PRE-TRIP REPORT - AUGUST 2007
Go east young man. Or at least, go to the east coast, which is actually going west from the UK. So, more accurately go west to go east young man. I wish I hadnt started this now.
This years expedition is another monster. A 3 week exploration down the east(ish) coast of the United States.
Ill tell you whos going first and then where.
Me, Kev, 49. Good lord, is it that time already? Nearly 50. How time flies when youre waiting for the next holiday. Still, its amazing how handsome, virile and intelligent I continue to be. No, wait .. that should be irksome, sterile and belligerent. Its nearly the same though.
Good lady wife, Tam, 43. Still thinks shes 21, not that Im discouraging such activity. Embarrasses the girls with her dancing at the drop of a hat, which is all well and good in the privacy of your own home, but gyrating around to the elevator music playing in the frozen goods section of Tesco is not to be encouraged.
India, eldest daughter, approaching 17. Shes now left school and will be starting college on our return from this holiday to begin her International Baccalaureate. Whats wrong with good old O levels, thats what I want to know. They never did me any harm and set me on my career path as a high level lavatory attendant, but lets not get bogged down. Lets just say Ive been flushed with success.
Georgia, youngest daughter, approaching 14. Why both my children are approaching their next birthdays, I dont know. Perhaps I should make an announcement The birthday now arriving at daughter two is the nearly 14 for Georgia. Mind the gap please. Not yet too old for a cuddle with her daddy, yet somehow still wants to stay up well after her bedtime on a school night. Ive told her on more than one occasion Finish your bread and water and get off to bed. Its nearly 7.30.
There will also be a few more participants who will be joining us later in the proceedings.
A bit of background.
In a fit of
stupidity, I agreed that Tam could have the choice of holiday for
the next 2 years. This was not a good move as the likelihood of a
trip to WDW was about as remote as the little thing with buttons
you press to change channel on your TV. Remote indeed. After much
deliberation Tam decided she quite liked the idea of visiting
Hilton Head using our DVC membership. She then thought that a few
days in New York would be nice as well as the girls have never
These plans were discussed with our good friends Deb and Matt who confused things further by suggesting that we would also enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway as they had driven it a few years ago. A few nights in North Carolina or Tennessee were pencilled in. The plan was for Deb and Matt to join us there and for the Hilton Head stay. Deb then pointed out (rather sensibly the little darling) that we would be flying out of Orlando, so why not add on a few nights there and make it a three-week vacation.
Tams Disney-less holiday plans foundered on the reef of Deb style pressure. This generally involved a conversation along the lines of the following:
about adding a week onto the holiday and staying in WDW?
Tam: No way
Deb: Here, have a pint of Old Furbunglers Armpit Rotter (now with added toe nail clippings)
- 5 pints later -
Deb: How about adding a week onto the holiday and staying in WDW?
transpired against us somewhat and it turned out that it was very
difficult for Deb and Matt to join us until the Orlando element
of the holiday.
So the amended itinerary is as follows:
Friday 3rd August Matt (being the handsome and kind hearted young devil that he is) has offered to drive me, Tam and the girls to Heathrow where we will spend a night at the Marriott.
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August fly to New York. Stay two nights with Tams friend Elaine. Elaine has lived in the States for many years and married a fine American gentleman called Michael several years ago. They now have two young children and live in Short Hills, New Jersey.
and Tuesday 7th
August 2 nights in the Waldorf Astoria. We looked at loads
of hotels and they were either booked or just didnt take
our fancy. Tam wanted the girls to have the wow
factor when they walked into their first New York hotel and
somehow managed to talk me into staying at the Waldorf.
Plans in New York include a bus tour, Circle Line cruise, Top of the Rock, Central Park and the Guggenheim Museum.
August Fly to Charlotte, North Carolina. Pick up a car and
drive to Lake Watauga in Tennessee. Here we have booked a
fantastic looking log cabin overlooking the lake.
I must be turning into a soft touch. The first time Tam showed me the cabin I said That looks nice. She then showed me the price and I said Swindon Town have got more chance of promotion than you have got to me agreeing to book that. Well, Swindon Town did get promotion and Tam booked the cabin.
We intend to take full advantage of the cabins facilities including the hot tub, gas BBQ and kayaking from the dock.
Tam has also booked for us all to go white water rafting. Now, I have to say that the words white water and rafting do not belong together in my vocabulary. White water and relaxing or white water and beer drinking perhaps, but white water and rafting, never. They may need to change it to white water rafting and screaming like a girly.
Sunday 12th August Thursday 16th August drive to Hilton Head staying at Disneys Hilton Head Resort using DVC points. This will be a fair old drive, approx 350 miles. While here we will spend one day visiting Savannah and one day in Charleston. After our back to nature experience in Tennessee, I also intend to enjoy some excellent dining as it looks like there are many nice restaurants here, along with the required alcoholic beverages of course.
August and Saturday 18th
August drive to WDW and book into the Port Orleans
Riverside resort. Tam and I really like this place and we needed
somewhere to stay for a couple of nights before using our DVC
membership for the rest of our holiday.
It is here that we will meet up with the rest of our party. You already know Deb and Matt they will be staying at Saratoga Springs. Also joining us will be Susan and Lu Beth. If you have read any of my previous reports you will know these ladies reasonably well. This will be the 4th time Susan has vacationed with us, god help the poor woman. She lives in Tulsa and has to spend almost as long in a plane as we do to get to WDW.
Lu Beth is Susans best friend and lives in North Carolina. Lu Beth enjoys a Guinness and Im relying on these two to keep Matt under control. Im not having a repeat of the great cucumber and sun tan lotion incident of 05, were still banned from that church.
We will all be meeting up at Raglan Road on the first night, so a few beers will be compulsory. Also on the itinerary for this section of the holiday is a trip to the Adventurers Club. We all enjoyed this so much last year were going back for more humiliation.
Sunday 19th August Saturday 25th August move to the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. This will be a first for us and we are all looking forward to staying here.
We will also be
trying the Disney Dining Plan for the first time. Im not
convinced it will save us much money, but it will be nice to walk
into a restaurant and order whatever you want off the menu
without thinking about it.
Restaurants on the agenda include:
Alberts. Not on the dining plan obviously. How did I get
talked into this? Even the girls are joining us this time! I
think the credit card may need to go for a long lie down after
Teppanyaki in Japan, Epcot.
We are also planning a return to Jellyrolls where we will meet up with Joh and Gary, friends from the DIS Boards. If I Had a Million Dollars will be sung with much gusto, if a little tunelessly.
day for Matt and I is on the cards. Ive had lessons
recently (as has Tam) so Im hoping for an improvement on
the last Florida golfing debacle. I now know which end of the
stick to hold and understand that you put the little ball on top
of a tee and swing wildly at it before swearing.
The ladies are planning a spa day while we are swinging and swearing. Tam says she is paying for this by selling stuff on ebay. I hardly see the £1.50 she received for her interesting collection of used chewing gum going far.
it. Our first visit to the States in August. We know its
going to be hot and maybe wet at times, but with so much to do
and so many places to visit I think its going to be a good
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