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2022 - October - Florida - Day 4

Oh, life is bigger, it’s bigger than you. And you are not me. The lengths that I will go to.

Our final day and yet another disturbed night’s sleep through Karen’s tossing and turning with her arm. It is definitely slowly on the mend but whenever she lays on it ‘funny’ it causes a lot of pain. I think I deserve a medal and certainly the Husband of the Holiday award for putting up with it.

We breezed in and out of breakfast with the usual long wait for the single working lift. Yesterday we heard that the Hurricane took the other one out. I was sceptical that that was factual information and instead put it down to poor maintenance. Whatever it was they need to get the other one working fast as the working one is temperamental and has a mind of its own. It has been 50/50 when it does arrive whether it chooses to go the direction you want it to.

Anyhow the car was packed and we were on our back by 9.40am. Our plan was to head to Kissimmee via Blue Spring State Park, although Karen added an early Starbucks stop to that plan. Within about 15 minutes we came across one and spent 20 minutes sitting in the sun. The forecast had suggested a 10% chance of light showers but there was no evidence of them yet.

As the Starbuck’s was in front of a Super Target, Karen thought we should kill some more time by having a quick whizz round. This turned out to be anything but quick as I lost Karen for 15 minutes as she moved from the section, she said she would stay in. Of course, it was all my fault.

When we came out the light showers had materialised. Now it might have been light for Florida but we would say it was chucking it down. I was despatched to bring the car closer and like a mug I did so.

It then rained all the way to the State Park. We sat and ate our rolls we had just purchased with some cheese and meat. By that time the rain had eased considerably and so we set out to see if the State Park was worth the $6 admission.

Actually, it was despite much of it still being flooded. Normally it is place where you can tube or kayak down the river but due to the floods that was all closed. The Blue Spring State Park is the winter home to over 200 Manatees. Despite trying hard, we didn’t see a single one. Again usually they lay on boat trips down the river to see them but the dock was completely flooded. There were plenty of squirrels, a large Gar in the water and some very evil looking Turkey Buzzards that were huge and landed within a few feet of us.

We followed the boardwalk to the source of the Blue Spring. It was actually Blue and spews out over 102 million gallons per day, enough to allow everyone in the greater Orlando area to have 50 gallons each per day if they wanted it. Karen was spooked by the many warnings about the wild gators in the area as we walked along.

Two teas were purchased from the small café. The lad serving thought it incredulous when we asked for cold milk to go with our teas. He repeated three times, ‘you want cold milk with your hot tea?’.

It was then that I came clean with Karen that I may have made a mistake with the hotel booking for tonight. I thought I had booked and paid for a Hotel in Celebration near Kissimmee. After receiving a message from the yesterday, I realised I had booked a hotel called Celebration Suites in Kissimmee quite close to Celebration, but even closer to Old Town, a place that Karen hated. It still had good reviews though. I kicked myself for the schoolboy error. What followed was an argument about why I hadn’t told her earlier. My logic was and still is that the less time she had to moan about it the better because it was non-refundable and only for one night.

The journey to the hotel was taken whilst Karen had her very annoyed face on. This was despite the fact we had the US Thunderbirds who are the US equivalent to the Red Arrows practising their display over us as we drove along.

When we arrived, my heart sank. It was so close to Old Town as to almost be a part of it.

I went into reception and was pleasantly surprised by the large number of smartly dressed staff. They had arranged a quiet room at the furthest point away from Old Town. Our room had been upgraded and we were in the very recently refurbished block. They apologised that they were still carrying out the third and last check of the room and that someone may still be in it when we got to it. And they were and very nice they were too. I have never heard of a hotel checking rooms 3 times before.

The room or suite was enormous and actually impressed Karen. It was a most bizarre lay out. It had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a lounge and a new large very nice kitchen with dining area. The largest bedroom had a king size bed, queen size bed (same as UK king size) and a normal double bed. These were all next to each other a bit like Goldilocks and the 3 bears.

We had a cuppa and then tried to work out which bed to sleep in ourselves, but that was a too difficult decision and so headed out to visit Celebration where I had thought we were staying.

It was a very busy little place but still as fabulous as ever. We sighed as we walked to the restaurant. It was good to be back. There was a 15-minute wait for a table at the Celebration Tavern but we didn’t mind and it passed quickly.

We were sat at the table we would have chosen ourselves, outside on the terrace and next to where all the people were walking past. Karen could nose at them all whilst over her shoulder I could clearly see the large screen TV showing sport. It was ideal.

Tonight, we both fancied a burger with a baked potato. I had mine Black & Blue. It was excellent.

We ended our time in Celebration by having a walk round the main street and lake. It was lovely as were many of the houses which were now illuminated with orange lights for Halloween.

Back in our rooms, neither of us fancied the short walk over to Old Town and settled instead for watching a special edition of Deal or No Deal. It was intriguing as they had the usual 26 cases but this time 10 of them contained £1 million thereby meaning the chance from the start of having a million-dollar case was just over 1 in 2. It meant that each offer from the banker right from the start was very high. In the end the contestant went away with just under $300k.

After this we went to bed.

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