To pre-trip or not to pre-trip, that is the question.
It’s something I’ve been asking myself for some time until a second question popped into my head. ‘Does anyone care you sad fool?’ The answer to the first question is ‘yes’ and the second ‘no’.
Anyway, our latest adventure is just a few short days away and so I’d better get on with it. I’ll tell you who’s going and then where and why. I suppose we better have a ‘when’ in there somewhere as well.

The participants:

Me, Kev – 48. It’s becoming harder to convince myself that I’m still a rakishly handsome devil. I’ve taken to talking to my reflection in the mirror. ‘You’re lovely you are. Yes you are’. It comes to something when even your reflection turns away and tries to hide a mocking chuckle.

Tam (the spouse) – 42-24-36. Actually I made up the second two figures in a bout of Jessica Rabbit inspired fantasy, but the first figure is accurate, at least of her age.

India (first child) – 1 month from turning 16. She is becoming an adult. I can tell this because she now comes home from school and says ‘Listen to this’ and plays me something from a band I’ve never heard of. To be fair, she has good musical taste. Still young enough to be my beer wench when required although how long it will be before the glass reaches me half empty is another question.

Georgia (second child) – Will be 13 on the day we fly out to Florida. She is more excited about this holiday than I have ever seen her before. I think this may be to do with 2 weeks in Orlando (something we haven’t done for many years) but it could also be to do with spending two weeks with our friends Deb and Matt.

Talking of which:

Deb and Matt (also known as The Debster and The Mattster). We first met this pair when they attended a DIS Meet I set up a few years ago as we only live about 20 miles apart. Deb once described our early friendship as a ‘slow burner’. We all liked each other straight away, but would get together once in a while. As times gone on we’ve got to enjoy our time together so much that we all meet up a couple of times a month now and we’ve been on holiday together twice. There are already plans afoot for next year as well.
Deb and Matt are friendly, generous people and Tam and I know that we have made true friends for life. They are also more fun than a Hooters girl in a brewery. Need I say more?

Susan – our American friend from Tulsa. She will be joining us for the second week. Susan has travelled with the Stringers a couple of times before. She is either incredibly patient or completely nuts. I prefer to think it is the former as she is without doubt one of the sweetest, most considerate people I have ever met.
She has been asked to come along for 2 reasons:

  1. An encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Disney.
  2. A willingness to buy beer at the drop of a hat.

Our first week will be spent in a villa on the Reunion Resort. Deb and Matt have stayed here before and it is one of the most prestigious developments in Orlando. Deb is the villa queen and it was left to her to sort things out for this part of our stay. She chose a brand new villa, which does have its down side in that, as of last week, it had still not been furnished. Fingers are crossed that all will be completed by the time we arrive. The photos of the outside look fantastic.

Me, Tam and the girls were originally supposed to be flying out on Friday October 20th to meet up with Deb and Matt who fly out on October 18th. Now stick with me people as this tale may get a bit convoluted. The guy that is building Reunion is a big music fan and every year has a concert at the resort for members and guests. This year it is on October 20th when Foreigner and Peter Frampton play and October 21sth when it will be Kenny Loggins and the Doobie Brothers. Anyway, one Sunday morning I was listening to Foreigner and thinking how sad it was that we would be arriving the day of the first concert and probably would not be able to enjoy it properly as we would all be so tired. The brain started to move into gear and by the following Wednesday I had the answer, fly out with Deb and Matt 2 days earlier! So flights and car hire were changed (at a cost of 250!) and we are now all set to go.

We stay at Reunion for 9 nights before moving to the Boardwalk for 7 nights in a 2 bedroom villa. This is where Susan will join us.

So what am I most looking forward to?

Staying in Reunion - We’ve never stayed in a villa for more than a couple of nights, so it will be interesting to see how much we enjoy it given my usual reluctance to stay anywhere that is not within walking/bus riding distance of a bar. More time will be spent in the villa in the evenings than I am used to, but that gives more time for drinking and beating Matt at pool.

Golf – Matt enjoys his golf and I have been persuaded to join him for a round. At this point you have to realise that Reunion has 2 golf courses of an incredibly high standard, in fact they had a big tournament there when we looked around in May. I have not played 18 holes of golf for over 20 years and Matt plays quite regularly. Given these facts I feel it a little unfair that the tight so and so will not give me 2 shots per hole. Generous? I take it all back.

Raglan Road DIS Meet – Claire (Fizz13) has organised a Meet on Sunday October 22nd. This is likely to turn into the usual boozy affair with many of us planning to move to the Adventurers Club later in the evening. Deb and Matt haven’t been to the AC before so I’m hoping that they enjoy it as much as I do.
We’ve met many of the attendees before, so it will good to get together with friends old and new.

Jellyrolls – Another thing that Deb and Matt have not done before and Tam and I haven’t been there for many years. Susan will be with us by then so it should be good fun. As we plan to go after an evening in Epcot, it could be a lively do! The girls are not allowed of course, but they are now of an age where they can take care of themselves and will hopefully enjoy a few hours of freedom to do whatever they like.

Victoria and Albert’s – This is where Deb and Matt get their own back as they have done this before whereas it will be a first for me, Tam and Susan. We’re going for the wine pairings and so this should ensure that we are going to look slightly strange when we go to watch Wishes in the Magic Kingdom afterwards. Dressed to the nines and drunk, especially as Matt plans on a snifter or two at Mizners Lounge prior to eating at V&A’s.

Halloween – We are all dressing up for Halloween night. We intend to enjoy some time on the Boardwalk before going in to Epcot. Tam has got a Cruella costume and Susan is lending me a costume with a Dalmatian spotted cloak and hat so I will be a sort of Mr Cruella. Funny, Cruella always struck me as more of a … ahem…. ladies lady, but I’ll do my best.
Matt is going as Fred Flintstone, which brought much fun to Georgia. ‘Matt’s going to be wearing a dress!’

There is a band playing at the House of Blues that India wants to see. They are a Canadian group called Billy Talent. See, told you she has her own musical tastes. It looks like I will have to take her and Georgia along to watch them. Actually I’ve heard their CD’s and they are quite good. Still, it will be interesting to see if I can embarrass the girls. ‘I say, this beat combo seem to be in the groove Daddio’. If I can integrate this with a particularly energetic version of the twist I think I can fulfil this task.
Update: The concert is off! Billy Talent have cancelled. India is distraught, still, at least she doesn’t have to watch me dance.

Hooters! – Personally I don’t want to go. India says we must as she is under strict instructions to bring back presents for her male friends. I suppose Matt and I will get dragged along when we would much rather be shopping.