In our minds, this was to be our first "real" vacation this year in view of the personal problems we had on our earlier visit a few months ago when everything seemed a blur and we couldn`t get back soon enough.
Rather than boring everyone with a blow by blow account of what we did on this trip, my reports concentrate on the main events...if only to save me the time in posting!
Thanks to our FC miles we were able to get UC seats to and from Orlando which was good news especially as we would be able to sleep in a bed on the return journey and also we had an increased baggage allowance than with PE which is our normal option.
Check in at Manchester was a breeze and the Fastlane through security resulted in us settling into the Escape Lounge before our flight in super fast time.
Unlike most of our other flights to Orlando where after crossing the Atlantic we followed the Eastern seaboard to Orlando, this time we flew straight across the ocean, entering the US directly over Cape Canaveral where we had a good view of KSC.
The flight arrived on time and we were among the first off the plane avoiding too much of a queue at Immigration.
As we were waiting by the baggage carousel I saw a guy who I vaguely recognised but I couldn`t put a name to the face. My DW knew straight away who he was but she kept me guessing.
I approached him and asked “Excuse me but do I know you?”, to which he replied “ I guess that I have one of those faces!”
He seemed in a rather talkative mood so we had quite a long conversation as we waited for our bags to appear. We talked about Orlando [he owns a house on US27 not far from where our villa is located], the fact that he has a dual nationality allowing him to come and go to the US whenever he fancies, the British weather and countryside etc. etc. before moving on to football. One of his friends used to play for Port Vale, my local team who are currently mid way down the bottom table in the Football league.
He came across as a really down to Earth guy and it was only towards the end of our chat that the penny dropped and I was able to put that name to the face.
It was Paul Burrell…Lady Diana`s ex butler! I refrained from bringing this subject up with him though to avoid any possible embarrassment.
Now I don`t condone what he did in writing his book about his time with Princess Diana…and I don`t want this to spark a heated debate concerning his actions, however in the immortal words “Speak as you find”. He hadn`t done me any harm, so live and let live eh? What was surprising though was that he flew out on our plane in Economy, despite his obvious wealth [if only from the sales of his book!].
After bidding my new “friend” goodbye and collecting our car [Dodge Charger, my preferred choice], we headed off to our villa along I-4 and noticed how quiet everywhere seemed. There was very little traffic on the free-way and we arrived at our villa near to Exit # 58 in double quick time.
Following a quick visit to Publix at Champions Gate for a few essentials, after unpacking our bags and “freshening up”, we went to Key W Kools on US192 for dinner.
Visiting this restaurant on our first night in Florida has now become almost a ritual and it was great when the girl at the podium recognised us and introduced us to our server who also greeted us warmly.
This restaurant is currently undergoing remodelling so it`s probably best to delay dining there until the works are completed, however the steaks there are among the best I`ve sampled in the Orlando area, and at a reasonable price too.
Suitably fed and watered, we headed back to the villa for a good nights sleep.