, 02:49 PM
it would have been nice if Virgin had let us know in advance - I think she was saying the fact it was accepting adresses without zips was the reason ESTA was not up and running

keith
25-02-2009, 02:52 PM
it would have been nice if Virgin had let us know in advance - I think she was saying the fact it was accepting adresses without zips was the reason ESTA was not up and running

It's pretty irksome to be honest given all the money they've thrown at the problem. You'd really have thought someone would have, yah know, TRIED the thing before going live

I'd have to question how much of a safety feature it actually is anyway? Wonderful inconvenience to the honest traveller but I'm sure someone with bad intent would have no trouble at all booking a room for a night somewhere.

Really don't see what it achieves

Rosie0610
25-02-2009, 04:25 PM
Great start! Love the boys 'sleeping' picture!!

Claire
25-02-2009, 04:30 PM
You've started! Yay! Great read. At least the Virgin girl smiled. Be thankful for that!

Tink
26-02-2009, 10:54 AM
Does the child sleep that way all night? :unsure: Does the pillow never fall off the bedside table?

LOVE the shot of Matthew! :lol: Clearly tired little boy. :D

Thanks for a great report!!!

Beccaberry
26-02-2009, 04:42 PM
:laugh: :laugh: at "I swear to the CM I will have a magical day" :laugh:

Brilliant report so far...more, more, more!

josh.p.
27-02-2009, 11:20 AM
Great start!!! I was laughing hysterically, especially at the charlie brown thing, and the narnia bit too!

Ilovesnowwhitej
01-03-2009, 09:20 PM
Brilliant start, :applaudit: so glad its not just my pets that play the find me if you can game, the day i leave for my holidays. do reps think every questions answer is :D it must be in their manual :yes:

Jodie
02-03-2009, 01:57 PM
Wicked start!

Deb
05-03-2009, 07:24 AM
I have been saving trip reports till I have tons of time to read them...I can wait no more....brilliant!!! Love the photo, and Charlie Brown! Oh, and the cat wrestling. Always a key feature of any holiday here :yes:

MystikPiglit
02-04-2009, 05:52 PM
30 seconds later- Mr Tumnus brings him back saying that the good people of Narnia are trying to get some sleep and can he be quiet please.

DH just spat lager over my keyboard reading this! :point: