I just realised that yesterdays blog was my 100th of the year. Wow that is a lot of verbiage, I have spouted. I haven't calculated the exact number yet but it means that we have spent well over 100 days this year out of the UK. That is more than 1 in 3. Being on holiday is almost becoming the norm for us. We know this is excessive but we still feel whilst we are healthily enough to do this amount of travelling, whilst we still love doing it and just as importantly we can just about afford it then we will continue to do so.
We still have the question whether we are doing the right trips to the right places at the right time for the right length. We still love the time we spend away together and seem to have much more time for each other whilst away. This trip is even more special by having our boys with us. Their time and company means more than anything or money to us and being in both ours and their favourite place makes it even more precious.
I am still unsure about the blog. Some days it seems a chore and others not. I don't like getting behind with it, yet I do not want to it to take over time when I should be having fun and relaxing. At some point I think I will try and collate them together into one volume for our own record. I am still getting some occasional nice feedback from some people about them.
The analytics I get from the blog is always interesting and at times somewhat alarming. The amount of detail Google collects is amazing. I still haven't worked out why some posts get a small number of views and occasionally others hundreds. I can tell what time of day, what browser and quite often who has read what. It amuses me when some people tell me that they read the blog entries, yet I can see they haven't and even more so the other way around. If little old me can get this much information just sent to me for free, then the amount of details the big organisations garner is frightening. Big Brother really is watching. I suppose the skill is knowing what to do with the information or 'big data'. I know when I get the monthly report I look it and think that's interesting and then move on. If perhaps I was trying to monetise the blog it would be different.
Today though I was scheduled to be the taxi driver for the boys by taking them up to Islands of Adventure. Karen & I had last visited this park in May and it was not one we felt the need to repeat so soon. The drive was easy and drop off was easy and Karen & I were back on the 192 in well under 1 hour from leaving the villa. We decided to take advantage of some 'free' time by doing some necessary shopping. Karen wanted to visit Walmart as there were a couple of things she wanted to pick up along with the usual fresh produce. I also filled up the car with petrol. We also made a quick stop in the 'Five Below' shop before returning to the villa.
Basically we sat around the pool for the rest of the day basking in the sun. I finished reading the book 'Eleanor Oliphant' which was a terrific read and one I can highly recommend. The story stayed with me for the rest of the day.
Around lunchtime we were in touch with the boys on WhatsApp and were amazed to learn they had already done all the rides bar one and were then eating lunch in the Harry Potter restaurant. The park was so quiet that they asked to be picked up at 4pm rather than us meeting them on City Walk at 6.30pm to get some food as planned. It didn't matter to us so we decided to stay by the pool until it was time to drive back up the I4 to collect them. We were just ahead of the rush hour so the drive was straightforward. There was a rather officious parking warden at the pick up point who would not let us wait for them to arrive so we ended up driving round slowly a few times until we saw them on the moving walkway. Years ago when we have done this they would proudly be wearing their Norwich shirts and we could pick them out the Yellow shirts from a long distance away. Today though they were more conservatively dressed, which made it trickier to spot them.
The boys were both rather quiet on the way home which we attributed to them both being tired from their exertions around the park although neither would admit it. They both seemed to have enjoyed themselves though. Karen & I then resumed positions by the pool for a while, whilst Barry had a nap and then chatted to Ellie. Neil chilled on the sofa getting quite absorbed by the US election coverage. Polls were starting to close and the first results were coming in. It was interesting to see their coverage of it all.
As none of us fancied another trip back up to City Walk to eat, Neil chose that we tried the new Rock & Brews restaurant that had just opened on the 192 not far from us. This is co-owned by Kiss apparently. It was a noisy busy place, kind of like a Rock music version of Buffalo Wild Wings with lots of screen showing music videos, including old clips we recognised as from Top of The Pops. The food was the usual fare and was alright. The service was prompt and friendly, and the prices were very reasonable.
It was still early and so we drove the short distance to Disney Springs to walk around the parts that Barry hadn't done this trip. Karen had a Starbucks whilst the boys explored and had fun in the Marvel shop. Eventually we arrived at the House of Blues where we stopped and had a drink outside, marvelling that it was November and very warm. We had a lovely conversation first of all about holiday plans for 2019 and 2020 and then about the US elections and UK politics.
In a jovial mood we headed back to the Villa where we sat and watched some more of the election results coming in.