Well, another visit to Florida has come to an end.
It started poorly and ended horribly, but in between we had a wonderful time. We did many things we had never done before and repeated some of the things we really enjoy.

Sanibel v Captiva

It’s a bit unfair to compare them, as whichever I choose will make the other appear inferior. That’s not the case, both are lovely, it’s just that I must have a favourite it’s the law.
I prefer Captiva, or at least Captiva Village. To be able to walk to restaurants, bars, shops and the beach is a wonderful thing. At least, it is if you enjoy a beer from time to time. It has more of a ‘heart’ than Sanibel, which is more spread out without any real centre.
Sanibel comes out on top if you like to ride. Bike paths are everywhere and there is much more to see.


Well, I’m not actually, not that it’s any of…… Oh, you mean the flight. I thought they were pretty good this time. The failure to provide pre-booked seats continues to irritate and my seat back TV played up on the return journey. I should think myself lucky, Georgia’s didn’t work at all, but they did provide her with a portable DVD player.
Twilight check-in and the Downtown Disney check-in are a definite selling point for Virgin. Far less time spent waiting around in airports.


Boy was it hot at times. That said I found it more tolerable than I thought I would. Strangely, it was hotter in Captiva than Orlando, but the sea breezes at the beach always took the edge off the heat.
The rain in the second week was a bit of a pain, but it really only stopped us doing the things we wanted to do on our final night.


It has always been a joy to me that I have met many different people in Florida, most of them I have only conversed briefly with on the Internet. I have not yet met anyone whose company I have not enjoyed.
This year was no different. It was lovely to meet up with Sharon, Evan and their new family and enjoy some time together.
Susan and Lu Beth were delightful and they’ve put up with my constant teasing about their time keeping with good grace and patience. It has to be said, the ladies did well under the harsh regime of the Stringer touring plan.


After all these years I’ve finally worked out why I love to return to WDW so much. I’m normally one of the most cynical people in the world. I question most things and accept very little that I read or hear without first hand knowledge.
However, in WDW normality does not apply. There’s no terror, no torture, no war, no famine, no conflict. There is only an unswerving belief that man CAN be good and kind, that wishes can come true, that we can live together in peace and harmony.
No worries about work, no looking forward to years of routine. Just happiness, joy and a feeling that it’s great to be alive.

Escapism? Definitely. Unreal? Absolutely, but for the time spent in WDW that matters not one jot.
The need for us all to get away from the horrors of the real world that blares from our TV sets every evening is very real. Two weeks to recharge the batteries with good things, positive things. The rides are mostly the same; we have all done them many times before. They are great fun, but it’s not the reason I keep returning. The atmosphere, the beauty, the sheer joy of immersing yourself in the WDW experience is why I will travel thousands of miles until I am no longer able.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that I think WDW makes me a better person. Less cynical, less self-obsessed, happier. I don’t question why a mouse should make me cheer as he passes by in a parade, I just accept that he can.
Is there still a job going as a monorail driver?

Lastly, can I say a big thank you to all the people who have taken the time to comment on my report and especially to those of you who have expressed concern over my mother’s health and sent good wishes for her recovery.

I am sure she will soon be back to her old self and equally certain that she will one day return with us to WDW. Her love for the place is nearly as great as mine.