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3 Kids,My Castle and how many cupcakes? -Introduction

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Dizneyblonde, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    3 Kids, My Castle and how many cupcakes?

    Introduction

    Date of trip – 09 August to 01 September 2009
    Cast -Me (Teresa) supposedly in charge and celebrating my 40th 3 months early
    -Robyn (DD) 15 second in charge and the sensible one. Always the voice of reason and usually right!
    -Jack (DS) 13 the funny one! Lover of Stitch and the most upset one when it’s time to come home.

    Background – Although this is my 5th trip (92,01,03,07,09) and the kids 4th trip (01,03,07,09) it is only the second trip we have had as a family of 3. When the kids Dad left us in 2004 I promised that we would return. I kept my promise and thanks to an endowment payout we spent a fantastic 17 nights in August 2007 (trip report in signature).
    Most of the details in the run up to this trip are in my Pre Trip Report so I won’t go into too much detail. It’ll be interesting to read back through it to see how much the itinerary changed throughout the planning stage and exactly what we ended up doing! I can tell you now we didn’t stick to the plan which will come as a great shock to those that know me!
    I was really hoping to get straight on with this report as soon as we returned but DS’s laptop crashed on the day we returned and we seem to have a virus someone in our system which has also messed up my desktop. Anyway as I’m currently off work with ‘suspected’ Swine Flu I thought I’d use the time on the sofa to make a start and with DD being at school I can use her laptop. I’ll try not to cough and sneeze over you while I’m typing and I can’t promise how quick I will get it done, how much sense it will make or how funny it will be but I’ll give it a go. Am going to add in costings for meals and spends this time too so hope it doesn’t get boring!


    So sit back and relax and join me on the 3 kids, a Castle and how many cupcakes tour 2009...
     
  2. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    :eatcake: should this be your new avatar? :tongue:

    Ok I'm ready!
     
  3. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    :thumbsup: I'm ready too, got a drink and popcorn, just waiting now.......
     
  4. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    Was that it???!!!!

    You can't leave me dangling like that... :mental:
     
  5. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    I may need to take some time off work in order to give this my full attention :)

    Can't wait to hear more!
     
  6. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    I hear there are going to be some guest appearances by some very cool people :yes:
     
  7. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    You are so right Johnie!
     
  8. Britchick
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    Britchick Cast Member

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    yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
     
  9. Disneybumble
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    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

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    I am sat down with glass of wine in hand.
     
  10. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    Stand by...
     
  11. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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    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.

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    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!

    Continued...
     
  12. Jodie
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    Jodie Addicted to Mickey

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    Now this I don't believe! ....... !
     
  13. Jodie
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    Jodie Addicted to Mickey

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    Whoo Hooo, you've set away! xx
     
  14. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On arrival at Gatwick airport at 3.45pm we dragged all 3 holdalls to the Virgin Twilight check in desk and were given the seats 37 HJK that I had requested. The check in agent was a right know it all and when I asked if we’d got our reserved seats he told me with a smug grin on his face that we were lucky to get them as they were only a request. He then went on to tell me about what time I had to be back the next day for the long security line to which I smugly replied to him that I wasn’t worried as we had the V Room booked and would have priority through security before relaxing for 3 hours before takeoff. He didn’t say another word to me as I took the boarding cards and thanked him for his help! Oh and not once were we asked for our Esta forms!
    Next stop was check in at the Hilton.

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    I asked if we could have a runway view but the girl said none of the rooms had runway views and that our room had already been allocated anyway. We had room 4223 on the 4th floor. Robyn and I decided we would remember the room number by adding the first and last 2 numbers together to get 65 as it was in theory easier than a 4 digit number to remember! It seemed logical at the time!

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    The room was a typical Hilton room i.e. nothing special and they had put a rollaway in to make it sleep 3. This takes away a lot of the room but as it’s only for one night it doesn’t matter.

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The kids dumped their stuff straight on the big single beds as they had the best view of the big flat screen TV and told me I was sleeping on the rollaway! Flipping typical! I bring them on holiday and pay for it all and I end up in the camp bed!
    I had a much need cup of tea while the kids messed up the room and realised we had a view of planes taking off after all!
    Gatwick Village was calling so we headed over for a look around. I couldn’t resist the temptation of a new purse, Kipling style bag and pair of sunglasses and we popped into Boots for a small but expensive tube of toothpaste for our overnight stay.
    We were supposed to be eating at Frankie and Benny’s but we didn’t fancy anything on the menu so decided to give the Village Inn (Wetherspoons) a try. The kids found a table while I went to order the food and drink (all will be listed separately at end of day).
    While we were waiting for the food to arrive we realised we were sat at table 65 which was the number we had decided to remember for our room number! Spooky!
    The food was ok and served its purpose but the service wasn’t up to much. When the server bought our starter out he dropped one of the mushrooms on the table and had the cheek to ask me if I wanted to pick it up and eat it or did I want him to throw it away! Robyn gave me a look to say ‘please don’t make a fuss’ and I told him to just take it away. In hindsight I should have asked him to get me a fresh starter that was complete!

    [​IMG]

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    We didn’t hang around for another drink so picked 4 bottles of Coke up on the way back to our room where we ate sweets and watched planes taking off and landing.

    [​IMG]

    I filled in our green visa waivers before we all had a bath (Jack wouldn’t pose for the shower cap photo this year!) and made sure everything was ready for the next day.

    [​IMG]

    My friend Claire phoned for an excited chat and we charged phones and iPods ready for the flight.
    Time for bed we went to the bathroom to clean our teeth to find that there was no cold water not even from the cold tap! It’s not the same experience with warm water and I wasn’t looking forward to it again in the morning!
    We were soon snuggled in bed (my ‘camp’ bed was more comfy than it looked) and didn’t even have to play the Disney A-Z game to get us to sleep.

    Spends
    Bag £10
    Purse £7
    Sunglasses £4.50
    Toothpaste 48p
    Luggage strap £4.99
    Water x 2 £2
    Coke x 4 £3.20
    Total - £32.17

    Food
    1 x garlic mushrooms
    1 x onion rings
    3 x steak ciabattas
    3 x Pepsis
    Total - £25.60
     
  15. Jodie
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    Jodie Addicted to Mickey

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    Eewww, warm toothpaste water! gross!
     
  16. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    Oops just realised this should be in its own thread!

    Hold tight...
     
  17. lisaw
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    lisaw Serious Forum Regular

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    Hey your boarding passes looked almost identical to ours :lol:
     
  18. Mari
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    Mari Serious Forum Regular

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    yipee!!

    its started!!!
     
  19. Rosie0610
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    Rosie0610 Imagineer

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    lol! I love that you had to sleep on the roll-away bed!
     

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