The Year of the Blog……

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What a day…..

I think I’ve done quite a lot in the last year -I’ll give a full run down tomorrow. But in a nutshell, despite everything that’s come my way I’ve still made it to the end of the year smiling and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve done. I never thought at the beginning of 2012 that by the end of the year I would be cycling daily – the Olympics has a lot to answer for. But then again I didn’t expect to be dancing on the playground trying to break a world record (Olympics again) or Running ridiculous amounts of laps of the school field (sport relief) and then there was the cricket,Jack’s rugby (Yorkshire Champion again)  oh and a little race in the Olympic Stadium – what a day. So you can have my full review tomorrow.

In the meantime I hope I haven’t bored you all too much and that you have enjoyed some of my ramblings and rants – have a great new year see you in 2013.

What a year

Here come’s 2013

Bring it on

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Roland Rat Rules – But Not for Long

So after a rather testing 24 hours, we finally made it back to British shores, devoid of  sleep and freezing cold – I love night flights – not!!! So I’ve spent all afternoon unpacking my messed up cases ( I’ve never knew airport security could open your cases without your permission and have a route round – but they can, I had a leaflet in each case telling me they’d been in!) they could have put stuff back where they found it – pft! So the washers been on overtime and hopefully the weather brightens so I can hang it out.

Cases unpacked, kettle on and time for a chat with the old folks – mum and dad – who we haven’t seen for a month – I could have done without the killer rat tale though. Yep, having kept fluff inside for some of our vacation ( American speak for holiday!!) They moved him back to his outdoor cage only to find it occupied by a dead rat – great. Anyway they blitzed the cage, condemed Roland to Hell – the wheelie bin – recycle one of course!! But then Fluff wouldnt go in all of his cage – the reason  – a bloody big live Roland ( honest its mahoosive) has hogged the upper level trust me , it won’t be there for long – bucket of poison anyone……..

Knackered but glad to be home

Back to work tomorrow

Bring it on

Leaving on Jet Plane…………Please

So we should now be back in England- but we’re not. We’re still here – the plane was ground yesterday and we never even left the hotel. Still we got an extra night out, had a great debate with some American dude about what you stuff a turkey with….Don’t ask!! This then became a heated debate about American Football v Rugby League, by this time after ridiculous amounts of red wine, Ernie was slurring his words and putting forward a rubbish case, thankfully I just about saved the day!!!
So now we’re at the airport- hoping to leave sometime soon. Thankfully the airport is the size of the Trafford Centre – last minute shopping- here we come.
Heading home soon
Bring it on!!!

Holiday Tips from the Earnshaws………

So once again the weather man has got it completely wrong. Yep – despite predicting the ever depressed weather would offer a 90% chance of rain today – in other words it would p*** it down non-stop!! We’ve spent our last few hours by the pool basking in the sun. Love the way normality returns just as we’re about to head home – Pft!

Still it’s been a great holiday and we will definitely be back again in the next couple of years. Not sure if we will do Disney again, maybe we’ll try the one in California for a change. One thing for sure, it is only experience, having done Disney before, that has saved us from spending ridiculous amount of dollars.

