This week Monday has passed me by so fast that I completely forgot to do my round up post. As I write this it’s Wednesday morning and we’re on our way to Kennedy Space Center. Since these posts are largely for my benefit, I’ll probably backdate this post to Monday anyway.
So as you probably know, we went away to Florida last week. It’s been a crazy, wonderful, exciting, hot, exhausting experience so far! However on Monday we were still at home. The girls were with their dad and Chris was at work, so I spent majority of the day sewing last minute dresses and skirts for the girls. At lunch time I headed over to Lincoln. I had parcels to post and last minute money to exchange into dollars. After that I headed to my mum’s where I would attempt to finish off the dress I was making for myself. At 6pm it was almost done but I needed to collect the girls from their dad at Grandma’s house. I lingered a while there but eventually we got away, getting the girls home and ready for bed. I spent the evening finishing off my dress and watching TV with Chris once he was home from work.
Tuesday was our last day at home so it was pretty mental. We packed, we cleaned, we shopped and I sewed some more. The day went past in a bit of a blur but Chris even fitted in a visit to his gran by the end of the day. Watching TV and sewing into the evening, Chris and I ended up awake till 2am, just so I could get everything done. We headed to bed exhausted, knowing we had to be awake again at 7am. When that time came around, we crawled out of bed and got ready for the day ahead.
Having set myself the deadline of 9.30am to leave the house, it was actually 10am when we left (I knew that would be the case though which is why my deadline was earlier than necessary). We travelled to mum’s and swapped all our bags to her car, before a last minute toilet swap and off. We headed down to London, stopping once at a services to eat our packed lunch and go to the toilet again. We then drove to the Hounslow West tube station, where we would park the car and head into London. One the tube we headed straight for Leicester Square and when we got there we located the Cinderella Exhibition. We queued for a short while before getting in and it then took around half an hour to look around. We took loads of pictures and even headed into the shop. We didn’t buy anything but a programme, but it was a nice experience to have had.
After the Exhibition we walked to Covent Garden, planning to visit the Disney Store. Unfortunately it was closed due to fire nearby and so we walked back to Leicester Square to catch the tube again. This time we got off at Gloucester Road and walked to the ASK Italian restaurant. We had dinner there and it was nice but just average really. Afterwards we caught the tube again, back to the car and then drove to the Travelodge we were staying at. After struggling to get a parking spot, we were finally there, checked in and overnight bags at the ready. Mum had her own room, so the four of us settled in for the night, watched some TV and I even sneaked a blog post in. By about 10pm we all went to sleep, knowing we would need to be up early again.
The next morning was Thursday and we all woke naturally just after 7am. I showered and got ready while the girls popped to see mum and then they got ready as well. By 8.30am we headed down for breakfast – all you can eat breakfast buffet. We filled ourselves up and then headed back to our rooms to grab our stuff. We went out to the car, loaded up and then drove to Purple Parking, for our airport parking. After sorting out the car, we unloaded our stuff, packed it into the trailer and minibus and then got on ourselves. We were driven to Heathrow airport, terminal 2, where we disembarked, grabbed our cases and headed inside! Check in was pretty easy, all done from this little self check-in machine. We got our boarding passes and luggage tags printed, before handing in our luggage and then going through security. Once in the terminal lounge, we had an hour to kill so the girls waited with mum and Chris and I took a wander around the shops. We headed back for a while, sat down and chilled out. Then at 12pm the boarding gate was announced so we all made our way there. Once there, it wasn’t very long till we actually boarded. We settled into our seats and got ready for takeoff.
Lily picked a movie out and got straight into watching it – Big Hero 6 again. Megan and mum watched it too but Chris and I watched different – mine was Mockingjay Part 1. The flight was just over 7 hours and while it was fine for the most part, Megan getting sick definitely took away from some of the enjoyment. We arrived at Montreal airport at 3.20pm local time (8.20pm on our body clocks) and since it was just a layover we didn’t have to collect luggage. However we did have to go through customs and security again and this took ages. Not only that but when we finally got through, we discovered the plane was delayed. As with all things like this, you never quite know how long you’ll have to wait and in the end it was almost an hour delayed. Once we were on the plane, Megan settled in to sleep while Lily looked wide awake. Megan did manage to sleep for majority of the flight and Lily fell asleep only for the last hour.
When we landed we collected our luggage and then went to collect the rental car. The line was huge and we waited over an hour – tired and grumpy! Finally we were all sorted, got the car and were on our way. It was 45 minutes to the villa so still a good chunk to go but when we got there, we all just collapsed exhausted. We unpacked the bare minimum and fell into bed. It was midnight local time but 5am for all of our bodies!
In the morning, majority of us were awake early – around the 6/7 mark. The girls had cereal as I’d brought some for them and we’d picked up milk on the way to the villa the night before. We scrapped together a cup of tea and coffee but otherwise there was nothing else. This meant we got up and ready, heading out food shopping for some essentials. We travelled only five minutes, till we reached a Publix – all of us heading inside. Despite it being an essentials shop we bought loads of rubbish too and all in all it came out almost $200. We headed back to the villa, unpacked the shopping and then had lunch. We spent the afternoon chilling out in the pool, unpacking our suitcases and basically just relaxing. We made dinner at the villa too, the girls having sausage burgers and chips, while we had regular burgers with chips and salad. Mum and I had blue cheese burgers while Chris’ were cheese and bacon. Finally it was bed time for the girls and as they headed off to sleep, we went back out to the poolside where it was now cool. We stayed there for an hour or so before finally calling it a night and heading to bed.
