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Florida - May 18 - Orlando Eye

Today the weather was again forecast to be showery all day. This was now getting seriously annoying especially for Neil for whom this was to be his last full day. The TV was reporting rainfall to already be at 241% of the normal amount for the whole of May and it was only the 18th.

So as we woke up to some sun we thought we would head straight for the Orlando Eye or whatever it had been now been rebranded to. After sorting out the tickets Neil had bought us we were ready to enter our cabin but not after a few minutes delay due to the ineptitude of the staff at the gate. I think everyone should have the Disney training.

We were delighted to find that we were allocated our own cabin and were soon slowly making our way to the top. The further we rose the more we could see. All of the Disney, Universal and other landmarks came into sight. Apparently on a really clear day you can see the launch building some 60 miles at Kennedy Space Station. I'm not sure my long distance vision is good enough for that without binoculars.

The higher we got though, the more 'nervous' Karen became until she wouldn't let go of the pole in the centre of the cabin.

We were eventually 122m up and I must admit that I got slightly spooked when at the very top I thought we had stopped moving but it was just an illusion. We took loads of photos and Neil & I really enjoyed spotting the different sites.

It was a great experience and one I would highly recommend. We have now been fortunate to have ridden 4 of the 6 largest wheels in the world.

From here we drove to Disney Springs for lunch. Neil & I shared a bowl of Poutine as an aperitif from the Poutine stall. For the uninitiated, Poutine is a Candian Dish of Chips, Curds & Gravy. It tastes an awfully lot better than it sounds. We ate this sitting outside whilst Karen wandered to get a Starbucks.

Neil had been hankering after some food from The Earl of Sandwich takeaway so after getting the obligatory Ghirardelli chocolate we headed there. I was given queuing and ordering duty whilst Karen & Neil secured a table outside. The queue was flipping enormous and because each sandwich is 'handcrafted' took flipping ages. By the time I had got the food, the heavens had opened and so they had had to abandon the table outside and moved back inside.

After a while when the rain has ceased we decided to visit the Old Key West resort. We enjoy visiting all the Disney Hotels as they are all so different and all very interesting to walk around with many different unique features. However because of the inclement weather the free boat service from Disney Springs had been suspended, so we drove there instead.

The security to enter was non existent. We wandered round and Karen was very taken by the resort. Neil was keen to revisit Wilderness Lodge so we soon left and drove onto that Hotel which is close to the Magic Kingdom.

Upon arriving we purchased a drink and sat outside taking in the ambience. It really is quite an imposing and impressive wooden lodge style building. We wandered down to the Lake and worked out which was the Discovery Island that we had visited on our first trip to Florida in 1993. The weather was still dry but very humid and rain was still very much in the air.

We went back to the Villa where Neil had the horrible job of packing. He was understandably grumpy about it whilst I was very sad he was going home and struggling to hide it to Karen's annoyance.

As it was his last night, it was Neils choice where to eat tonight and so we went to Longhorn Steakhouse. Funnily enough, the Napiers pulled in the car park spot next to us but they were eating at the Bahama Breeze restaurant next door. So after a very quick catch up we went our separate ways.

The food was very good and Karen proclaimed her steak to be the best of the trip.

Finally we drove back to the Boardwalk for another stroll round. En route the rain started again. We hadn't got very far when it became torrential. We sought shelter under the porch of the Jellyrolls club and immediately we did so the Epcot fireworks started and we had a great view of them undercover. The timing was perfect as when they finished so did the rain so we able to complete our walk all around the lake. It may have been damp but it was still warm. We stopped for a quick final drink for Neil at ESPN zone which is one of his favourite places.

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