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2023 - April - Villa Stay - Day 10

Our first morning in what we consider our happy place was a quiet start. We enjoy being on our own but also missed having others in the villa with us, but that’s for next time.

I had my usual villa breakfast of porridge and make Karen a cup of tea to have in bed.

The plan today was to go to the outlets for when they opened so that we could be back for lunch and to then sit by the pool in the afternoon. We thought we would go to the outlets early in the trip just in case anything purchased needed to be taken back as had happened frequently before.

We were parked up by 10.15am at the far end car park of the Vineland Outlets. After Visiting Old Navy & North Face we headed across the road to the main bulk of shops. I needed a new jacket/coat and managed to get a cheap one in Columbia. Karen bought a shirt to go with the 400 other ones she has at home.

It was chaos as ever in the official Disney outlet and I was glad to be in/out in a couple of minutes. Then to Karen’s delight we found that Starbucks had reoccupied their old larger store in the centre position of the outlets. I found a table in the shade whilst she fetched our drinks. We sat there far longer than necessary soaking up the sun, catching up with messages from home and people watching.

Directly behind me was a vending machine dispensing bottles of water. A guy put his credit card in and purchased one. It came out with a thud, followed by another and then another and so on. In the end he ended up with 12 bottles despite only paying for one. He gave me a couple of them and then carried the rest back to his table unsure what to do with them. In the end his wife found a bag and they took them away.

I braced myself when the next person operated the machine but he only got the one he paid for. If I had thought about it, I could have sold him one of mine.

We quickly browsed another couple of shops before heading back to the car. Rather than going straight back we made a slight detour as behind the outlets is The Cheesecake Factory. I waited in the car at the kerb outside whilst Karen dashed into get herself a slice to takeaway. She bemoaned the cost but as I pointed out nobody was making her buy it.

Back at the villa we had some rolls for a late lunch and then we sat and chilled for a while. I finally had time to start the next Richard Osman book on my kindle. It may be light and fluffy but I got into it straight away. Pure escapism.

This evening’s meal was planned to be at the Celebration Tavern funnily enough in Celebration. We didn’t leave until 7pm hoping that we would miss the early evening rush. It was a good tactic as when we arrived, we had less than a 10-minute wait. I had the Mahi (Cajun) Sandwich whilst Karen had a Fishwich which had Scrod as its fish. Not the best name for a fish. The food was very good though and we both cleared our plates. Another time I may have tried the clams but they said they were from Ipswich and I wouldn’t want to put anything in my mouth from there.

After this we had a little wander along the Lake. It was still quite busy in the dark and had a lovely family atmosphere. It looked so pretty with the twinkling lights. The sadly closed cinema looked very impressive all lit up. It is such a shame that someone doesn’t reopen it even as an independent cinema showing perhaps old movies. Although having a cinema operator in the family I am familiar how much hard work for little reward that entails.

We were back in the villa by 9.30pm. After planning a rough schedule for us for the rest of the time we are here, I decided to try and properly fathom out how the TV worked. In the end I concluded it did have 250+ channels as advertised. However, they were all free to air ones that came with Samsung Plus. There was no paid for service or subscription. There was a dedicated Dr Who channel, one for Deal or No Deal, another Jamie Oliver channel showing him 24 hours a day. But there was nothing we wanted to watch. The few news channels were terrible ones. It was quite disappointing and would have had Neil fuming if he had been here with us.

Instead, the TV did have the option to watch some of the premium channels we watch at home like Disney Plus and Amazon. I logged into my Amazon account and we chose to start watching the final series of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel which had just been released. We had both forgotten how much we enjoy this and like all the many well-rounded characters. We opened a bottle of wine we had bought from Publix the day before.

It was gone 11pm by the time the programme finished and as befitting a couple of our years we went off to bed.

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