Like all theme parks everywhere around the world, there main aim is to get you to spend as much dosh as possible. But Mickey ‘give me all your dollars’ Mouse seems to be taking this to new levels. From the food to photos the prices have nearly doubled since the last time we were here – next time I’m bringing a full size cool bag – we’ll be taking pack-ups for dinner. So for anyone coming to Disney soon, some top tips:
Buy your Disney Tickets before you come. ( in fact buy all your tickets before you come- your holiday company also rip you off!)
The Disney Dining Plan is great if you are constantly eating and if you like mass produced tasteless food. Local restaurants work out much cheaper and serve better quality food.
When buying drinks in the parks just ask for one large one- they are bucket size and are more than enough. Likewise kids meals are often huge – if you’re not a big eater go for it – just ignore the mouse shaped plate!!!
The local 7/11 (sort of tesco express) sells 24 bottles of water for $3.00. Theme parks sell 1 for $2.50 plus tax. Not rocket science really – take your own.Savings can also be made on beer/soft drinks (mahoosive savings) in the same way.
If you have your photo taken on a ride and want to buy it, ask for the small size (5×7) that’s not on show- way
Cheaper!!
Don’t forget that whatever the price tag says it doesn’t include tax,they add that on at the till!
Remember to take a suitable waterproof jacket that way you won’t look a right tit in a poncho!!!!
Try not to stare too long at the oversized families- they might eat you!!
If you’re offended by Lezza’s n Poof’s fornicating at the theme parks avoid the 1st week in June. Also if you’ve got an 11 year old who shouts the first thing that comes into his head – like ‘urghh benders’ also avoid the 1st week in June.
When eating out- a starter is usually enough to feed a family of four, sweets are also the same- one to share is the best way forward.
Above all Remember Americans are extremely loud and over enthusiastic about everything and I mean everything- just smile politely through gritted teeth- you get used to it eventually!!
So that’s my Judith Chalmers (shampoo n set bird that used to be on ‘wish you were here’) bit done. Follow my top tips- you’ll be fine!
Like I said, despite Hurricane Beryl (daftest name for a Hurricane ever!) best efforts to spoil things, we’ve had a great time. Will defo be spending at least a week in the Universal area next time, we’ll defo do Kennedy Space Centre again ( best day by far) and next time I’ll be bring my ‘grown up’ camera!!!!
See you in England
Bring it On.

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head……………

Guess what I’m doing – just for a change? Yep, you’ve got it. Sunbathing in the rain. We’re getting really good at it now. The plus side( if there is one) is that compared to yesterday there are some tiny bits of blue sky breaking through – finally things are looking up. How many days have we got left – one!!!

So back to yesterday, when we had to abandon the sunbeds due to the torrential downpour, thunder and lightning- fab. So we headed to the Mall for a bit of shopping the rain got heavier, the thunder louder and the lightning – well!!
I’m beginning to wonder if it’s the dodgy weather that’s bringing out the dodgy characters- cos if you’d have seen last nights taxi driver………Think back to the first Men in Black and that dodgy farmer dude who was infected with those beetle things- well he drove us home last night. No really- he did- the slurred speech, his jerky body movements. He had it all, either that or he was in the midst of a stroke and we didn’t realise!!!

Back to this morning, and our last visit to Universal( our favourite theme park) for this holidays anyway. Probably the driest morning we’ve had for a few days and we managed to dodge the downpours queueing for the rides. We only had to wear our ‘I look a right tit in this’ poncho once- thank god. Can’t wait to chuck them away when we leave!

It’s while queuing and people watching that I’ve been taking note of some of the fascinating parenting skills ( or lack of them) on show. Now being a parent isn’t easy – none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes- I’m no exception. But when you watch some parents in action you wonder which parenting book they get their ideas from. It baffles me how some parents have no control whatsoever, even standing in a line for 5 minutes is an impossibility for some families. Their kids terrorise the entire line and they stand there oblivious. Then there’s the ones who do the reasoning tactic – the if you do that then I will allow you this – fail, within 5 minutes havoc resumes! Then there are the parents who rant n rave over the slightest thing and continue ranting until their kids are reduced to a sobbing wreck, boy will they regret that when they’re older! But best of all are the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ gang. Yep, they push, shove shout and carry on – when their kids do the same- world war three!!!

Anyway, the sun came out briefly, I sneaked in another swim for Juneathon and then we headed to the cinema to see the newly released Madagascar 3D ( it’s well funny) Guess what it was doing when we came out of the cinema………

Hoping for a few final hours of sun tomorrow

Bring it on.

Photos below- what happens when you take your kid to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Jack trying to eat American portions of Pizza n cookies
And a strange yellow glow- I forget what its called!!!!!

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Going Rusty in the Rain…….

So if I told you I’d just swam ten lengths in the Florida pouring rain all in the name of Juneathon you’d probably thin I was stark raving mad, but that’s what I’ve just done. Now we’re sitting by the pool ever hopeful that the blue skies of the sunshine state might return soon, it’s not looking good!! By the end of this holiday I won’t be tanned – just rusty…..

If the weather’s depressed, it’s no longer the only one. After hours of non-stop rain yesterday afternoon and thunder storms that raged all through the night till the early hours of this morning ( so hubby tells me a sleepless night the night before meant I slept through the whole thing!) We hoped that the gloom would finally be lifted – we opened the curtains to black skies -bliss. Thankfully by 9 the sun edged it’s way out allowing us a dry morning at Hollywood studios. Thinking the sun was back for good we headed back to the hotel for pool time – how wrong can you be!!! Still, I’m not shifting- I came here to relax by the pool and that’s what I’m going to do- even if I have to wear an ‘I look a right tit in this’ poncho! If I was at home I’d be running in the rain so I’m applying the same principle to sunbathing!

