After having a wonderful night at the Radisson Blu (our chosen airport hotel, which you can read about here), we arrived at the airport all raring to go. We flew on Thomson's new dreamliner, but apart from the (very) cool window lighting contraption, and the in flight transition mood lighting, I didn't honestly see much difference (don't know what all the fuss is about!).
We arrived in a very rainy Orlando mid afternoon (hurricane Erica hadn't quite got the hint that it wasn't wanted any more). We collected our hire car and proceeded to waste over an hour driving around aimlessly because we didn't know how to work the sat nav. Jet lag had got the best of us and a lack of sleep meant a few fine words were exchanged between me and Mike! What should have taken us 45 minutes to reach the hotel took us 2.5hrs. We got there though, we got there!
After me being fussy with hotel rooms and a quick change, we were settled in and unpacked. We took a stroll down International Drive and sampled our first Shake Shack. Oh.my.god. Lets just say I think I'd be one big lump if I lived there! For those that are clueless with Shake Shack, imagine McDonalds style food, but oh, so much better. The burgers just melted in the mouth. The cheesy chips... ahh.. take me back.
Food coma well and truly in full force, we took a slow stroll back in the humid heat and called it a night at 9.30pm. Hardcore.
Day 1 - We headed to Islands of Adventure and revisited all of our favourites that we did 2 years prior. We had ha-uge turkey legs for lunch (over-rated!), rode a few water rides (my faves!) and got caught in a massive rainstorm that ended up ankle deep within 10 minutes! Its weird how everyone in the parks congregate in shops when it pours. People sit on the floors, just killing time till it passes. Imagine doing that in England? Anyway, we realised this rainstorm wasn't shifting any time soon, so called it a day, legged it to the car park and drove back to the hotel.
Day 2 - My mum, her partner and my brother had arrived the day prior, so it was their first full day here, so we thought we'd show them the ropes. The first park we had planned with them was Universal. We got to sample the new Hogwarts Express (which takes you from Universal to Islands), we posed with Jaws, and rode so many 3D rides they were coming out of our ears. 3D rides in Florida are great!
Day 3 - We planned a chill out day today, which consisted of visiting the mall, taking a trip to IHOP and Downtown Disney. We had a failed encounter at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop (one of the Disney hotels restaurants). I had a reservation here for tea, however when we arrived, the menu was very limited (it was great for desserts and icecreams etc), however probably only 5 things to choose from for a main meal. However by the time we decided this restaurant wasn't for us, we'd already ordered drinks. Mike pulled a sicky, the waitress gave us the drinks on the house and we left. Win. We found a gorgeous italian place down International Drive called The Olive Garden. It looks pretty expensive but the food is surprisingly affordable. This was THE best meal I had all holiday. Definitely recommend if you ever visit! (Best bit was, just to 'keep us going', they provided us with this massive bowl of the most delicious salad and bread rolls, all for free!) Would you get that in England? I think not.
Stay tuned for Days 4 - 7!