Tupperware, Cheesecake and Fireworks

So, another day (day 7) dawned.  Today was the day I had been waiting for.  I got to visit Tupperware World, otherwise known as Tupperware headquarters.  I may be a Tupperware consultant but this actually wasn’t my idea.  I went along with it, of course, but I didn’t ask to go.  It was actually the Man who asked me a few months ago if I knew that the Tupperware headquarters is in Orlando.  Well, duh, of course I did and what’s more, anyone can go in and visit their gallery and shop.

I love the mottos they have on the wall on the way to the gallery.  The gallery isn’t very big but they do have examples of products from yesteryear as well as products from different countries around the world.  In the shop, I was very good and didn’t spend too much.  We had gone in with the intention of buying one specific product which we can’t get in the UK but also bought a couple of others.  It was a bonus when I got to the checkout to find that, as a Tupperware consultant, I got a discount too.

After Tupperware World, we took a drive over to Mall at Millenia so we could go to the Cheesecake Factory.  We went there on our last visit and enjoyed it. There is so much choice of food!  We all decided to have a burger and then came unstuck when our server asked how we wanted our burger cooking.  What?  We have no choice in the UK, it’s well done or well done.  We asked for medium but I think medium to well done would have been better.  I like my steak medium to medium rare but for burgers? Not so much.

Of course, we couldn’t go to the Cheesecake Factory without getting cheesecake.  Unfortunately, we were so full we didn’t want it then.  Fortunately, you can get your cheesecake to go.  I wish I’d taken a photo but I forgot.

This was the last day we had the car so after dropping our shopping off at the resort, we took the car back to the rental company and then made our way to the Magic Kingdom.  As we were on our way to our first ride (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad) the heavens opened and the rain came down, hard.  So, we got soaked.  The rain didn’t last long though, it had stopped by the time we had come off the ride.  We then went to get a return time for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as the wait time was 70 minutes.  We then received a little bit of Disney magic when the cast member asked if we wanted to go on the ride then/now and also have our return time.  Well?  Yes!  So we go to ride the mine train twice.

While waiting for the return time, we went to see the re-imagined Hall of Presidents.

Finally, to end the day, we went over to Bay Lake Tower to watch the Happily Ever After fireworks.  It was interesting to see the firework show from a different angle.  Great show.  My photos really don’t do it justice.

 

If you have missed my previous posts in the 2018 Disney holiday series, you can find them here:

Travel/ arrival day Home Away From Home
Day 1 – Epcot, Studios and a Surprise
Day 2 – Day 2 – Animal Kingdom
Day 3 – Jungles, ghosts, mine trains and magic
Day 4 – Legoland, shopping and Denny’s
Days 5 and 6 –parkrun, Mini Golf, Shopping and Rivers of Light

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parkrun, Mini Golf, Shopping and Rivers of Light

On Saturday we were all up early for parkrun at Clermont.  Due to the heat they have a 7.30am start which meant leaving the resort at 6.30am to allow time for getting lost, stuck in traffic etc. It was a lovely course, shame about the humidity. I was dripping in sweat after about 2 minutes! Somehow still managed to finish in 33:40. Breathing was hard due to the humidity but Adam helped me around.  The Man didn’t fare quite so well as he found the breathing very hard and stopped at the fountains on the route on both the way out and the way back.  But we all did it!

After parkrun, we went back to the resort to shower and change before going out to play mini golf at Disney’s Fantasia course. As a bonus was that we found out that we could get in free thanks to having the Ultimate 14 Day park ticket.  Apparently, all UK guests with an Ultimate 7 or 14-day park ticket get one game of mini golf every day the ticket is valid :D.  We had a fab game and the Man only beat me by 1 point! Adam wasn’t far behind us either.

As we were having a day away from the parks, they get so busy on the weekend, we decided to go to Disney Springs for dinner.  To be honest, we don’t really like it now it’s changed. There’s too much shopping!  Also, there’s only one bus station now so you have to walk all the way through the shopping area to get to the buses from the Disney shops in the Marketplace. However, the pizza at Wolfgang Puck Express was lovely.

