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Florida - April 2022 - Day 7

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday The regular crowd shuffles in

There are not many certainties in life, but one is that you go into a Piano Bar you will at some point hear this song during the evening. The same with the weather here in Florida. It is a certainty that at some point you will get that glorious blue sky all day long without the threat of a cloud or rain for several days and that is what the forecasters were now predicting for us.

It was another easy lazy start to the day after another hot night with no air con. As soon as I was up, I opened all the doors again. We just hoped that the technician would get it sorted today. Our plan was for a leisurely stroll around the Premium Outlets at Vineland which didn’t open until 11am.

So, after breakfast outside and getting ready we allowed Waze to direct the quickest way there. Again, it surprised us with the route and apart from a small hold up on the I4 it was very efficient again.

We arrived at 11am on the dot and as usual Karen was keen to explore the Columbia outlet first. We both purchased a couple of bargains before making our way to the official Disney outlet. This is always a hit or miss shop depending on whatever Disney is trying to clear from its stores. Today was mainly Christmas items and things from some of their 2021 Cruises. They also impose a limit of 2 of the same items per person, as previously they were getting people emptying shelves of things into trolleys and then reselling them on eBay. There was nothing that took our fancy in what was a quite crowded shop.

By now Karen needed a caffeine fix but the usual Starbucks in the centre had closed down. Eagle eyed Karen though spotted someone with a Starbucks coffee and figured that they wouldn’t have brought it with them. There were no maps of the outlets available and the Wifi was down, so in the end I just asked someone who pointed us in the right direction to the now relocated Starbucks.

I knew when Karen had been sufficiently topped up with caffeine when she started singing along with the background music being played outside and so we moved on. We crossed back over the road to Old Navy where more probably unnecessary bargains were purchased (do comment on Karen’s new linen trousers though if she’s wearing them) and then to North Face where I bought a warm coat at 25% of the UK price, just in case we get a cold snap before we go home.

Back in the car we decided to drive home via Winter Gardens to go to a Staples store to pick up an item that I had been asked to do as a favour for a friend back home. We had never been there before. It was about a 25-minute drive.

What a find. A lovely new shopping/restaurant area we had never heard of or explored before. It was just a shame that Staples were out of stock of the item I was supposed to be buying. By now though we just wanted to get back to the villa to chill as well as have a late lunch.

The drive back along the 429 only took 17 minutes and we will definitely be going back to Winter Garden to explore more.

Back at the villa we were very pleased and relieved to find that the air con was now working and that the temperature was now cool inside. We both ate our leftover Pizzas for our late lunch by the pool.

I then tried to order the item from Staples for collection later on this trip but couldn’t again as my credit card is registered to a UK address. I contacted them via their online chat facility. The agent I got was hopeless. He tried to tell me that my credit card would not work in the shop either which I told him was either plain nonsense or plain crazy. In the end I just ended the online chat, annoyed that I would have to try another store without being able to reserve the item in advance.

We chilled for a few more hours reading our kindles and chatting. It was lovely.

For our meal tonight we decided to try ‘Ford’s Garage’ which is a new chain of restaurants we have started to notice appearing around here. This one was very close by at the new Sunset Walk. The restaurant was busy but as there was only the 2 of us, we were immediately seated on the terrace outside. The restaurant theme is obviously a Ford Garage and it is quite well done. As in many American places the food was centred around Burgers and as neither of us had had one this trip, we thought we would try them. They were good but not outstanding but nevertheless did the job.

We then wandered around Sunset Walk. It’s not that big, but will be very nice when complete and all the units filled.

As Target was on the same complex, we nipped in there for Karen to return the swimming costume she had bought as it didn’t fit ‘properly’ whatever that meant.

Finally on the short drive back we filled up with petrol ready for whatever trips we have in the next few days.

Before bed we watched on the laptop (as I didn’t have the right cables to connect it to the TV), the last episode of Reacher on Amazon Prime. I enjoyed it so much more than the film versions that have been made.

It seems amazing that we have been away a week already.

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