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2022 - November - Florida - Day 16

Here comes the rain again

Falling on my head like a memory

Falling on my head like a new emotion

Overnight the news about Tropical Storm Nicole had not been good. It was now expected to be upgraded to a Hurricane at any point and hit central Florida badly in the next 24 hours. Neil was all for building a storm shelter whilst Barry was starting to fret about the flight home being delayed and the impact on his cats etc. I was surprisingly nonchalant about it all and felt it all added to the experience although I would have preferred blue skies and sunshine especially for the boys and Ellie.

After my usual porridge for breakfast, we headed out to Hollywood Studio whilst the weather permitted and the parks remained open. Barry & Ellie headed out even earlier than us to Animal Kingdom.

There was heavy rain on the drive there but it eased to a very light fine drizzle by the time we had parked and walked to the gates. Our plan to ride ‘Rise of the Resistance’ was again scuppered by the fact it was not working again. This has become more of a common theme this trip as it seems the cuts by Disney on maintenance for rides has really started to hit home. In fact, as we entered the park most if the large ticket rides were down.

So, whilst it might not have been our first choice of attraction, we went to watch Muppets 3D. It got us out of the fine rain and actually was a good choice as it had been several years since we had seen it. I liked it a lot, but then the muppets always amuse me. I think Fozzie Bear is a very underrated comedian. The fact they take the mickey out of the 3D effects makes it even better and I used to work with the equivalent of Waldorf & Statler.

The rain had then stopped when we came out. Neil went off to ride Rock N Roller Coaster as a single rider as it had now opened whilst we waited for him outside the conveniently placed Starbucks after getting a drink. There was a queue as always and it amuses/annoys Karen that for some people that is their first stop in a park.

Neil had then booked us onto Smugglers Run which despite us having the lightning lane pass there was still a 15-minute wait for. Neil and I were selected as pilots and I was given the up/down control. Karen was a gunner. I have to confess I really still didn’t understand what was happening well but used the control with enthusiasm. The effects are really good and it is great fun.

We wandered around the Star Wars Land going in a few of the ‘shops. We watched in disbelief at the number of people building their own drones at a price of $194 each. I am pretty sure that many of them will be just left at the back of a cupboard when they get them home.

I then agreed to go to the Star Tours ride as we had passes and again, I quite enjoyed it although apparently the random selection of ride/films were ones that both Neil & Karen had had before.

After a quick walk around the Walt Disney story and a preview of a forthcoming film (Strange World) we went to Woody’s Lunchbox for Neil to collect his lunch that he had pre-ordered.

Then we got the official announcement that the park was closing early due to the imminent Hurricane just as we were making our way back to the car so it didn’t impact us although it scuppered our plans to come back later.

Back in the villa it was decided that we should get food in for this evening rather than venturing out again. Indeed, we were not sure if there would be anywhere open to eat out later on.

After a while it was decided by stealth that Karen & I should be the ones to be sacrificed to the elements by going out again to get Pizzas from Publix. The boys were obviously too distraught to see us venture off into whatever the weather would throw at us as they were hunkered down in the bedrooms having an afternoon nap.

Actually, it was just a bit wet and not too bad. We called into Dollar Tree first as we needed some more dishwasher tablets but as usual ended up buying lots of other necessities. Then we drove to Publix which was much busier than normal as they had just announced they were also closing at 6pm to allow staff to get home safely. Now I know that Florida is geared up for Hurricanes (although this is the first one in November for 40 years), and that there can be a real threat to life but all the current projections are that it will be not that bad when it hits central Florida and so it does seem to be some overkill when it comes to closures, but what do I know?

It was actually quite difficult selecting the Pizzas for everyone as the choice was huge and we didn’t recognise any of the brands. We selected some from the California Pizza Kitchen, whilst I went for Beef Pot Roast with some mash and Karen fancied some soup.

Back at the villa although it was raining, Barry and I went into the Hot Tub for an hour or so until it got dark. It was great apart from when the wind blew the rain off the pool screens onto us. Karen, Neil and Ellie joined us but sat undercover.

After watching the US election results for a while on TV, Karen & Ellie busied themselves in cooking the food we had bought. Whilst it wasn’t fantastic it was more than acceptable for everyone. We then watched a little bit of Shark Tank and more on the Hurricane before we all agreed to play cards.

Sitting round the dining table we played Nomination Whist. It shows how times have changed in that neither of the boys or Ellie had ever played it before. As a child and teenager, playing cards was a regular event for me and this game was a regular. I cannot believe that we had never played Nomination Whist with the boys before. It wasn’t till afterwards I realised that by the time they would have been old enough to play that they just had other distractions that I at their age never had. It would also not have been cool to play cards with Mum & Dad. Pleasingly that is no longer the case especially when sheltering from a Hurricane.

The game was really enjoyable. I won although that was mainly due to the fact it took the boys to work out the ‘tactics’ of playing. I hope we can play again when there isn’t a Hurricane.

Everyone then took themselves to bed. No one was sure what sort of night we would have as the Hurricane was due to hit land at 2am. Would we wake up with a roof or any power to the villa? We would have to wait and see.

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The last day blues. I am not sure how to prevent it. Once I am up, I just want to flick a switch and be home. Time travel is what I need. Sounds like a good idea as well for either a TV series or film

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