Sunday 18 June 2017

Florida Holiday 2017 ~ Day 1 - London to Orlando!

So we decided to book a hotel the night before our Florida flight to save travelling up to the airport mega early. We got a great deal via the Sandman Hotel in Crawley which included parking for the two weeks.

We left Dorset around 4.30pm and soon had to do an unscheduled poo stop for Elliot! Timed it just right though as Erin needed feeding and everyone was hungry so we had a quick Mcdonalds tea.

We arrived at the hotel after a nice easy journey and lugged all our stuff to the room. Travelling with 2 small children is certainly a different experience to travelling as a couple - SO MUCH STUFF!!!

Up bright and early the next morning and we were on our way to the airport just after 8am. We were flying premium economy so we breezed through check in and on to the metal detectors. Elliot and I both beeped so we had a full body scan!

I had done a click and collect order from Boots so we went and picked this up - such a great idea, I wasn't sure how much baby formula I'd need so ordered loads!!

We had brekkie in Jamie's Italian - never eaten at one of his places before but was really impressed. Paul had eggs benedict and it was sausage sandwiches for me and Elliot. The food came really fast and was lovely - Paul said his breakfast was one of the nicest he'd ever had! After trying his I really wished I'd ordered it too!

Once we'd boarded the plane we found our seats and were quite pleased - our original seat choices had been changed so we could use the skycot and were a bit worried we'd be crammed in but we had so much room! Paul was in the middle and Elliot and I had two seats at the front of premium with absolutely loads of room for all our stuff and Erin in the skycot.

The flight was good - certainly can't fault Virgin on their cabin crew. It felt like they were constantly feeding us and they were lovely to the kids! Really impressed with the food - usually plane food is rubbish but I loved this. For my hot meal I had chicken in sauce with mash and veg (really nice) plus a chocolate brownie - yum!! Elliot had the kids meal but he didn't like his pasta and started eying up mine so the lady swapped it for a chicken dinner which was good of her! Afternoon tea was nice - loved the clotted cream!

I didn't watch any films, nothing really took my fancy plus my headphones were so crackly but the time did go fast as I had the kids to entertain! (plus I actually got to read a bit of my book which is a luxury these days!)

Soon it was time to buckle up again and we started descending down towards Orlando. We got a great view of Kennedy Space Centre! The pilot warned us that it was raining in Orlando and he wasn't wrong, it was absolutely bucketing it down. What a welcome!

We wanted to minimise our time in the immigration queues so we made sure that when the plane stopped we were literally packed and ready to go with no faffing about. We were one of the first off the plane and got pointed in the direction of the new machines - it only took a few minutes to scan the passports, take a finger print and take a photo....easy peasy apart from Erin's pic which we had to redo!! I thought we'd got away with queuing but nope, onto another queue to have our passports checked again. I'm always a bit scared of the people behind these desks as they are so stern and make you feel like you've done something wrong but the man we had was actually quite friendly and chatty!

We finally got to the baggage claim and grabbed all our cases...and buggy...and car seats. We definitely needed a trolley but it was still a struggle!! We then had to ditch the baggage again and get on the monorail but thankfully we were able to keep hold of the buggy so I didn't need to lug Erin around. We finally got our luggage back (after losing each other in the airport!) and headed over to the car rental garages. We did all the paperwork online which made things loads quicker - we just picked a car and were good to go! I have no idea what car we have but its silver and there was plenty of room in the boot for our everything-but-the-kitchen-sink luggage!

The kids were knackered by this point and both fell asleep as soon as the car started - it was probably only 6pm Orlando time but obviously 11pm UK time so no wonder they crashed. We stopped on the way to our villa for the obligatory fried chicken and beer (this has turned into a bit of a tradition since the last time we came to Florida) and spent almost $90 on you do! (Very excited to see caramel m&m's though!!)

Our villa is in Kissimmee and we stayed here last time so it was easy to find and nice to be back in familiar territory. Elliot was wide awake again now so he was straight in the pool in his pants!

Straight to bed and hoping we don't get woken up too early! (Famous last words....)

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