Today was a special day. It was 37 years ago to the very day that Karen & I went out to dinner in Steers in Norwich. I remember that well because it Spurs were playing Man City in the FA Cup final replay and Ricky Villa scored that goal. It was on the TV in the restaurant behind Karen. Today also marked the 18th anniversary of when I was in the middle of a fortnight in Hospital suffering from Campylobacter. It was also my birthday.
I had woke early, tired and grumpy because as a special gift, Karen has treated me to her range of Tractor Engine impressions all night long that meant I had only managed between 2 - 3 hours sleep. Twice I had retreated to the Lounge to try and get away from the noise.
It felt a strange day. Holidays are always special days but this one with a birthday didn't make it feel any extra extra special.
Yes, I received lovely messages and cards from family and friends. Yes, I received presents from Karen & Neil that were great. Its just somehow it didn't feel like birthdays do at at home. I think it is because birthdays at home break up the normal routine and the day then does feel different. Here that there was no set routine and so it was all a bit surreal.
It also didn't help that the weather was rubbish. It was drizzling by 8am and just got heavier through until about 2pm. Nowhere looks as nice in the wet and as much as we love Florida it is no different to anywhere else. I wasn't so bothered for me, it was Neil I was upset for. This is his only holiday of the year and to lose one day to rain is a big chunk of his holiday, especially given the money it cost him to fly here.
So despite feeling slightly irritable we all decided to go out about 10am. I had always laughed and said on my birthday I would like a WWW day. As it was raining we thought we would actually have a quick visit to the 'wonderful, world of Walmart'. After about 20 minutes even I had had enough and we headed to Disney Springs. We wandered good naturedly in the rain. Karen celebrated my day by having a Starbucks. We went in some of the shops that we had missed out on our previous visit. For a birthday treat we had a Pizza each at Blaze. These are really good. Its a bit like a Subway for Pizzas and they build them for you in front of you. Then they are cooked for 180 seconds in a wood oven and delivered to your table.
After this we went and got more chocolate from Ghiradelli and Karen got an ice cream, which as it was my birthday I actually had a few scoops from. By now the rain had stopped and it was looking brighter. So we went to the Disney Summerland Mini Golf and played a round. The not very competitive Neil beat me again (on my birthday!) by one shot.
After this we went for a walk around the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is a lovely thing to do. We saw the animals outside including Giraffes and Zebras. Whilst their we had a Facetime call with Barry to mark my birthday. He was in good spirits and it was lovely to be able to 'see' him. I was sad though that he was not with us in person this time.
We then headed back to the Villa for a while and then met the Napiers at the local Outback for my birthday meal. Now we had booked this trip completely separately from them and before them. It was only after they had booked that we realised we overlapped and are actually booked on the same flight home. Not only that but we then both independently chose and booked to stay on the same housing estate that neither of us had stayed anywhere near before. Great minds and all that (or fools never differ).
Anyhow it was lovely to meet with them and to catch up on what each other had been up to. The meal was very good as well and Paige was very well behaved considering the 3 strangers she had around the table. As I was driving I stuck with water in the restaurant but we opened a bottle of champagne when we got back to the villa to round off the day.