Sunday was a lazy day with a trip to Walmart for a browse. We weren’t planning on buying much as we’d already done the food shop on Friday. However, we picked up some doughnuts and then thought some muffins would be nice, oh and some more Cheetos to take home and some chocolate and sweets … Maybe we need a trolley then. They don’t seem to have baskets here otherwise I’d have picked one up. We then had a look at the clothes and decided to get some pyjamas for Adam and me.

After Walmart, we went for another game of mini golf, this time to play the summer course at WinterSummerLand. As we get one free game each every day we will hopefully go back for a 3rd game and play the winter course. The Man won, again, and Adam and I both got better scores than at Fantasia Gardens.

After mini golf, we went back to the resort to get some lunch which we ate while sat on our balcony. I’m going to miss this.

After avoiding the parks on Saturday, we decided to go to the Animal Kingdom in the late afternoon to go round the Maharajah Trek as it had already closed by the time we got to it earlier in the week. As we were going around one of the cast members was also waking through and he pointed out all of the birds in the aviary. He also, very kindly, suggested that I move when a bird landed on a branch above my head.

After the “trek” we went on the Everest ride before going around the safari, twice! Some great photo opportunities, especially of the giraffes and antelope.

We finished the evening by watching Rivers of Light. Fab show! We had seen it earlier in the week (when I took a few photos) but we decided to keep the phones and cameras put away and just watch it. I’m so glad we did because there is so much to see and you miss a lot of it when you are looking through a “lens”.

 

Legoland, shopping and Denny’s

Day 4 of our holiday dawned and we waited for the shuttle bus to take us to pick up our hire car.  Fortunately for me, the driver of the shuttle bus was early and asked if we had everything we needed to get the car … driving licence, credit card etc.  Oh no!  I’d forgotten the credit card!  As I don’t use it, except when we are hiring the car, I’d left it in the safe in our room.  As I said, fortunately, the driver was early so I had about 10 minutes to run, literally, along a long corridor, up 2 floors (4 flights) of stairs to the room and back again to get the card.

As we were the only resort that the driver was going to we arrived at the Car Centre earlier than the time I’d booked the car for and, as there was no queue, we picked up the car early which meant an extra “day” and charges.  As I had prepaid for the car, I went back to the desk and asked about the extra charges and they said that what I had paid for was a special weekend rate but as we had arrived 30 minutes early we had incurred the extra “day”.  We said, OK we’ll just wait the extra 30 minutes and the form can be amended with the charges taken off then.  Of course, this being Disney (the Car Centre is owned by Alamo but on Disney property) they told us not to be silly and they would just amend the rate back to the weekend rate we’d booked.  We’re planning on taking the car back early (Monday afternoon rather than early Tuesday morning anyway).

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We then headed out for our only non-Disney day for this holiday.  The Boy had asked if we could go to Legoland, so we did.  First, though, we needed some breakfast.  On our last trip, we’d been to IHOP for tea and decided that we’d try that for breakfast.  Oh my!  It was huge.  We all had the full breakfast with bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes etc.  I wish I’d taken a photo of it.

After breakfast, we carried on to Legoland.  To be honest, it’s not somewhere we’ll go again but I’m glad we went so that we now know that.  It was very quiet which meant we didn’t have to wait for anything.  It is very much geared to families with young (up to age 8 or 9) children as most of the attractions were aimed at that age group.  There were some “bigger people” rides but not many and they really weren’t that good.  They were very jerky and tame by our standards.  They are a good introduction to rollercoasters for children though.   Also, we had to remove all bags, including bum bags, and leave them by the ride in a cubby hole.  If it had been busy, I would not have done this especially as there was a sign saying that everything was left at our own risk.

The best bits for us were the minilands including Florida (Daytona Speedway and NASA), California, Las Vegas, Hollywood, New York and even Star Wars and the ski show. I realised when we went towards the ski show that I’ve been here before, when it was Cypress Gardens, back in 1981.  All I remember from that trip was the ladies in big dresses and the ski show.  The gardens were beautiful too and we went for a wander around them.

