We wake up to a wonderful sunny day…..a day which we are both looking forward to.
We are booked in for a private trail ride at Villas of Grand Cypress this morning at 10am. Can you believe that I have never ever ridden a horse before? It takes about 20 minutes to get there from the villa and they are waiting for us. We sign the papers and put our hats on. Then, we are given the basic commands …… not that we needed them, these horses are very well behaved.
I have Sylvester who is 6 years old and DH gets a slightly bigger horse called Boon who is 15 years old. Boon is beautiful. The guide asks if I need help in mounting the horse and I hastily say “yes please” I have visions of me getting on the saddle and then slipping straight around underneath the horse and hanging there while trying to look beautiful. As it happens….it was easy. :thumbs_up:
Off we set. We are told that at any time if we want to increase or decrease the speed, just to speak up. We head out over a grassy area and soon come across a wood full of winding pathways. It was nice and relaxing but I was loving it.
Now, all Sylvester seemed to want to do was eat at any given opportunity. All Boon wanted to do was be at the head of the group. I felt a little guilty at first having to keep pulling his head up when he was obviously enjoying the mornings picnic but, hey, this is my time….he can eat later. Besides, we were getting left behind and had to go that bit quicker to catch up…..remember this is my first time in the saddle.
We didn’t come across any snakes but what’s more important….I didn’t see a single spider. Our ride came to an end after about 50 minutes. We could hang around afterwards taking photos and making a fuss of the horses….which we did.
Next, DH is going to fly his plane and he is giddy with excitement. We hop in the car and head for Kissimmee airport which only takes about 15 minutes.
When we arrive at the airport, DH is introduced to his co pilot. He is called Craig and is from South Africa. They go through the controls etc while I just stand by and watch DH’s face…..I am so pleased for him. DH is booked in for an hours flight so my plan is to sit in the sun with a cold drink and write some postcards.
I’ll let DH take over for this part of the day as he has asked to write a report of his experience. I will be back to tell you about this evening. So, everyone, this is my gorgeous DH…….
Ok so Isafari had arranged a flight for me in an old World War Two plane, and not told me about it until yesterday- I'd normally say she can't keep a secret, but after the "20th anniversary secret" I can't say that anymore!
From the options of a 15, 30 or 60 minute flight, Isafari had booked me for the 60 minute flight which includes aerobatics in the price! I was a little apprehensive about this because although I like rollercoasters, I did not know if my stomach would handle a rollercoaster that lasted a whole hour! However I'd spent months really looking forward to the experience and was hoping it was going to live up to my expectations!
We found the airport very easily (or TomTom satnav did.... ) and arrived a little too early , so we went back to a Walgreens we'd seen a mile or so away and got some snack foods to eat in the car. (I did not fancy flying on an empty stomach) After eating our impromptu picnic we drove back to the parking lot for Warbird Adventures and parked the rental car.
From the car park we could see a couple of the old planes parked on the lot behind the entrance gate. At first I was not overly impressed by the "museum", but later found out that many of the planes they used to have on display had been damaged in the hurricane season of last year, and only a few were remaining on display while the rest were in storage being repaired.
After entering the gate into Warbird Adventure section of the airport we made our way to the office which was in a trailer/hut near the planes and introduced ourselves. Once our booking was confirmed, I was introduced to Craig who was to be my pilot/instructor. Craig and I chatted for a little while and because we'd also purchased the video and 35mm picture options, he explained how that worked for me. Basically they have 3 video camera's in the plane - one on the right wing looking at the cockpit, one in the tail looking forward and one in the cockpit looking at yours truly. On the left wing they also fitted the 35mm camera to take still shots of my ugly mug whilst in flight!
Craig then took me over to the plane we'd be flying and we took the opportunity to snap a few photo's of our own - or rather Isafari took the photo's and I drooled all over the plane! She was beautiful...... I mean the plane not Isafari...... Although she's beautiful too!
Warbird Adventures have two of these old planes and they're both bright yellow, the only way I could tell them apart (other than the serial numbers) is one has a blue band around the midsection of the fuselage and the other has a red band! The one I was going to fly was the blue one.... USAF Texan 4!
After a quick session of Isafari trying to out do David Bailey with the camera Craig asked me to climb up into the cockpit. Giving me easy to understand instructions on how to get in correctly I soon found myself being strapped into the front seat while Craig gave me the "safety speech" which included the locations of the "souvenir bags" just in case my body is not up to the rigors we're about to put it through!
PART TWO FOLLOWS IMMEDIATELY BELOW...