Gas Station dilemma Wednesday 10th December Steven woke me at 7am by waving his leg repeatedly in my face. We played noisily on the bed until Adrian woke up then I jumped in the shower before going down to get coffee while Adrian gave Steven his bath and got himself ready. There were loads of like, cheerleaders in the like, food court, so I got my like, coffee and got the like, heck out of there. I took our mugs of coffee back to the room and sat and watched while Adrian put his polo shirt on backwards. Sometimes I’m amazed he manages to get out of the door each day: one time I watched while he made 3 attempts to get a simple t-shirt on correctly. There was no sign of life in any of the other rooms so we sat and drank our coffee and Steven played on the floor with a couple of food court spoons. Nanny Lesley went past our window on route to the coffee machines so we stuck our heads out and invited her to Perkins with us for breakfast, which she accepted. It was raining outside. Not very hard, but a decent shower anyway. This shower, together with the heavy shower that trapped us in the Japan shop, were the only two instances of rain that we encountered on the whole trip. In fact this is the first time I have visited Orlando and not purchased a Mickey poncho. There was still no sign of life from Big Steve’s room so I knocked lightly on the door to see if they were up. They were certainly up and their room looked like someone had dropped a bomb in there. They were breakfasting in their room and packing up some stuff to see how much shopping space they had left. Told them we were off to Perkins for breakfast and would be back soon. We had to stop for gas on the way so we pulled into the gas station opposite Downtown Disney, and after a brief discussion about what type of gas we needed, we settled on regular and paid a whole $15. Why do the car rental people never tell you what kind of gas to use? And why do I always forget to ask? All the petrol cap had was a sticker saying NO DIESEL. Well that was a great help. Anyway we got regular and it appeared to be the right choice as we didn’t splutter to a halt anywhere. Perkins was full of like, cheerleaders. Well not full, but there was a lot of like, cheerleaders in there. We had a table at the back of the restaurant and had: I can’t remember, but I imagine there were many pancakes involved. Nanny Lesley probably had the 2 Egg Combo because she has that a lot. Adrian probably had the gammon steak and eggs because he has that a lot. I probably had something with pancakes and bacon, but then again I may have had an omelette, who knows? Steven had toast, I remembered to write that much down. We managed to reach the bottom of the bottomless coffee too, and had to request more from our server. After breakfast we made a hasty exit, and had a hasty drive back to the hotel, where we made a hasty dash to our room to change Steven’s bottom region. Something was seriously offensive down there. A quick change later, and we rounded up Big Steve and gang and headed to the cars. A short drive later and we were on International Drive. I hadn’t been in this area for 4 years and was interested to see how it looked. Gets gaudier each time I head down there; looking more and more like the Vegas strip. Handy location if you want many restaurants within walking distance, but I don’t think I could stay here again. Anyway at the end of I Drive, Belz Outlet Mall was calling our names and luring our credit cards through its doors. We parked and entered the first door and made a plan to meet back in one hour for a progress report. Nanny Lesley came with Adrian, Steven and myself, and Ellie decided that she wanted to go with Nanny Lesley too so Big Steve provided spending money in case that essential purchase was discovered. Of course the essential purchase reared its head in every shop we entered so we had to explain the definition of essential purchase. By the time we had been in two shops Adrian had had enough and was slumped on a bench outside with Steven. A trip to the food court for large cups of the most disgusting coffee I’ve ever tasted and he perked up immeasurably. I had offered him the option of staying at the resort, or maybe even a visit to Disney Quest, but no, he wanted to come shopping with us. Well he’d just have to make the best of it now, wouldn’t he? We shopped a bit more being rendezvousing with the others to compare purchases. Big Steve and Lisa were clearly winning so far. We split up again with another meet time arranged and off we went again. That was how most of the day was spent; going off to shop, meeting up, comparing purchases, going off to shop some more. At one point we moved the cars a bit closer to our finishing point before going back to shop more. We grabbed a snack at a pretzel stand and can highly recommend the hot dog wrapped in pretzel dough. Oh what did we buy? Well Steven got lots of clothes from Gap, Osh Kosh, and the Disney outlets mainly. The rest of us got clothes, shoes, and more clothes, and probably some more shoes too. Steven performed his charm act in nearly every shop we entered. In fact in Character Premiere, the Cast Members were all crawling round on the floor playing with him. He was racing around between them all having great fun. Adrian watched over him while I shopped for many bargains, and after I paid and it was time to go, the CM gave me some Mickey stickers for Steven. He’d had a great time in there; I think the CMs in there had fun too.