On Saturday the plan was to lay in as long as possible but I was awake for 6.30am. I headed for my computer and sorted out some photos and even the odd blog post for Twice the Mum. Everyone woke up bit by bit and we all had breakfast and tea/coffee. We were supposed to be meeting up with one of my friends at midday but they messaged to say they were ill and so this changed our plans. We’d had a lazy morning and we grabbed an early lunch before heading off to Magic Kingdom. It took just over half an hour to get there, then park, catch a tram, catch a monorail, go through bag check and finally use our tickets to get in. Megan’s ticket flagged up an error so we needed to sort that out and Megan got issued a new one. We then headed into the park, I was perhaps the most excited! We went into the Theater and had our Meet and Greet with Tinker Bell. We then queued to see Marie and then sat to wait for the parade which was about to start. First came the special Easter parade and next was the main Festival of Fantasy parade. The main one was awesome any my favourite part was the fire breathing Maleficent float.
Next we signed up for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, an interactive card game that you play around the park. We did the first portal but then we had to head off into Adventureland as we had FastPasses booked for the Magic Carpet ride. It only took a few minutes to ride and afterwards we headed onto the Jungle Cruise. Next came a Meet and Greet with Peter Pan and this was my most favourite bit by far, so far. Next we wandered around the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and then around a few shops. We headed back towards Cinderella’s Castle and actually managed to catch the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street parade. We stopped to watch this before continuing on and heading back to Main Street USA. Here we did a few more portals for our card game and defeated Cruella De Vil. We decided to leave it there and pick up on it another day. We headed out of the park and back to the car, where we drove back to the villa we’re staying in. However we were all so hungry that we stopped at the local takeaway and bought some pizza, garlic knots and chicken wings. We then rushed home to eat and relax, before getting the girls to bed and relaxing a bit before heading to bed ourselves.
Finally it was Sunday and the end of the week – though by this point we’d already lost all track of days. The plan for the day was Harry Potter in both Universal Studios and also Islands of Adventure. We headed out after breakfast and when we got to Universal Orlando we went straight for the Studios. Though it took a while to get through some of the park, we eventually made it to Harry Potter London and Diagon Alley. The girls spoke to Ernie at the Knightbus and had their picture taken outside 12 Grimmauld Place. We then headed into the shopping area of Diagon Alley, changed some money into Gringotts notes (not that I knew they existed – what happened to galleons, sickles and knuts??) and watched the street show of The Tale of the Three Brothers. We then queued up for the Gringotts ride – Escape from Gringotts – taking about 45 minutes in total. After that we went for lunch at The Leaky Cauldron and it was amazing. We tried Butterbeer in all three ways – regular, frozen and hot – as well as fish and chip, banger sandwich, lamb & beef stew and macaroni cheese. We were so stuffed afterwards!
Next we headed into Ollivanders, watched the show and both girls bought a wand. We headed out to look around all the other shops too and even made our way down Knockturn Alley. I bought an Avada Kedavra t-shirt and a Pygmy Puff key ring (to replace the one I lost when my car was stolen) and the girls bought full size Pygmy Puffs, one in pink and one in purple. Apparently the boys are pink and girls are purple so our two got named Ginny and Arnold. Next we made our way to the Hogwarts Express, via Kings Cross Station. It took a while to get on but the journey was fun, a ride in itself with story and screen on the windows and doors. Once we were off, we were in Hogmeade and of course near Hogwarts. We wandered around a little before deciding to do the Hogwarts ride – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Despite the fact Lily couldn’t ride (and Chris didn’t want to) we were all allowed to queue together which meant we could all see inside. The ride was amazing though mum got off feeling sick and Megan was a little wobbly too. I would definitely recommend it to ride lovers but not for the faint hearted.
To recover ourselves we headed to The Three Broomsticks for a drink, this time including Gilly Water and Pumpkin Juice. Pumpkin Juice was disgusting but I kept the bottle as a souvenir anyway, I made a note to pick up a souvenir Butterbeer glass, the next time we had some. After another quick look around the shops, we went back to Hogsmeade station and caught the Hogwarts Express back to London. The story was different this time which was nice as well. When back at London, we were a bit lost for what to do. We needed to stay in the park for dinner in order to use our dining card but we were all still full from lunch. In the end we left mum sat on a bench with her book, while we headed into a ride called Disaster. The queue time was only 10 minutes and the ride was a lot of fun, so we were definitely glad we did it. Afterwards we headed back to mum and we were all ready to eat again. We went to Richter Burgers where we all had burgers and fries, milkshakes etc. as we had one snack left to use on our dinning card we headed back into Diagon Alley and grabbed some ice cream. We tried Butterbeer flavour amoungst others but unfortunately we were so full that no one managed all of theirs! We hung around long enough to see the dragon breathe fire at night and then we left. Everyone was tired and it was late so after eventually getting back to the villa, we all headed to bed. This ended our week, though technically we seem to be working on a Thursday to Wednesday week right now!
Please keep an eye out for the wonderful guest posts I have going live this week, as well as some scheduled wish lists and tags! I’ll hopefully remember my Monday round up post next week but I wouldn’t hold your breath as I have a busy Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday planned! Hope you’re all having a nice week – I know I am!