It’s another lengthy one with loads of photos! Please stay seated with your hands, arms, legs and feet inside at all times 😂
Thanks to our preference for heading off on holiday midweek (pro tip, flights tend to be cheaper that way), it feels like our 2 weeks away take up almost 3 weeks of our time. This was a week that started in Disney and ended back home, and it’s always a strange one as it feels like the trip has whizzed by, yet at the same time the first day or two feel like they were ages ago! Clearly I prioritised fun over fitness this time around, but did manage to fit a few bits and pieces in to keep me ticking over:
Monday – Disney day
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 30 mins
Thursday – I basically had no idea what day it was!
Friday – rest
Saturday – parkrun sandwich + SUP yoga
Sunday – SUP yoga
The week kicked off with our third and final Disney park day of the trip and once more my sister was in charge of all arrangements (I quite like this. I wonder if I need some kind of PA to sort my life out all the time haha!). If you’ve read my previous posts from the trip then you’ll know our plans kept evolving in a bid to maximise our time and ensure we managed to do all the things we wanted to. We decided to begin this day at the Magic Kingdom since there was one ride we didn’t manage to do on our previous visit and we knew we would need to be there for rope drop and that brisk walk over there in oder to make it work.
On arrival, we spotted the Main Street vehicles just arriving at the entrance hub and took the chance to get a lift along Main Street to the castle, something I’ve never done before. I’m sure the other family in there with us loved me announcing, “I’m in a parade!” In a loud voice haha!
Ride done, the plan was to get the monorail over to Epcot when we were ready, however my sister had gone off to do some other bits and pieces leaving Steve and I unsupervised for a while and I needed to catch up with her to make use of her AP discount for a couple of purchases before we left, so Steve and I amused ourselves with a massive coffee and some photo ops until she could join us.
And a quick character greeting once Linsey showed up.
After that, we parted ways for a bit with Steve and I jumping on the monorail to Epcot and Linsey finishing up what she wanted to do in MK with plans to meet us later. That’s right, we were off to a whole other park unsupervised. I’m more than capable of sorting out what to do and making plans, but I’d grown so used to Linsey doing it for us that it did feel strange! Luckily, she had organised a couple of Fastpasses for us so we were all set and filled in some time with a cheeky character meet and greet. I mean, I couldn’t put Steve in the “duck butts” and not take him to meet Donald 😂.
And of course a visit to see Elsa and Anna (apparently Steve didn’t know which was which until this moment. Oh the shame!).
Lunch was a noodle bowl and beer in the China pavilion of World Showcase then on our way to meet Linsey we nipped in to Club Cool for a drink and were devastated to find NO BEVERLY. If you know, you know!
Unfortunately, there was a storm that afternoon. Nothing particularly unusual and it shouldn’t have been too disruptive to our plans, however the lightning took out some power in Disney and several rides were off for a while. Despite that, we still managed to tick off all the important things we wanted to do, and passed the time during the storm having a snack break. Rose gold cupcake for me.
And a couple more character meets to finish off.
We didn’t stay for once last showing of IllumiNations (it finishes at the end of September but I was told last year was my last time seeing it so I’m ok with this) as we were on the move again to head over to Hollywood Studios to catch the Star Wars fireworks, an evening show I hadn’t seen before. Prior to the fireworks there was a really cool projection show on the Chinese Theater at the end of the main entrance street, then a short wait before the fireworks. I have to say, I’m not much of a Star Wars fan (I know I’ve seen the originals and maybe one of the prequels, but not much more) but even I knew it was a stunning combination of projections, pyros, lasers and fireworks. It actually made me think I should watch the films!
Sadly after that we were saying goodbye to Disney World for this year, but thanks to the decision to pack more park days in, we made loads of amazing memories to keep us going for a while.
The Tuesday was designated for a bit of final shopping as my parents had appointments for haircuts and the place they go is close to the outlet mall on International Drive so Steve and I just take ourselves along there to wander around the shops and meet up with my parents later on. We were actually fairly quick in getting round all the places we needed to go and when I called my mum they had just found themselves a good table at the food court so we hot-footed it over there to join them and grabbed the standard “food court Asian food” for lunch.
