rather fitful night passes.

I wake at 2:00AM and have trouble dropping off to sleep again. I try counting Mickey’s at the end of Fantasmic! ‘Some imagination, huh?’ After he has said this for the 2,373rd time, I am willing to swing for the little swine. (Sorry Mickey, mate) Eventually I drop off again and wake up properly at 5:45AM.
Tam says she has had an awful night. A combination of me snoring, India tossing and turning and Georgia mumbling in her sleep has served to keep her awake most of the time. Must be like trying to sleep in a farmyard. No prizes for naming the pig either!

We leave the Travel Inn at 7:05AM on the courtesy coach (still doesn’t seem very courteous to me at 2 a go) and head off to the South Terminal.
The Travel Inn was very much as I expected. The rooms are clean and comfortable but the facilities are minimal.

The Virgin check-in queue looks long but moves pretty fast and it only takes 20 minutes to complete the formalities. The only minus point is that our 11:15 flight is now scheduled for 11:45, giving us 4 hours to while away. Horrible thoughts of duty free shopping are already starting to cross my mind.

A little light breakfast is taken. Well, it started off light, but soon there are all sorts of foodstuffs produced from various bags and the table is covered with left over Pringles, dried apricots, Jaffa cakes, sweets and apples. Don’t ask me why, I only travel with these strange people.
Granny(J) seems to have a small orchard hidden in her rucksack and her Russets have been whipped out every time we have stopped to draw breath. I can just imagine Immigration at Orlando. ‘Excuse me ma’am, but are you trying to smuggle in the EEC apple mountain single handed?’

We pass through the departure lounge where Grandma(D) has her hand luggage searched. We all stand round watching in incredularity as small bags are pulled out of the main bag one after the other. There must be some sort of transporter device in Grandma’s(D) hand luggage and packages keep mysteriously beaming themselves in, because there is no way they could all fit otherwise!
The lady searching the bag is very friendly but still confiscates Grandma’s(D) nail file. Serves her right for not heeding the warnings.

I would now like to give you a view of the departure lounge from a woman’s perspective:

*Ooohhh…. Look at all those bright shiny shops! Duty free for the perfume? The clothes shop? The jewellery shops? (Runs around aimlessly like a dog in a lamppost factory.)
Wait a minute, there’s a food shop. A cake would be nice. Not an ordinary cake, but one of those huge cream slices. The sort that is so packed full of cream that, when you bite one side, the contents disappear out the other side at high speed and deposit themselves in your lap. Mmmm….
Look! The caviar and champagne shop has a special on Beluga. Only 173 for a thimble full! I know we don’t like caviar, but it’s a BARGAIN! (Mumbling.. must buy, must buy.)
Wait! They are trying to drag me away to catch the plane. Nooo!! I like it here leave me alone. Pick me up on the way back through in two weeks time.
(Pulled onto the plane, fighting and kicking.)

*End of female perspective.

We sit at the gate and wait to board when we hear the dreaded announcement about a slight technical fault. Half an hour later we are told that they hope to start boarding at 12:30PM. Meanwhile we watch the other Virgin flight to Orlando boarding 2 gates up. Surely they should give up their good plane to us poor waiting folk. I think not.

As stated we start boarding at 12:30, but it is very chaotic. We have to split into men and women’s lines and are supposed to only line up when our rows are called, but we must have a lot of deaf people on our flight as the area is mobbed.
We finally take off at 1:45PM. ( 2 hours late.)

The first film I watch is Moulin Rouge. Wow, what a strange film! I’m sure this is very spectacular if viewed on a large screen. I’m intrigued by the weird mix of modern music in turn of the last century Paris. This film could easily have failed miserably and become a real turkey, but somehow it works! Kidman and McGregor have a real spark between them.

The food is served while we are watching and it is some chicken dish. Hey! Don’t blame me, I’m the beer expert not the food!

Dr Doolittle 2 is next. Aah, now this is more on my intellectual level. Talking animals and toilet humour – what more could you want in a film? Me and India keep looking at each other and sniggering while watching.
The last film is Lucky Break. A British film, but pretty forgettable.

We land at 5:15PM local time, 1 hours late, which isn’t too bad considering the delay at Gatwick.
Movement from plane to car is very swift and we are on our way within an hour. We have an 8 seater van which is very spacious and easy to drive.
We would have been even quicker except Granny(J) has lost her fleece, so she and Tam head back into the airport to try and find it. No luck. It was brand new. Still, Granny(J) says she never really liked the colour anyway. And the arms were too long! I like people who smile in the face of adversity.

Around 7:15 we pull into the Hilton in WDW. This place is very nice. All marble and glass.

We quickly locate the room and soon drop off the luggage and head to Downtown Disney for something to eat and drink. First stop is for a beer while we overlook the water. Granny(J) downs her beer with remarkable speed. Hmm… maybe I’m going to have competition on this holiday.

Georgia is now very tired, so we head to Wolfgang Pucks Express for a quick bite. Pizza, linguini, butternut squash soup, fries and BBQ chicken sandwich are shared and enjoyed by all.

Granny(J) and India can’t resist the jumping fountain and remove their shoes to run through it. Unfortunately it doesn’t spring into action as they are half way across and they emerge from the other dry. Damn! Every son-in-laws perfect dream ruined.

Back at the Hilton we have a quick look around and the ladies dangle their toes in the hot tub. It is finally time for bed at 10:00PM with everyone very tired.
The holiday starts in earnest tomorrow.