Cast: Ieuan - aged 41 (driver and trip book) Diane – aged 36 Lucy - aged 11 Georgina – aged 7 This is our eleventh trip (twice before parenthood the remainder with the sprouts). The last time we went was two years ago and we went for four weeks. Travelling down to Key West, stopping in Madeira Beach, Miami, Key Largo, Key West and Orlando. We did not manage to complete the previous trip report so Diane has taken on the task of note keeping and photo taking. We deliberated quite a bit about actually travelling on Christmas day as Lucy gets pretty travel sick and we weren’t sure about putting her through this on Christmas day. Ideally we would have gone a couple of days before BUT it was either Christmas day or after New Years so we put the decision to the children as if we went New Years we would only be able to go for two weeks.... They were unanimous and hence the trip was booked, we had an early Christmas with both grandparents so that no one would miss out. This worked out fantastically for all concerned. Mostly for us as people cooked for us on two separate occasions. On the run up to this trip an airline went out of business, another threatened to strike and there was also heavy snow fall which resulted in airports cancelling or delaying flights. Luck seemed to be on our side and we made it to the big day phew.... Christmas Eve 2009 We decided that we would open some Christmas presents (from the family) before we left the house, both Ieuan and I had pajammies and the girls had bought me some bath oils. Ieuan had some chocolate and a DVD. We each chose a coloured bath oil to take with us to use in the Hilton in the evening. We left the house at 8am as there was heavy snow forecast for London. There was already a few days of old snow that had frozen over. The drive was surprisingly easy (says she sitting in the passenger seat the whole time ;o). There were a few minutes of fog about an hour into the journey and some rain for about ten minutes before the end. We parked the car in the short stay multi storey car park (£7 for three hours). Wandered around the airport and started queuing from 11.30 for the twilight check in, we got chatting to another couple in the queue who were flying to Jamaica the next day and they had a good deal in the Hilton £210 for Dinner Bed&Breakfast and also 14 days car park. Got the luggage tags whilst in the queue. When we got to the desk to check the bags in we were told that the conveyor belt had broken down and that we had to put our cases in to cages once checked. We decided that we would have lunch in Frankie and Bennies: Me: Margarita Pizza Ieuan: American Hot Pizza Lucy: Chicken Pasta Georgina: Spaghetti Bolognese Our last full meal in the UK this year woohoo We returned to the car took, it to the long stay plus car park, it turned out to be valet parking so nice and easy, we got straight on the bus and went back to the airport to check into the Hilton Hotel, it was about 3.30pm by now – decided to ask at reception about the day rates for a room just in case we had a bad flight back and were too tired to drive straight home. The rates are £69 for anyone who may be interested. Room was fabulous, very spacious * It cost us £52 in tesco clubcard vouchers which made it even nicer :0) Ieuan had to do his usual tumble toss on the bed – I swear one of these day he is going to cause himself an injury and won’t be able to travel. Television then went on only to find that the film Narnia was showing. Watched that then the girls had baths (with the bath oils chosen this morning). At 6.30pm got the fibre optic Christmas tree and some gel stickers decorations *photos. Then came the traditional Christmas pjs, hot chocolate, marshmallows and Mickey and Minnie cookies. We settled down to watch Muppet Christmas Carol DVD to get us all excited (oh such a good idea when all in one room not only on the eve of Christmas but the eve of our holiday!!) . Ieuan was snoring by 10pm, Georgina by about half past but Lucy on the other hand was a battle of wills but gave up about midnight. Santa came and left a stocking at the bed* and a few extra in the cupboard space.