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Florida - April 2022 - Day 4

Here's to the ones that we got Cheers to the wish you were here, but you're not

Our first morning in the villa. Something I always look forward to. Breakfast on my own in the sunshine by the pool whilst I wait for everyone else to gradually get up.

Except today disappointingly it was cloudy and Karen was also up before I had even worked out how to use the microwave for my porridge. Although I do enjoy the peace and quiet but I much prefer when everyone is up and about.

The pool was still warm so we spent another hour taking full advantage of it.

After then chilling for a while, today’s plan was to head to Celebration to hire bikes for a relaxing ride around the beautiful town. Being weary of the traffic we hit yesterday I decided to avoid the 192 and counterintuitively headed in the wrong direction to hit the 429 back to the I4. It was a couple of miles further but seemed far quicker.

Hiring bikes in Celebration previously was the reason that Karen had got back into riding her bike back at home. Now at home we either bike into the City along Marriott’s Way or perhaps to the Butchers or to see Karen’s Mum, but we enjoy it. We have no desire (or the fitness levels) to go further than about a 7-mile round trip. Neither of us are very keen on riding on roads. We deliberately chose commuting bikes that are comfortable to ride rather than anything that is designed to be ridden off road as we had no intention of ever doing that.

The bikes at Celebration had been especially designed for beginners and were a joy to ride. We were therefore surprised to find that they had all been changed. They were now the colour of New York Taxis. I had to ask why. It seems these are now much higher tech. Like the Beryl bikes you can book them on an app. When you do so they unlock themselves and away you go. They are also super easy to adjust height etc with handles like you find on office chairs. I was more interested in the fact they now had solid tyres so punctures are not an issue. Can I get these at home?

Anyhow we paid $20 x2 for 2 hours and set off around the many lakes and boardwalk to see the most expensive houses in Celebration. These are still fantastic and must now be worth many multi million dollars. I want one, but just need that lottery win.

It only took about 20 minutes of gentle cycling for my right leg started to lock up. I was hoping that the exercise might help but it didn’t and I realised I was in trouble. After 40 minutes we stopped for some water and to give me a break. I knew that I would struggle to go much further and so nobly Karen volunteered that if we could get back to Starbucks we could finish there early. It was a relief to get there but as I sat and had my cup of tea my leg was throbbing badly.

Talking with Karen about the problem I agreed that once back at the villa I would take one the prescription painkillers I always have with me. I hate taking them as mentally I think that it is the start of perhaps having to rely on painkillers long term. Last year I only took one all year. The prescription I have covers taking one per day. Karen was also keen to get some muscle gel onto my leg that she has bought previously from Walgreens over here. Apparently, it has stronger more active ingredients than we can buy at home.

After returning the bikes, we stopped at the nearest Walgreens and after getting some help found the gel. I took the painkiller as soon as I got back and before we went out later Karen applied the gel to the back of my knee and calf. Hopefully one or the other will work.

We spent some more time in the pool and then sat by the pool reading again for a while.

Tonight, we thought we would take it easy. We headed out to Red Lobster which was nearby. Again, we were told there was a one hour wait and so yet again we opted for a seat at the bar. What a difference to yesterday though. We sat there for 10 minutes before anyone even appeared behind the bar. Eventually a guy turned up and took someone’s drinks order, but it was very slow. There was no acknowledgement of us or other people who had arrived before and after us. There was also a very loud and very annoying American lady sitting the opposite side of the bar. She was quickly getting on our nerves.

We decided to leave and instead went across the road to Outback. We didn’t really want another Steak tonight but heigh ho. Again, there was a one hour wait, which must be the standard. It’s a universal staff shortage. There are always at least 50% of the tables empty in every restaurant but just not enough staff to cook or wait upon them. We again sat by the bar and immediately served by a very hard-working lady called Stacey. The vibe could not have been any more different to Red Lobster. The quality of food in this Outback also far exceeded the previous one on this trip. We left full and happy.

Karen then wanted to have a look round the nearest Target store which passed another half hour. I nipped in the shop ‘Five Below’ whilst Karen then had a quick whizz around Ross. She found a make-up mirror that was 15x magnification to buy but the queue at the checkout was ludicrously long and wasn’t seem to be moving. It seemed like half of South America were in the shop buying anything and everything that wasn’t screwed down.

We finished the evening by having a glass of wine in the villa.

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