Today started quietly. Whether that was because Neil had by now safely arrived at home, the fact that the holiday was close to coming to an end for the rest of us or general tiredness I am not sure.
It was also as predicted the coolest day of the trip with the temperature only tipped to hit 19c. It was still very pleasant still requiring only T Shirts & Shorts but we noticed it more as we had become accustomed to the heat.
During the day I become fed up with the number of Americans saying to me ‘How are you enjoying the weather, this coolness is great isn’t it’ then I will explode. Each time I had to explain calmly that ‘No I’m not enjoying it, we came for the sunshine’.
Anyhow, around 9.30am Karen & I made our traditional quick dash to the Outlets before going home to return items that either did not fit properly or we had changed our minds over. Well that was the plan but Karen actually came home with more items than she returned. We went to a drive through Starbucks on the way back.
Back at the Villa, Barry & Ellie wanted one last visit to Animal Kingdom. As we didn’t have any firm plans ourselves, I volunteered to drop them off to save them the car parking fee which was still a source of annoyance for me. The beauty of the location of this Villa is that we can be at that car park in 10 minutes.
Karen & I then drove to Celebration for a walk down Main Street and around the Lake. This is always something we enjoy. The whole place is so calm and peaceful and we feel so us. There is a real sense of community and everyone is so friendly. We were unsuccessful though in trying to locate a ‘penny’ that Sharon & Iain had hidden for us to find around the Lake. Afterwards we realised that we were looking in the wrong place.
On a whim I decided that I fancied a bowl of Clam Chowder for Lunch and so we went to the Celebration Tavern overlooking the Lake. What a find. The food was plentiful and delicious. Whilst my chowder was really good, Karen had a Blackened Mahi Mahi sandwich which was out of this world. It came with the best proper chips I have ever tasted in the US. The price was reasonable as well and we definitely will go back.
We had just got back to the Villa when we got the message that Barry & Ellie were ready to be picked up. That only took a round trip of about 25 minutes before we were all back at the Villa.
I was doing my best to put on a brave face as they got on with packing for their departure. We all then had a good 90 minutes in the Spa chatting about Life in General as well as talking about our individual highlights from the trip. It has been memorable in so many ways.
Sadly though it was rapidly coming to an end. Just after 6pm Barry & Ellie packed up their car and we said the first of what would be two goodbyes. We took both cars to the garage so that we could assist Barry in filling up with fuel for the first time in the US. It can be quite a faff sometimes especially when you to return the rental car full of fuel and you don’t have a US credit card. Despite all the running around they had done, and the petrol gauge almost on empty it only cost $20 for them to fill up the tank.
We then said our second goodbyes and waved them off. I almost held it together until I got back in the car.
Karen was then keen to get our last minute shopping done. I cannot reveal too much more as it was almost exclusively presents for people who may be reading this. It took us a lot longer than we had planned. I also knew that it was a ruse by Karen to stop me going back to the now empty villa and getting upset.
We ended up eating in Outback at ‘The Loop’. As Karen had had a large lunch she went for a House Salad with Chicken, which she sent back as even I agreed it looked under cooked. I had a perfectly cooked salad.
Over dinner we reflected upon our trip and how we had enjoyed it so much. Our family dynamic has changed for the better with the addition of Ellie. We feel that we have gained a family member rather than having lost Barry to another. Karen has always been used to an all boy household and is loving finally having a girl she can talk to.
Karen is always reticent to arrange to meet female friends or family for a chat for the fear of bothering them (and we wonder where Neil gets it from), so it has been just great to see her and Ellie just chatting away. Ellie has just fitted in seamlessly and put up with all of our idiosynchronicities.
We then made a final dash back into Disney Springs to get another present. It was a failed mission as we could not locate what we were looking for despite getting some cast members trying to assist us.
So some 5 hours after leaving the Villa with Barry & Ellie we finally arrived back. Despite some issues at Check In, Barry & Ellie were now some 750 miles into their journey. Karen started her packing whilst I got on with some final Holiday admin before retiring for the night.