Florida - April 2022 - Day 14
Sometimes I feel I've got to run away I've got to get away
This trip feels as though it has set me up for the rest of the year. I feel fully chilled for the first time in ages. The end of the trip is nearing and we have been away long enough that I am now kind of starting to look forward to being home and tackling some of the summer jobs as well as seeing the boys (and Ellie). Yet saying that I am not ready yet for this trip to end.
It has also been good to have a break from the coverage of the horrendous Ukraine situation on the UK news. The local news here gives it much less prominence being so far away. Karen had become a news junkie devouring all the bulletins before we left. The only way I can cope with the atrocities being committed and seeing how those poor people are suffering is to limit the input I have on it daily. That is not to say I am trying to pretend its not happening but part of my coping strategy and own mental well-being. For me it was the same with the pandemic.
Anyhow, another beautiful day, breakfast outside and everybody happy. That is apart from a rogue mole like creature that appeared from nowhere and drowned itself in the pool. One minute the pool was clear and the next time we looked we saw this thing floating in the pool. Jo fished it out with the pool net. Not that we had been really getting in the pool as it was quite cool but none of fancied it after that.
Today was a slightly departure as we wanted to pop into Target on our way out to allow Graham & I to buy some cheap golf balls for later.
I then drove everyone to the Premium Outlets for Graham & Jo’s first visit. Everyone bought a couple of things although G&J didn’t think some the prices were much better than back in the UK. It paid to be selective and look for either items that were not sold in the UK or were on the clearance rails.
Karen and I stopped for a drink half way through our time there. Somehow though we waited for each other at outside tables at either side of the Food Court. This was the message I received from Karen during that time I was waiting for her.
Where the H*** are you?? Met someone, divorced and remarried. But I am waiting for you sitting outside Adidas.
It was now very hot and so we headed back to the villa. After a few nibbles, Graham & I headed back out to play 9 holes of Golf we had booked on the Cranes Bend course at the Orange Lake Reserve which was less than 4 miles away.
The resort was absolutely huge and has 4 golf courses. Of course, we went to the wrong one initially and had to double back on ourselves. After signing all sorts of waivers, we were soon in the golf buggy with our rented clubs and new balls (which turned out to be a third of the price had we bought them at the Clubhouse).
The first hole was a short par 3 (I almost got a birdie 2), as was the second and then the third. It was a lovely setting by the side of an enormous lake, but not that challenging and so we were starting to get slightly disappointed. That all changed from the 4th onwards. This was 350 yards, with loads of water Criss crossing the hole, a very narrow fairway lined by small villas.
On the next few holes, we managed to lose 8 balls between us. Mostly into water but also a few into the undergrowth which we were nervous to go far into for the fear of Gators and Snakes. I also managed to put 2 different tee shots onto different villas patios but as they were unoccupied managed to retrieve them without anyone noticing.
The best and most daunting hole was the 8th which was 180 yards onto an island green. Graham put his first into the water. As we were now getting short of balls, I took my tee shot from the closest tee marker and just managed to clear the water. On the fringe of the green was an enormous Crane which was taller than me. It was looking for grubs or something in the soil and was making a terrible mess of the grass. It just ignored us as we walked around it.
By the time we were finished despite having the buggy we were very hot and when we checked we saw that it was now 93f so no wonder.
Back at the villa, we planned to chill for 45 minutes before heading out with the girls again. They had spent the late afternoon laying and reading by the pool. However, we soon realised that the Wifi was down and Graham & I spent some time trying to resolve the problem. We failed and eventually I spoke to the Management company who said that it was a general problem impacting the whole area.
Tonight, we headed out to the Polynesian Resort. We didn’t have a reservation but hoped to be able to eat somewhere there. I asked in the lobby if they make us a reservation and they sent us upstairs to the Ohana. We had no idea what it was or the cost but they said they would be able to seat us in 50 minutes. In the meantime, they said we should explore the resort and they would text us when the table was ready.
We headed outside and found a table at Trader Sam’s. The three non-drivers all had a Mojito whilst I had refreshing iced H2O. Graham wasn’t too keen on his drink as it was a bit ‘flowery’ for him.
The time quickly passed and we soon got the text asking us to return to the Ohana. It is a lovely Hawaiian restaurant. It is an all you can eat, table served set menu. Being a somewhat faddy eater, I was slightly concerned but I needn’t have been. The food was fab and just kept coming. We had chunks of steak, chimichurri chicken, prawns and all sorts. To finish off we were brought to the table a large Pineapple Bread with the most enormous dollop to ice cream to share. Now I still don’t eat desserts but even I had to try the Pineapple Bread which was like a fresh homemade steam pudding. It was delicious.
We all struggled to move afterwards with the sheer volume of food.
Just as we were settling the bill the music from the Magic Kingdom fireworks started to be piped into the restaurant and all around the resort. We headed outside to get a prime view of the firework display. As ever they were great and it did make me wonder that although you cannot see the projections onto the castle whether the view of the fireworks are better from here rather than in the Magic Kingdom itself.
By now we were all flagging and so we headed back to the Villa. I finally had a glass of wine and we all watched one episode of Shark Tank before retiring.
For those of you concerned about my knee I have been noticing marginal improvements each day, but tomorrow I will see if the Golf has set it back at all.