As is always the case on our first morning we were up before the milkman came. Teabags were extracted from the welcome pack and the toaster was put to good use before we released the hounds into the pool.
This was a great site for our first morning!
Quick baths, showers and stuff and we were in the car heading down I-4 east to Polk County. First stop on our trip is Fantasy of Flight. This is a real favourite of Geoff's and is always on his must do list. We choose it for our first day to ease ourselves into the Florida heat without being in a busy area.
If you have ever been to Fantasy of Flight you'll know what I mean when I say the first part is a real eye opener. You walk through to a recreation of a DC 3 at night over Germany with the doors open ready for the parachutists to jump out. It's noisy, windy and even though your feet are firmly planted on the ground, nerve-wracking. On from there you enter an American airbase somewhere in England. It's fantastically done with amazing detail and if you are at all interested in aircraft I would highly recommend it.
From there you enter the main hangars .
An old colleague of Geoff's wired this Sunderland!
Virgin are looking tatty lately
From the main displays you enter a room for children to explorer and experiment. You can try flying a hot air balloon, hover a helicopter and make the perfect paper aeroplane. Competition was fierce but Owen won due to him walking past all the markers and dropping his plane!
A lovely lunch in the restaurant before we climbed back into the car ready to hit the Mall of Millennia. Prior to booking this trip we were actually booked to go to DLRP. In the middle of that trip was a day in the city of Paris for Poppy to celebrate her 16th birthday. This was replaced with the trip to Mall of Millennia.
Now I can shop with the best of them but Poppy takes it to a higher level. Look out for her name on the medals table if they ever make shopping an Olympic sport. I have to say, I like the Mall of Millennia but with 2 children, one or the other having ADHD or Autism, it doesn't add to the ambience of the whole posh shops thing! Eventually Poppy settled on a pair of Mui Mui shoes in the most gorgeous deep purple (now I've got Smoke on the Water stuck in my head!) suede with obscenely high heels. Up until now we were sat to one side watching as Poppy tried on this pair and that pair. The assistant was ok but you could almost tell from where we were sat that she was just humouring Pops. Her whole attitude changed when Poppy told Geoff which ones she wanted and he stood up to pay. Maybe up until then she thought Poppy was just having fun and had no intention of buying. $490 lighter we left the Mall of Millennia without so much as a sniff at the Apple store.
A quick soda and ice cream break whilst Poppy was in MAC.
From there it was back to the villa for a swim and freshen up before we headed out again to another favourite - Celebration. We parked up and walk to the Market St Cafe. We had a great dinner but sadly by this point we were all so tired again we barely touched our food. Their mushroom soup is still to die for though!
Heading home with sleepy children we concluded it had been a successful first day. The weather has been glorious. The heat has been, well, hot and the bed at the end of the day, very welcoming!
Tomorrow - Seaworld, a hobby store, a dodgy drive along Orange Blossom Trail and The bear Factory!