On the way out of Legoland, I saw this fun character (made of Lego, of course) carrying a toilet. I think he said something but I can’t remember what!20180928_180400969_iOS

On our way back to our resort, we decided to do a little recon to find out where the parkrun is in Clermont.  For some reason, the maps app on my phone took us a longer route but it was interesting to go on the county roads rather than the highway.  It’s also good to know where we are going tomorrow.

After what was a long day, we stopped off at Walmart to do some shopping for breakfast and lunch food for the rest of the holiday followed by dinner in Denny’s. Burger for the Boy and me, a sizzling plate for the Man.  We even had dessert – apple crisp for the Boy, sundae for the Man and lava cake for me. Yummy! And I was still full 3 hours later whilst writing the draft of this post.

We then had an early night ready for an early start.  We’ll be up at 5.30 for 7.30am parkrun.

If you want to read the first 4 posts of this series, you can find them here:
Home Away From Home
Epcot, Studios and a Surprise
Day 2 – Animal Kingdom
Jungles, ghosts, mine trains and magic

Jungles, ghosts, mine trains and magic

Our third day was spent in the Magic Kingdom.  We were starting the day here, with the possibility of going on somewhere else later, because we had lunch reservations at the Liberty Tree Tavern.  We have eaten at the Liberty Tree before but had to cut it short when the Man started to feel unwell.  That was in 2014 and I couldn’t get a reservation during our last trip, possibly due to refurbishment but I can’t remember.20180927_133246265_iOS

We started the day in Adventure Land with an excursion through the jungle, otherwise known as Jungle Cruise.  We had a funny guide.  I have found that the cast member acting as the guide can make or break this attraction.  We also went on It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train (twice), Carousel of Progress (love this one, it’s cheesy but good), Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (I’m rubbish at shooting with a laser so would have happily given this one a miss but the Man insisted as he can beat me).

In Liberty Square, the Muppets have a new show.  It was supposed to be about how the Americans knew the British were coming (Paul Revere’s ride) but Miss Piggy kept interrupting.  It was funny, even though it’s about the Americans against the British. Whilst in Liberty Square, we went to watch the new, for us, Hall of Presidents show.

The Man and Boy went on the Speedway so that the Boy could have his “driving lesson”.  I think he’s getting better at steering but as I can’t see them once they leave the start I wouldn’t know.

We also went to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain.  I actually didn’t get too wet!  I did quite well with staying relatively dry on this trip, even on the wet rides.

Sorry this post, like the last, is a bit disjointed.  I didn’t have time to write a full, draft, post so wrote notes instead.  It really doesn’t lead to a well-written post when I do that.  You can find the first 4 posts in this series here:

Home Away From Home – travel day
Epcot, Studios and a Surprise – Day 1
Day 2 – Animal Kingdom – Day 2

 

Day 2 – Animal Kingdom

Welcome to our 2nd full day at Disney World.  Today we decided to spend the day in Animal Kingdom and save Magic Kingdom for day 3 as we had a restaurant reservation.

It’s a while ago and I didn’t write this at the time, I just typed bullet points into my draft blog post so this is going to be a bit disjointed.

I know that I couldn’t get fastpasses for Pandora – Flight of Passage so we went to get a return time.  Whilst waiting for the return time, we went for a stroll to see if there were any options for lunch (Animal Kingdom isn’t a good park for me due to all the spices on the food, I’m really fussy and the plainer the better for me) and walked past Kali River Rapids.  The wait time wasn’t very long so we decided to go on while it was still early enough for us to get dry.  Usually, I get soaked!  I mean, absolutely drenched.  The Man and Boy usually get wet on either the top half or bottom half and I get soaked on both top and bottom.  This time though?  I stayed relatively dry 😀  the Man got it!  I was so happy.  Now he knows how I feel.

I think we also went on Expedition Everest while we were over in Asia but to be honest I can’t remember.  We definitely went on it at some point during the day though.