Just like Magic Kingdom yesterday Hollywood Studios was packed this morning. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the numbers that’s increased but the width of the people. (sorry, I’m off again) Battling your way through these people is bloody hard work especially when there’s whole families wedged side by side across the sidewalk (pavement) Think sardines in a tin – that’s how close they stand. Add to this Jack constantly going ‘ chuffing hell look at the arse on that’ ( his down to earth rugby coach has a lot to answer for!) and then you’ve got ‘wedged together family’ glaring at you.

To give Disney there due they seem to be trying to alleviate the obesity problem by employing as many of them as possible, hopefully if there busy they won’t have time to eat- but is putting them to work on the food counters the best option – magic if Disney anyone!!!!

Hollywood studios Done

Mall shopping this evening
( I need a new coat!!)

Bring it on

Pictures below are examples of more ridiculous portion sizes. The bottle of wine is so you can see the size of the coke for ONE that you get at the Cinema. The cupcakes were from Hollywood studios. Jack and I didn’t finish the one we shared gutsy Ernie ate the lot!!!

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Here comes the rain………..again!!

So just over twelve hours after leaving it we were back in the Magic Kingdom. Yep last nights attempt to sneak on the rides while everyone else was supposedly having tea proved to be disastrous – the place was cram packed. Full of tired irritable kids and mums ( or moms depending where you’re from) n dads at the end of their tether ( where is our tether- I’ve never worked it out)
With wait times for the rides at 80 minutes plus we decided to sod it- had something to eat and left. The highlight of the night – spotting an alligator in the river on the way back. Eeek, didn’t realise they were so close!!

Plus side of sodding off home was that we avoided the tropical storm and sat in the bar watching the masses coming back wet through and looking right tits in their Disney Ponchos!! We spent the night chatting to a family from over the water (!) – Rotherham.

Top tip if you’re coming to Disney – it may go against what you plan to do on a holiday, but if you want to get on the rides, you need to be up at eight and off to the parks for when it opens. Trust me this is our sixth time here now and it’s the only way.

So come eight this morning that’s exactly what we did. By twelve we’d done everything we wanted to do and headed back to the hotel to catch a few rays by the pool- sadly catching a few rays is proving to be problematic……..

It’s fair to say the weather obviously stopped taking it’s happy pills a few days ago as it’s well and truly depressed again. Now the weathermen don’t seem to have given it a girlie name yet but we’ve fondly called it ‘ a pain in the F’ing arse’. All we want to do is a little bit of swimming/ sunbathing. Jack and I braved it out today- stayed in the pool while it lashed it down. But then ‘Mr Health and safety’ suggested ( well told us) to get out or we were doomed- or something like that. Doesn’t he know we Brits are made of sterner stuff- thankfully I’d logged a few lengths for Juneathon before he turfed us out!

So for the second afternoon in a row we’re sat sipping coffee in the lobby watching the world go by. If it carries on like this I’ll be needing a spray tan before we head home…………

Magic Kingdom done

Rain free day tomorrow ( please, I’ll be really really good – I won’t mention obese people or anything!)

Bring it on

Bird Watching at the Lagoon….

So after a later (11:00 !) night last night, Downtown Disney and a basketball play-off game on TV – slightly more exciting than the baseball!!! We were up a little later this morning (8:30!) Just in time to get a taxi to get us to Typhoon Lagoon for it opening. If you’re not there early you’ve no chance of a sunbed – though why we need one when we spend the entire time in one pool or another is beyond me!!

Yep Typhoon Lagoon is a water park – plenty of water slides and a wave pool that more than knocks you off your feet. It’s also home to some amazing views- more people watching anyone!!! Never will you see so many shapes n sizes all in one place- from the plastic knockers to the beached whales- you see it all. I honestly never knew bathing suits/ bikinis came in such humongous sizes. Nor did I realise it was possible to have such over-sized knockers yet still be able to walk without tipping over! To be fair though you could tell the plastic tits, they were first to float to the surface when we’d been knocked over by the massive waves!!

