Summer at last!! As usual, this summer holiday was left rather last minute and only really came into being after my cousin suggested that I and sister fly out to America to my Aunt’s house if we could find flights cheap enough. After searching websites and doing a little digging and debating we finally found flights and it was decided that all four of us would fly out to Orlando for 2 weeks. It had been 14 years since we had holidayed in that part of the world so it was about time for a revisit.
Orlando has always been somewhere we had thought about going back to at some point but never really set aside a date to go because there was always somewhere cheaper or new we could go to instead but not this year. All in our flights were £380 each including luggage and seeing as we were staying with family there wasn’t a large accommodation bill to pay for the 2 weeks. Every year my Aunt and her two grandkids, my cousins, go out to America for at least 6 weeks over the school holidays. By the time we headed out they had already had a month out in the sun and were travelling about an hour to meet us when we landed at Sandford International Airport.
Now back in the UK we have been gripped by the UK’s biggest heatwave for as long as anyone can remember, thinking this was just preparing us for how hot it was going to be on our holiday was a little bit of a misunderstanding. Coming off the plane the heat did hit you like a freight train but what hit us about half an hour into the journey to my aunts? Rain, rain like we hadn’t seen since, well the last time we were in America during the rainy season. the wipers were going like a bolt out of the blocks and trying to keep up with my aunt’s car we were following was proving ten times harder in the think spray. Follow one people carrier in the country that every other person has Dodge caravan or a 5.7 litre pick up racing past you is harder than you think to add the rain and the American toll booths we had no change for and it’s like something out of a horror film.
Eventually, we made it to my aunt’s house and were able to breathe a sigh of relief and change into something a little less smothering. Dungarees and a zipper aren’t exactly ideal for 32-degree heat. Now that everyone back home had been made aware of our eventual safe arrival at the house it was time to unpack and pinch myself and realise where I actually was.
Seeing as it was 14 years since we were last in the house, a lot had changed and it got a little surreal to be sitting in the children’s bedroom I had spent some time in as a child on holiday. Even though my family no longer rent out the house and just use it for family use, the room that was the “kids room” is still the kid’s room and the paintings and designs on the wall were done by my uncle that has sadly died since we had last been out.
Reminiscing about the house complete and unpacking semi-complete it was time to jump in the pool and relax! It’s funny how somethings see so much bigger when you are little. in remember being terrified of the “other end of the pool” (deep end) while being chased after in the pool by my uncle. Everything else seems just as it was the last time we were there and I couldn’t wait to see the rest of the area and revisit some of the attractions to jog the memory.
First stop, get some shopping done. If the last shopping event this side of the water is anything to go by it was a lot cheaper than back home so it was time to see if anything had changed. This time around, me and my sister were interested in the shops, sorry dad! with the likes of Vineland, Mall of Millennia and Florida Mall there was plenty of choice of designers, brands and outlets to pick from. My sister’s paradise was found! That being said, I managed to pick up a few steals as well. The outlets in America have the craziest discounts you can think of. For a start, most material items are a little cheaper but when you add in a 60% discount then a final 25% discount in the “summer sale” or “seasonal discount”, it’s safe to say that I went a little mad.
There seemed to be a recurring theme on this holiday, if it looks a little dull and rainy, have a look round the shops. Next stop is “the Loop” don’t know why a group of shops/area is called this but its where we headed a few days into the holiday and found what has to be the best shop. Ulta Beauty hello! In Scotland, the closest we get to a shop like this is either Debenhams, Jenners, or House of Fraser if you are lucky. one look at the Tarte counter and I have a look of “Ahhhhh!” and say ill be over here if you need me. I hear a lot about the various Tarte products and wish I could swatch them before I pay to ship so this is a prime chance! Shape tape concealer and foundation spied, next stop Morphe counter.