We returned to Pandora for our return time at Flight of Passage and, after reading the safety information, the Man decided that maybe the ride wasn’t for him due to motion sickness.  So, he came through the introduction bit and then waited for us at the end.  The Boy and I rode Flight of Passage and it was good and I thought the Man could probably handle the motion.  When we finished I said this and we were taken through so we could ride again, this time all 3 of us.  I have to say, the second time around it wasn’t as good as the first and we won’t bother with it again.

After Flight of Passage, we went to Kilimanjaro Safaris which, as usual, was great.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see any lions as it was the middle of the day.

There is a new show which has replaced Flights of Wonder – Up! Bird Adventure. The show is very similar but with a different story.  We all enjoyed it and would happily go and see it again on our next trip.

As the food options aren’t particularly great for us at Animal Kingdom, we decided to back to the resort for a food break.  After food, and a little rest, we went back to the park to see the Festival of The Lion King and to do safari again (lions were out this time).

We ended the day by watching the new show – River of Lights. It was beautiful.

The bus driver who took us back to the resort was fun and entertaining. He told jokes all the way including “I am S your driver for today. We are going to Animal Kingdom Lodge with a journey time of approximately 8 minutes. We will be travelling at a maximum speed of 45 mph at an altitude of about 12 inches.”

Epcot, Studios and a Surprise

 

After waking up at silly o’clock and enjoying the sunrise, our first full day started with breakfast at the Garden Grill in Epcot. I love the character interaction at the Garden Grill but, until this trip, we had only had the option for dinner. Breakfast was great!

 

The interaction with the characters was great.  They are all brilliant with Adam.  I don’t know why it’s as if they can sense that his speech isn’t great and he needs extra time.  We saw each of the characters a few times and they probably weren’t the same people in the costumes each time.  One of the Chips was fab.  He came up behind Adam and waited until Adam turned around.  When Adam turned, Chip took hold of his hands and started stroking them.  It was brilliant!

After breakfast, we went on Soarin’.  Well, it’s in the same building so it would have been rude not to, right?  We then went to the Seas and rode the ride before going around the aquarium.  We went over to Test Track to get a return time and then went to find the DVC Member Lounge to get a drink while we waited.  After Test Track, we went for a walk around the world to go on the new (to us) Frozen ride.  It is the same track as the previous ride in Norway but with the Frozen characters.  As is usually the way, if anyone is going to get wet it will be me.  I got wet!  Fortunately, it was very warm outside so I dried off quickly.

As UK visitors with a 14-day ultimate pass get Disney’s Memory Maker for free, we stopped off to get a few photos in some of the countries.  As it was our anniversary celebration, the Man and I got a couple with just the two of us.

After we had finished everything that we wanted to do on our first visit to Epcot we went on the boat to Hollywood Studios.  We only wanted to go on two rides here, Rockin’ Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania.  Unfortunately, the queues for both were long so we were probably longer in the park than we originally intended.  That’s OK, we used some of our waiting time to go through One Man’s Dream.  Of course, I beat the Man and Adam at Toy Story Mania.  In fact, my score beat both of theirs added together!  I can’t say the same for the Buzz Lightyear ride in the Magic Kingdom which we went on later in the week, though.

After we finished the 2 attractions we really wanted to do in Hollywood Studios, we went back to the resort on the bus.  When we got back to the room there was a tray with a note on it telling us to look in the fridge.  This is what we found!  This is one of the many little (and not so little) things that Disney do that make us go back again and again.  After all, with little touches like these, why wouldn’t we?

So, that is the end of our first full day at Disney World.  Day 2 will be along next week, I hope!  If you missed the post about our travel day, just go back one post ;).

Home Away From Home

So, it’s 4.50am and I am wide awake. It’s my own fault, I went to bed too early after flying to Disney World and going to bed at 9pm! The thing is I was sooooo tired, as were the Man and Boy.

We had a good flight “yesterday” and landed 10 minutes early. We got through passport control really quickly – we no longer have to fill in immigration forms and some visitors to the US can now go through an automated channel and I think that has made it quicker. We then got our bag, went through security and made our way to Disney’s Magical Express for our bus to the resort.

When we got to the resort, the Man had a chat with a fellow bus driver, until I reminded them both that the driver had a job to do and really needed to get out of the, now, heavy rain.

