This morning we were both up very early. I was up as I was receiving messages from the boys about their journeys and Karen because she was worried about them.
It has been a surprise to both of us that as the boys get older that we still worry about them both as much as we do. We thought it would become less as they grew older but we worry just as much but about different things. Thats why I suppose we are the known as the sandwich generation. I look back and think about my own Mum & Dad and think they had a much healthier approach to it all. With five of us, they would have been nervous wrecks if they worried as much as we do about our two.
Could it be that the world is a much more dangerous place now, or that through technology we know so much more? Probably not, it is more likely our own parenting that is at fault and the fact we have not yet been able to stand back and let them live their own lives.
Anyhow Neil had had a nightmare drive down to Gatwick for his early morning flight the night before due to roadworks. We were concerned that Barry may encounter the same problems for his mid afternoon flight. Neil was away on his flight to join us before Barry & Ellie arrived at the airport for their flight. Their journey to the airport was quick and easy with no holdups. They too took off on time and I was able to track both their flights online.
As we were up and about we decided to take advantage of the fast passes we had booked at Animal Kingdom. We were in no rush and leisurely made our way into the park, this time paying the $25 car parking fee. As with many of the parks there was a lot of building work and it was quicker to walk to the park entrance than getting the trolley.
We wandered slowly through the park and took advantage of the free memory maker that our ticket included to pose for the official photographers a couple of times. We have never had or used this before and it will be interesting to see the quality of the photos later. Karen was not keen on the fact it involved lots of posing.
Our first fastness was for Kilimanjaro Safaris and after a few minutes waiting to board we set off. Whether it was because it was early morning or that this was in fact our coolest day so far with extensive cloud coverage, the animals were all very active. We passed elephants playing and rolling in the water and the Lions were all bellowing and then chasing each other. It was all rather good. From here we headed to Expedition Everest. Whether it was because it was a while since we had ridden it, but this seems wilder and even more thrilling than we remembered it.
By now Karen needed a coffee, so we walked to Starbucks and got her 11th of the trip. I had brought with me in my pocket a pack of the snack Ritz biscuits we enjoy. Whilst waiting for Karen I bit into one and promptly spat it out into my hand. It was awful. Mistakenly I had purchased Peanut Butter ones. They were horrible. I pouted miserably at my mistake, not only at the money wasted but the fact I was hungry and I had a foul taste in my mouth. I just hope some of our new arrivals will like the other 19 packs in the box back at the Villa.
It was all rather pleasant just sitting their outside Starbucks, watching all the people scurry by. We didn’t want to explore too much further today and so decided to walk to see the Bird Show based on the film Up. It was fun in parts and some of the birds they had trained were quite impressive. After this we slowly made our way out of the park. It was fun being able to exchange message with Barry who had wifi on his flight.
On the way back to the Villa we filled up with petrol and quickly bought some more bread and milk (and Sauvignon Blanc) for our guests later arrival.
There was now not a cloud in the sky and so we had our lunch by the pool. Neil’s flight had made up some time and so we ended up leaving sooner for the airport than we had originally planned. We waited for him at the Cell Phone Parking Lot. I always find the wait a bit stressful as I have no idea where they are or how long they are going to be. We had a message that he was quickly through immigration but then he was another 40 minutes before getting his luggage. Eventually we got the message that he was outside waiting and we drove round and easily found him waiting for us. It was lovely to see him and he was quite chatty for a change.
We took him back to the Villa and gave him the guided tour. There was a surreal moment when he claimed the beds were all too short for him. I had to measure them all to prove they were all in fact the same standard size.
As we were all hungry we then went to the local Outback for a Steak. As ever, it was top notch. Neil then wanted to have a look round Super Target which passed another 30 minutes or so.
Back at the Villa again, we all chilled out waiting for Barry & Ellie’s arrival. For the first time Barry had hired his own car so that they could come and go as they please. I always find it somewhat daunting getting a rental car after being on a flight for so long, in a foreign country, and driving it on the wrong side of the road in an Automatic. He however seemed to take it all in stride (proving yet again that we worry too much) and they turned up at the Villa about 10.30pm.
It was lovely to see them both. After getting themselves a snack we gave them the big tour of the Villa as well. Neil was already in bed by this point and it wasn’t long before tiredness overtook Barry & Ellie as well. At that point we turned in as well.