DAY 13 - TUESDAY JUNE 8th 2004

I wake up at 7:30am. Everyone else is still asleep, so I sneak out for my morning stroll around the Boardwalk accompanied only by a coffee and a Danish pastry. They are pretty good travelling companions though. They don’t say a lot, but they are there to be called on when I need them.

I sit on a bench to write up my trip report, take a few photos and generally enjoy another lovely Florida morning.

Back at the room they are all up and about. Grandma, Julia and Georgia enjoyed the Adventurers Club last night, but unfortunately Grandma felt ill. She hasn’t had the best of luck this holiday with her bad back as well.

Today is going to be a more relaxing time, so we jump in the van (after the good fellow has fetched it from valet parking for me) and drive over to the Polynesian resort. We have never used the pool here before and the security guard gives us a cheery welcome and waves us in.

We grab one of the cabanas on the beach and settle down. For all of 5 minutes. Then the girls and I hit the pool and try out the slide. It’s all inside through the volcano and quite fast for a pool slide.
I am very impressed with the pool and it’s location. You can face the pool with its beautiful waterfall and Polynesian buildings in the background or turn round to stare over the 7 Seas Lagoon while your feet play in the white sand.

Even Tam and Georgia decide to try the slide. As we clamber up the steps, a little boy slides down screaming his head off. Tam asks if it is obligatory to scream the whole way down. Georgia says ‘What does obligatory mean?’ I try to explain to her by saying that it is obligatory for Daddy to drink beer on holiday. She nods wisely.

As I sit on my sun bed writing my report, Tam asks if I am writing about how my wife gets more attractive and lovelier every day. Talk about fishing for compliments! She does, but don’t tell her I said so.

Right, a couple of hours relaxing are more than enough for anyone, so I rally the troops for a field trip. Julia and Tam are enjoying the delights of the Polynesian and decide to stay. Slackers! So me, Grandma, India and Georgia decide to take a monorail expedition.
We take the resort loop to the Contemporary where we take a look at the pool. I’ve never seen this before and I’m impressed. The main pool has a slide and a water feature in the centre. Behind this pool and by the side of Bay Lake is a circular pool. This is nearly empty and offers lovely views over the lake.

Back to the monorail for the brief hop over to the Transportation and Ticket Centre where we change to the Epcot train. We get to sit in the front (Grandma has never done this before) for the glide through the treetops.
This is an excellent way to travel and you get a different perspective up here, especially on the loop through Epcot where the floral displays look lovely.

Off the Epcot train and straight on to the return train to the TTC. From here we walk back to the Polynesian.

Lunch follows, which is a Lava Flow (pina colada and strawberry daiquiri combined) and nachos. A fine repast. Another swim and it’s time to return to the Boardwalk.

Just before we leave I stroll along the beach for 50 yards or so and come to a couple of hammocks. There is nobody else around and I swing gently back and forward while looking across the 7 Seas Lagoon to the castle shimmering in the distance. The palm trees provide flickering shade and I can hear the Magic Kingdom train whistle softly. Another moment safely stored in the Stringer memory bank.

Tam steals a go in MY hammock.

Back at the Boardwalk we get ready to go out and then spend a short while on the balcony. I really could sit out here for hours watching the world drift slowly by. The only dark cloud on the horizon is a dirty great dark cloud on the horizon. Could be rain a’comin, brollies required for safety.

We leave the room at 4:30pm to catch the bus to Downtown Disney where we are meeting Susan and Lu Beth and going to see the 6:00pm showing of La Nouba at Cirque de Soleil.

We arrive at Pleasure Island with the storm clouds gathering. With perfect timing we arrive under the covered area outside Cirque just as the heavens open. Susan and Lu Beth are not so lucky and arrive damply a few minutes later.
We enter the theatre and the show begins. It’s difficult to write anything about La Nouba that hasn’t been written before.
The actual ‘circus’ elements of the show are little different to things I’ve seen many times on TV. The possible exception to this is the trampoline section.
The reason La Nouba stands out is the mixture of theatre, circus, music, drama and stage craft that makes it totally beguiling.

Being from an engineering background, I am amazed at the way different sections of the stage move and large elements of apparatus appear from the ceiling. It’s slick, polished and very, very clever.

Would I see it again? Not sure. If they changed the show, then definitely. I think it would lose the thrill element for me if I knew what was coming next. Everyone else in the group thinks the show is brilliant.

The only bad thing about the whole experience was that I had a ‘Wow! Explanatory Dad’ sat behind me. He had a couple of young daughters with him and felt the need to constantly tell them things they could see with their own eyes.
‘Wow! Did you see that! He tumbled across the stage!’
‘Wow! She’s balancing one handed on his head!’
‘Wow! She’s walking across the tightrope’

I wish I’d had the guts to say ‘Wow! You’re explaining everything unnecessarily, you fool’.

After Cirque we have a PS at The House of Blues, another first for us. There are all sorts of things floating around the table and it’s a bit of a free for all trying everyone else’s food.
I can’t remember the exact names, but the meals included jambalaya, half a steamed chicken, ribs, pizza, chicken tenders and linguine. I shan’t go into great detail, but we all thought the food was fairly poor. Lu Beth has lived in New Orleans so she could offer an expert opinion and she said the jambalaya was too dry and had an enormously strong taste of basil. A bit of a disappointment.

We say goodnight to Susan and Lu Beth and are back at the Boardwalk by 11:00pm.