Typhoon Lagoon is great fun,plenty of slides of varying heights and scare factor levels- I bottled the scariest slide, dropping ridiculously fast down a chute with nothing but a bikini for protection is not really my thing!!! The wave pool is awesome though, waves that get higher and higher until your being thrown across the water like a surfer, then you check all your bits n pieces are in the right place before going again- you see there are some advantages to having no knockers- my top stays firmly in place!!!

Nice to see Jacks interest in the birds growing- while I was pointing out the heron pinching someone’s dinner – he was eyeing up the knockers on the owner of the stolen dinner- boys!!!!

Typhoon Lagoon done

Magic Kingdom Later

Bring it on

PS- how do I log wave riding on Juneathon!!!!!!!

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Harry Potter……..or notter!!

So another day – another Theme Park. Back to Universal this time but the Islands of Adventure side ( to start with anyway!)
It’s funny how over the years our Florida holidays have changed, the first time we brought Jack he was 6 and we spent every waking hour taking in the Magic Kingdom, queuing for ages for his favourite Disney Character to sign his book. Fast forward a few years and he now knows his favourite character is some dude in a suit and wouldn’t be seen dead queuing for an autograph. Despite himself he still shouted out when Patrick n Spongebob went by today!!!
Disney still have some great rides to offer, but it’s Universal that offers the greater thrills n spills and finally Jack is tall enough to ride them all (gulp!)

Island of adventure is home to Harry Potter World. Now we Earnshaws are probably a bit of a rarity – we’ve never seen Harry Potter. So last time we came, when Harry was due to open and didn’t we were probably the only Virgin guests that didn’t rant n rave and demand our money back!! Call me a cynic, but the thing that bugs me about Harry Potter is that two of the rides were already there – they just built hogwarts etc around them and craftily renamed them!!! One ride is new though and even as a non hogwarts fan ‘Harry land’ looks pretty impressive.

Harry wasn’t on the agenda today though. We took advantage of the heat and did the rides that soak you through -cos we’d be dry in no time!!! Five hours later my denim shorts were finally dry ( note to self- wear board shorts next time!)

We also took part in our other favourite pastime today – posing on the photographs, you know the ones they take when your looking your worst on some terrifying ride – we’re wise to where the camera goes off now so all try to do the same pose -best year so far I think!!

Universal done – for today anyway

Typhoon Lagoon tomorrow

Bring it on

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Pool Day……….

So having had an extremely busy day at the Space Centre yesterday ( in case I forgot to mention it – it was fab!) we had a Saturday night in. Pizza, beer and the T.V. Unfortunately,despite millions of channels, American telly is just like ours- pants!!! So we ended up watching the baseball. Booorrriiinng! I thought it was just like rounders -it’s not. For a start they don’t even try and hit the ball half the time – now Hubby tells me it’s cos the pitcher ( bowler to you and me) chucks the ball that fast the batter (!) hasn’t a cat in hells chance in hitting it. Where’s the fun in that!!! Then when they do run to base they get half way and dive down and slide in- talk about fannying about – just peg it for Christ sakes, it’s much easier. Then the poor old kit lady won’t have to spend all week getting sand stains out of the kit!! I’ll never moan about the muddy rugby kits again.

So after a busy day, today was rest day – a day by the pool. Swimming, basketball, water rugby ( like water polo but with an oval ball) Did I say rest day!!! To be fair we got plenty of sunbathing in and time to do my favourite thing – yep you guessed right – people watching. The ones that play for the other team seem to be moving on, only to be replaced by the ‘ I tried weightwatchers and it failed’ gang. (See photo) I know I keep going on about it but the thing that fascinates/bothers me is that there are fat families waddling about not just one parent/child, but all of them. Occasionally in a fat family of four, one of them is obviously last to the tea table as they’re stick thin – weird!!!

To be fair though, when you see some of the portions they get served over here you can see where the problem lies – my sweet tonight – key lime pie – could of fed the whole restaurant.I didn’t finish it!!!

The other thing that baffles me – why come to the pool plastered in make up then swim with your head out if the water trying to keep your hair in place – shame our ball games ruined more than one face/ hairdo today- whoops!!

Juneathon Day 3 done by the pool

Universal studios tomorrow

Bring it on

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