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2023 - November - Florida - Day 5

We all had a good first night’s sleep in the villa. I was up at 7.30pm to make some first decent porridge of the trip. I was soon joined by Karen & Neil.

The weather was bright and beautiful with the promise of temperatures in the low 80’s as the day progresses

Our schedule for the day was fairly loose until Neil decided he would like to the Outlets this morning and to be there for opening. So, at 9.30am we headed off to Vineland Avenue. Now that Neil was here, Karen was relegated to the back seat of the car.

We found a parking slot easily and walked to the Disney Outlet Store which Neil was keen to visit first. We were greeted by a large queue waiting outside it. I was not prepared to wait and we left Neil to queue whilst Karen & I made our way to the Columbia Store. This had many more bargains than we had found at the store yesterday. I bought a shirt, T Shirt and Sweatshirt at about 30% of the normal retail price.

As we had spent quite of time trying things on in the shop we made our way back to the meeting point at the tables in the sun outside of Starbucks and had some drinks whilst we waited for Neil to return. We saw him walk past us at one point but he didn’t see us and then didn’t return for another 45 minutes.

We then moved the car to the other part of the outlets and went into Old Navy where a few more purchases were made. Then we headed back to the villa and had our lunch sitting outside in the sunshine. Neil had us listening to the Spurs v Chelsea build up on TalkSport and then he sat and watched the game on his phone.

And there we sat for the afternoon just wallowing. Sadly we couldn’t get in the pool as they had to forgot to turn the heating on until this morning and it was still a tad chilly for our likening.

At 5pm we headed out early for dinner. Not that it influenced our decision but today just happened to be the day that the new Outback opened on the 192 replacing the old one at Formosa Gardens. We were seated directly in the plush new restaurant. We all had the usual Outback Special and Karen accompanied hers with a Blueberry Martini. It was all very good.

From here we drove to Disney Springs for the first time this trip and parked in the Orange Garage. It was lovely to be back. It is strange that this place over 4000 miles away from home that we know so well that we can spot even the smallest of changes, to which we sometimes approve and sometimes don’t.

We went in all the usual places for a first visit starting in the Coke Shop. Karen & I went to the ticket centre to exchange our paper tickets for the Mickey Christmas party next week to ones that we can add to the app on our phones whilst Neil looked round Uniqlo. He came back complaining about the prices.

Then we ventured into the largest Disney Store in the world. As ever it was heaving with humanity all spending ridiculous amounts on stuff. As ever we all came out with our credit cards intact.

The Ghirardelli store had some interesting new additions to their range but they still aren’t offering a few sample as they used to before Covid. Karen decided to leave her ice cream treat until our next visit.

The Christmas Store was next and this had us all gasping at the prices. All the ornaments we liked were $35 each. We decided we didn’t like them enough to pay those prices.

Then it was time for me to change my ‘stick’. Karen gets very embarrassed by this and she and Neil just rolled their eyes as I did so. But each time the stall says to return it if it doesn’t grow, so I do so. The plumeria stall are very good about it but then I didn’t admit that it was about the 5th time I had changed it. These sticks are supposedly guaranteed to grow anywhere in the world bar Hellesdon it seems. I did have one once that showed good intention but then just gave up. The stallholder suggested that I was perhaps watering it too much. It is interesting that the same ‘sticks’ or cuttings that I may have liberated from our hotel in St Lucia have all taken and indeed we have just had one blooming on our kitchen windowsill at home for weeks.

We looked at the STK restaurant menu as we passed by. One of us could have had Fish & Chips and a drink for the same price there as the 3 of us had just eaten at Outback.

Karen & I then stopped at Starbucks to get a free cup of water whilst Neil went to get himself a Salty Donut Guava & Cheese Ice Cream from the Salt & Straw shop. I tried some and it was surprisingly much better than it sounded.

Finally, it was time to head back to the villa as Neil was starting to suffer with jet lag and we knew that we needed to out reasonably early the next morning. We sat for a while watching Shark Tank with Neil complaining that someone seemed to be pitching ‘cold water’ as a business, before going to bed at 10.30pm.

It had been another good day.

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