If I’m a sucker for anything it’s a good eyeshadow pallet. Having seen my sisters pallet it was too good an opportunity to pass up and bag two on my way through the stands. One thing caught my eye, however, it Cosmetics. I’ve never reallyseen it Cosmetics on any stands here in Scotland but always hear great reviews of the CC+ cream. my shade has been found and the basket is starting to alarm me as I decide enough will be enough and dad is sitting in the car wilting away while us girls debate colours, pigment,t and coverage of makeup before joining the queue. Last stop, as usual, is the sale stand and a few Ulta own brand eyebrow pencils. The total is a little surprising but hey I’m only there once. Pay it and forget it is my motto! The only thing left on my shopping list was a few things for people back home and something Disney related. Everywhere I go I get something, jumper, t-shirt or zipper its just something I like to do.
The damage has been done! I might have to do a separate post with my America purchases, Aww well only there once!
Having had a few days relaxing by the pool and topping up the tan, the slight colour I call tan anyway. I don’t tan very well so attempting to use the Fox Tan Elixer and tanning oil to at least look like I’ve been on some kind of holiday. I should really say that I was using sun cream as well and I always try my best to stay safe in the sun. I ended up getting a half decent tan for a blonde but it took its time and a hot day on Cocoa Beach to really bring it out. The thing with the Fox Tan is that the Elixer has to be applied for 3-5 years before you go on holiday or start exposure to the sun which is a bit of a pain but works none the less. I will do a tanning regime post if that is something that you’d like to see then give this post a little like.
Having got a little too hot and needing a break from the sun we decided to visit Buena Vista shopping. This time it was to visit the Calvin Klien shop to use a voucher my Aunt had been sent. Nearly $100 later and with the voucher used it was time to head back for food again or at least a well-airconditioned car! My god, it was hot!
The one thing about America is I’m glad I’m not the one driving the car. No offence to anyone but to me the American drivers are a little mental, go right on a red, change lane at the last minute, cars being held together with bungee ropes and tape. Someone explain to me how the hell that is road worthy!?!
Now when in America, you have to visit at least one park. For us, the main thing about this holiday was visiting Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The last time we were in America, my sister was only 4 and can’t remember much of the parks and only has videos of what it was like. For a start, it hasn’t changed much in the years since we’ve been apart from a few rides and characters.
The first ride had to be thunder mountain railroad which I was too small for the last time! That’s one way to start the day scream my head off all the way around but the next stop wasn’t, much better.
Splash Mountain was a little vague from my memory apart from it being really high and fast and I was correct, scream I did yet again!
Now if you’ve ever been to Orlando in June or July, you’ll know that more than likely there’s a thunderstorm every day. Today’s storm struck just as we were queueing for Splash mountain. The next thing we know there’s an announcement that “due to inclement weather in the current vicinity, the ride had to be stopped and would resume when the storm passed.” About an hour passed and eventually, we started the move down the line. All the while my Dad is standing like the typical British tourist running for cover between downpours and getting soaked watching for us coming down. Best to see he was a little wet, grumpy and looking like an angry, drowned rat by the time we got back round to him but not for long.
The only disappointment was that because of the weather, the day parade had been cancelled and the night parade was MIA and no one could exactly tell us what kind of display was happening. Aside from the rather vague details of the night show, there was also a rather rude “cast member” (employee) who was rather short with everyone in the queue to meet the characters. The fact that we had been waiting to get pictures with the likes of Mickey for over an hour was bad enough but to be met with a rather rude member of staff being short and making snarky remarks was enough to push anyone over the edge.
With Mickey done and out of the way we decided to head to Castle along Main Street and find ourselves a spot to watch the fireworks that I later found out is sponsored by Pandora who have the best selection of Disney charms. Definitely going to have a look at getting some of them. This being easier said than done as we had to find somewhere to get a good view and to meet up with my cousins once they had come off of the 7 dwarfs ride I think used to be called the Matterhorn? With a space found and cameras at the ready, I was five again. The last time we went to Disney fireworks, I was sat on my Uncle’s shoulders to get the best view as Tinker Bell flew over the crowds. Already halfway through the holiday. my holiday was complete, got my ears and seen Disney, one very happy Lauren.
Since this was two weeks long and I’m not going to bore you in one go there’s another post coming with the rest of the holiday so keep an eye out for part 2. If you’ve ever been to Disney or Orlando then let me know what was your favourite part or things to do, I’d love to know.