When we arrived back home it was time to pack, which actually didn’t take too long, then we were off out again to treat my parents to a meal out by way of “rent” payment for our stay. Mum loves Red Lobster so we usually go there. I’m not a huge seafood fan, but there are plenty of things I like so it was a great meal, even if it does taste of going back home ☹️
I wanted one last run before leaving on the Wednesday and I find that getting up early for a run tends to mean I sleep a bit better on the flight in the evening, so we headed out early on a different route to my previous run. It was slightly longer, but good to get out.
Since our flight wasn’t until the evening, we didn’t need to leave until later in the afternoon so spent the morning soaking up the last of the sunshine before getting showered and changed ready to leave. We had managed to score decent seats for the flight and I was fairly comfortable. I watched Guardians of the Galaxy (because I hadn’t seen it before) then popped Frozen on but fell asleep pretty much as soon as Elsa had Let it Go. I probably had a solid 4 hours or so and didn’t feel too bad during the remainder of our journey home.
Of course when we arrived at Gatwick for our connection it was now Thursday, but I don’t think I ever really get to grips with what day it is when I’m travelling anyway. We had been slightly delayed leaving Orlando thanks to a storm so that cut the time we had to wait at Gatwick and by the time we had sat down for a reviving coffee, it was pretty much time to head to our gate.
Not too long after, all three of us (my sister was on the same flights back) made it safely back to Edinburgh and were reunited with our luggage (there had been some doubt about this thanks to a baggage issue at Gatwick and we had been told not to expect our bags at our final destination. Good management of expectations there, British Airways!).
Once home it was really just a case of unpacking, heading out for some essentials and grabbing some dinner before bed.
I slept pretty well and then was up sharp as I was excited about collecting the kitties from the cattery. I knew they would be perfectly fine as I have been using this cattery for years and totally trust the owner as she is fantastic, but since this was their first time in there it had played on my mind a little as I didn’t know how they would react. I needn’t have worried, Sooty was being her usual slightly aloof and independent self, while Smokey, my big softy of a mummy’s boy, was so pleased to see me that if he could have fitted in my pocket he would have happily climbed in there for the rest of the day! It was so good to have them home again. I missed their furry faces!
After taking Friday to chill out and start adjusting my body clock, Saturday was time to get back into a regular routine. First up, parkrun. I knew I wouldn’t run too well thanks to a general lack of running, the long haul travel, time difference and fact that I’m convinced I missed a meal somewhere, but it was still good to be back and see my parkrun pals again (I missed a parkrun before we left so it felt like ages since I’d been there). I did go for the parkrun sandwich, but my legs were pretty weary on the way home and I definitely felt like the plug had been pulled out, but knew this was down to travel and would pass in a day or two.
After parkrun, I headed down to the outdoor centre for a. SUP yoga session. The promise of getting out on the water had given me something to look forward to once home and I really enjoyed it. The water felt a little chilly, but thankfully I stayed on my board. Yes, we did go to the cafe after and I had my usual chicken mayo sandwich.
I did run on the Sunday morning, but kept it to 10k as my legs still hadn’t quite caught up with me and the last mile or two was a bit of a slog. But it was a nice morning and I knew getting back into my regular running routine would help me to reset my body clock.
As a bonus, I had another session of SUP yoga so took myself back down to the outdoor centre. It was another great session and the water actually felt a lot warmer than the day before. By the time we were finished I could definitely feel the hard work in my abs after a SUP double-header! I was also starving and since I didn’t want to have the same thing for lunch two days in a row, I opted for French toast with bacon and maple syrup. I can tell you right now that this won’t be the last time I order this – it was amazing!
And that was my week! It feels like I crammed so much in there that it’s hard to believe it was just 7 days. Roll on next summer and another trip to Florida…
Do you cope well with long haul travel?
What exciting things have you been up to this summer?
PS If you want to take advantage of my sister’ Disney expertise, she writes a blog here.