Day 1 – Travel Day
Sunday 9th August
Despite making extensive notes for this trip, proceedings for day 1 seem to start at 9am and I know for a fact that there was a lot more happening for at least 2 hours before that!
I don’t think I slept much the night before but then I hadn’t slept much for the whole week before! No strange dreams about things going wrong this time so had my fingers crossed that it was a good omen for things to come ...
I woke the kids up with the usual video camera diary and it wasn’t long until the bags were sealed and ready to go and my parents were at the front door to take us on the first part of our journey.
Now this is where I do remember started to feel sick and nervous. I hate leaving the cats behind (even though I have a fantastic neighbour to look after them and I know Dad will be up most days decorating) and I hate that ‘I feel like I’ve forgotten something’ feeling!
We were on the 9am ferry to Plymouth where my Uncle had joined the send off party as he is over from Spain visiting.
I got a bit more nervous as we approached the coach station as this is where things started to go wrong in 2007 as they had overbooked the coach.
My worries were needless as we were the 3rd party in the queue and it started to hit home where we were going. We had the usual ‘let us know when you get there’ ‘be careful and stay together’ talk from my Mum and I suddenly started crying. I felt such a fool stood there with tears streaming down my face but the enormity of what we had achieved again had hit me and I was starting to realise all the fantastic things we had been planning for nearly 2 years were now only hours away.
The coach pulled in and we all said a teary but excited goodbye. The kids and I got on the coach while Dad made sure our bags were loaded. The kids managed to nab the 3 seats at the back of the coach so we could all sit together. Mum, Dad and my Uncle had made their way to the back window to wave goodbye and various messages were mouthed backwards and forwards before we finally left on time.
We all looked at each other and grinned from ear to ear. We were on our way to Florida!!!
The coach was fairly new and very comfy. We had lots of room at the back so soon spread out and made ourselves at home. (Shoes off and stuff everywhere!) We passed the time texting friends, reading and getting excited listening to Disneybrit and Eye On Orlando podcasts on our IPods (thanks boys)
We stopped to pick up and extra driver at Sedgemoor services then for a 20 minute break at Morley services on the M4. We saw a bright pink luggage strap in the shop which Robyn easily managed to persuade me to buy as hers was the only holdall without one (curse that I don’t care as I’m on holiday feeling that they always take advantage of!)
Back on the coach we ate our lunch and drank the bottles of water we’d picked up at the service station. We stopped again at Reading and dropped off some passengers before arriving at Heathrow at 2.30pm.
There was already a Gatwick transfer bus waiting so the driver let us on early even though we weren’t booked on until later. Again the kids managed to bag the back seats of the coach and we all started being silly as the worst part of the journey was over and we started seeing planes and remembering our previous trip. See I told you there were 3 kids on this trip!