We checked in and after the Man asked what the view was from our room and me saying “the car park” (I had booked a standard view room) the cast member had a look on her computer and upgraded us to a “part Savannah view”! She already knew that we were here to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

After we had unpacked, we had planned to go and get the first bus out of the resort to whichever park it was going to. Unfortunately, it was chucking with rain and I really didn’t want to get soaked to the skin while wearing jeans. So, we decided to stay at the resort and get something to eat and drink before going back to the room. Now, this is where it all came unstuck. We had our showers and got ready for bed so I could put a wash load on, at 7-ish. I waited until the wash had finished and put it in the dryer at 8pm. The Boy had left a tissue in his jeans pocket! So, after vacuuming up the tissue which I shook off the wet clothes, I couldn’t stay awake any longer so went to bed.  Yes we have a washing machine, dryer and vacuum cleaner in our room. Well, it’s what Disney call a 1 bedroom villa so we have a kitchen too.

You may have noticed that I put yesterday in quotation marks earlier. That is because although I am writing this in real time, in the hope that I don’t forget anything (and to fill time), I’m not planning on posting this until after we get home.

York 10 Mile 2018

Wow! That was hard!  I think I said that last year too but I’ve slept a lot since then so I can’t remember.

So, today was the Yorkshire Marathon and 10 Mile event and Adam and I entered the 10 miles.  Let me start by saying I didn’t put as much training in for this as  I should have so, needless to say, found it very hard going for the last 2 to 3 miles (especially as there is a long-ish hill at the end).  My training had been going great for the 10K earlier this Summer and I did quite a few 7k+ runs.  Then Summer happened and, as I work at what is effectively an out of school club, getting the time to get my runs in was harder, not impossible, but harder.  Also, the days that I would have done my long runs, the Man was on his rest day so I ended up running with him on a shorter, slower run.  However, that is just an excuse.  I mean, I could have continued to run after he’d finished I just didn’t.  After the Summer holidays, we had 3 weeks before we jetted off on our holidays and we got back with a week to go before today’s event so only time for a shorter run.  It was my own fault.  I had good intentions and trained well up to the 10K in August and then got lazy and let things slide.

Anyway, the first 5K was easy, after all that is just our usual run in the parkrun.  The second 5K was OK, there was a steep bridge over the A64 during this section (between miles 4 and 5) but we got up it OK.  After about 6 miles (10K-ish) the route merges with the marathon and that is where, like last year, I started to struggle.  Not because I couldn’t keep going but because it is so hard to get past other runners as we are constantly reminded to keep to the right of the road.  That’s fair enough as the marathon runners don’t want to try to get around the slower 10 milers.  However, today it was raining!  Not just a little drizzle, which would have been nice, but a proper “you’re going to get soaked” rain.  Rain = puddles, lots of puddles, and where were most of the puddles?  On the right side of the road.  So, very wet (soaked to the skin) and feet which felt like they were swimming in my trainers which meant my feet started to feel very heavy.  I was fine until we got to the 7-mile marker and then my legs decided they were fine when I was running but my hip started hurting when I entered the walk break. Huh?  Unfortunately, as Adam needed the walk breaks, I needed to take them.  I think Adam would have been fine to continue running but if he has walk breaks built in he has to take them (except in the final km).  My breathing started to get the better of me in the final mile but, thanks to Adam, I kept going and finished in our slowest 10-mile time yet – 1:55:53.

After we finished, my hands were so cold I couldn’t open the packet which had the silver blankets in.  Fortunately, a running friend was also in the finish area and she opened Adam’s blanket for me.

Last year, we hung around to watch some of the marathon runners and the last 10 milers come in as well as take photos.  This year, we went straight to get the bus back to the city centre and then another bus home – we were so cold and wet.  Lesson learned, if it is raining take a spare set of clothes to change into when you’ve finished.

I told Adam that that was my last 10-mile event which is unfortunate as when I asked if he’d like to do it again (regardless of my decision) he said he’d like to keep doing this event.  Ah well, I have time to change my mind, IF I get the training in I might do it again next year.  If I don’t then I won’t be putting myself through it again.

