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2022 - November - Florida - Day 17

Just like a flower when winter begins Just Like a candle blown out in the wind

Well, we survived the Hurricane. Well, to be truthful I slept through it all. Didn’t hear a thing. Barry apparently heard the wind once at about 3am but went back to sleep. Neil with his ultra-sensitive hearing claimed that the noise kept him awake all night.

All I know when I came down for breakfast, it seemed a bit windy, dull and overcast. We could not see any evidence of damage and wondered what all the fuss had been about. Apparently as soon as the Hurricane hit land then the winds died down somewhat. There was apparently one gust recorded at 100mph at Cape Canaveral. The now Tropical Storm Nicole was due to have crossed central Florida by mid-morning and then head up north out to sea.

The airport remained shut which caused us some concern for the time being with no time given for it to reopen. We wondered about the knock-on impacts for tomorrow. As much as we love being here, we do have to get home. The Disney parks announced that they had decided to go for a phased reopening from noon.

We had a lazy start to the morning and it almost felt like we were on holiday. Barry & Ellie had reservations for Magic Kingdom so late morning they set off for that. We had a reservation for Hollywood Studios but that wasn’t opening until 2pm so we decided not to bother especially as it still felt like there was some rain in the air.

Instead, we headed to Disney Springs. We arrived just after noon and the place was deserted. Everywhere was just opening and it was nice to be able to walk around without hordes of people getting in the way.

We went in many places we hadn’t explored this trip like the Coca Cola store and just generally moseyed around. Neil fancied a Hot Beef Sandwich from The Earl of Sandwich for his lunch, so Karen got herself a tea whilst he ate it. The longer we were there it was noticeable that there were more people about.

Then we went over to the Ghirardelli store where Karen & I shared a Cookie Dough scoop of Ice Cream which although expensive was delicious. I was then able to persuade Neil to join Karen & I in having some special Christmas themed photo pass pictures taken with the nearby indoor photographers.

The plan then was for Karen to get a Starbucks coffee from the smaller stall but it was shut we assume because of staffing issues. But when we walked back to the larger shop at the other end of Disney Springs that was also closed. We assumed that had just given the staff the day off because of damp squib of a Hurricane. It just all seemed over the top to me.

Back in the car we headed to Celebration to have a walk and to get Karen a coffee from Starbucks there instead. It was also closed as was everything along the Main Street. It was more total overkill in my opinion.

We walked around the Lake. Whilst there was some debris of small branches and leaves from the trees, it was perfectly fine. There was hardly anyone about. It was a little bit eerie. The damage here was no more than a normal storm at home. I just thought that the USA was more geared up for this type of weather occurrence and would take it in its stride but the exact opposite in that they made a great deal of it.

Back at the Villa we spent the remainder of the afternoon in the Hot Tub and Pool, joined by Barry & Ellie once they had returned from the Magic Kingdom. I have mentioned this before but the time spent together like this is always a holiday highlight for me.

As it was our last night, we decided to all go out for dinner together. We had a long discussion over where to go. Neil’s suggestion of The Cheesecake Factory won as he knew that Ellie had never been there before. I could only manage to reserve a table for 4 people so hoped they would be able to squeeze a 5th one in.

After some unnecessary ‘U’ turns we arrived to the lobby of the restaurant which was chaotic as ever. However, this time our table was waiting for us and as it set for 6, we had no trouble fitting us all in. The portion sizes were huge and we all struggled to finish our meals. Barry & Ellie had salads, Neil a chicken dish whilst Karen & I had the Breakfast Brioche which was delicious and there was enough for Karen to take away for her breakfast the next day.

We then nipped into Target for Barry to get a T Shirt that he wanted before heading back to the villa. We all sat comfortably on the enormous sofa finishing off the beer & wine from the fridge. Neil found the right-wing Fox 35 channel with Hannity on it on the TV. It was better than a comedy show with their assertions about the election and some individual democrats. Both the boys and I take an interest in USA politics and so rather enjoyed it, but I am not certain the same applies to Karen & Ellie and so after a while we ended up watching a little bit of Shark Tank.

And so our final night was over and I was rather sad when turning off the lights as everyone headed upstairs to bed.

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