Now that we are home, warmed up and fed – got to love the slow-cooker – I am finally sat down writing this and will take some time to review the draft posts I wrote while we were on holiday.  Disney posts will be coming in the next few days.  I think there are 9 in total.  Some are more or less written, others just have bullet points in so I could remember what we’d done.

Token Sorting for parkrun …

Last week we decided to try our hand at token sorting for parkrun.  Adam has wanted to do it for ages but I wanted to choose a week where we would be volunteering the following week so we would have to be at parkrun at 8.30am-ish to hand them back rather than just turning up at around 8.50am and running.  As this week was going to be run on grass, we’d already decided that we were going to volunteer this week (handing out finishing tokens as it happens), we offered to do the token sorting last week.

It was great!  Adam helped a lot more than I thought he would and I found a new use for my Tupperware 😉

In fact, Adam enjoyed it so much he asked if we could do it again!  So, we did.  We brought the tokens home with us again this week and sorted them this morning.  While we were sorting them, I noticed a couple of things which made me think that we need to offer to do this role on a fairly regular basis.

  1. Threading the tokens back on to the shoelace helps with Adam’s fine motor skills
  2. Sorting the tokens, first into big piles of 100 tokens (it makes it easier to put into order) and then into rows of 10 (only 9 for the first row) helps with his counting and numeric sorting skills.

It would have been so easy to tell Adam where each token needed to go but I resisted and said that he needed to work it out himself even if I was sorting 10 tokens for every one of his.  Don’t tell Adam that he’s learning while he’s enjoying himself otherwise he won’t help again 🙂

So, here’s to more token sorting in our future but not in the next few weeks.  Maybe we’ll volunteer once every 4-6 weeks.

Weekend in North Wales – Part 3

OK, I’m on a roll!  No sooner have I published part 2 and I’m writing part 3!  I won’t publish it for a couple of days though.  I wouldn’t want you to start expecting regular posts or anything 😉

So, Sunday morning arrived and we’d already planned to go to Llandudno and possibly up the Great Orme, nothing too taxing.  Well, that’s what we thought.  Stepdaughter had already posted a blog about her intention to take her scarecrow brother with us so that she, Adam and Stepson could have a sibling day out.  I’ll put the links to her posts at the end, it’ll save me adding too many photos.

Anyway, no sooner had we got out of the car, taken a picture of Scarecrow Brother on a bench looking out to sea – What!?!  Yes, this was the start of a strange, but very fun, day. – I saw the Cheshire Cat sculpture and had the idea of getting photos of the siblings doing the Alice in Wonderland trail, as well as going up the Great Orme!  Lots of walking to come.  First photo taken with the Cheshire Cat:

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Then we walked to Llandudno town centre to find the Tourist Information Centre (yes, another map) and get sausage rolls and drinks for lunch before finding more sculptures.  We saw the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, Alice and the Mad Hatter before going for a walk along the pier, playing the slot machines in the arcade and eating our lunch.

After lunch, we decided we would take the tram to the top of the Great Orme.  Adam and Stepdaughter made sure that Scarecrow Brother was OK.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I love days like this and seeing Adam interacting so well.

After stopping for an ice cream, the blackcurrant flavour was divine, we then walked down the hill to find Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.  The Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum sculptures are next to a little tea shop so we stopped for a pot of tea for 3.  After all, it would have been rude not to.  We then carried on walking down, and across, and up to find the final group of sculptures.

After all that walking, we were ready to go back to the car. Another long walk!

After dinner, lovely chicken for me and chicken and stuffing pie (homemade by Stepdaughter) with veg, we went for another walk.  This time down to the beach.  Unfortunately, it was getting dark by the time we go there so the photo I took didn’t really come out 😦

Such a fun day!  We’ll have to do it again.

If you would like to read Stepdaughter’s posts about the Sibling Day Out, you can find them by following the links below:
24 Hours of Dad’s Kids
Siblings Day Out – Part 1
Siblings Day Out – Part 2
Siblings Day Out – Part 3