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November 2021 - Florida - Day 10

Why does some American food just taste better than the UK equivalent? Every morning I have been having porridge for breakfast in the villa. I mix some of the fruit porridge sachet with some old-fashioned oats and it knocks the socks off the best I can find at home. The opposite can be said of Tea though. We are now back using Lipton’s after finding using even 2 teabags in each cup of Publix own brand produced not even brown coloured water alone any discernible taste

This was a morning of recovery after our exertions from the day before. My old body was certainly very stiff and sore everywhere as I hobbled around the villa trying to get it moving. The weather was lovely and warm albeit with a smattering of clouds in the sky.

We all sat outside either reading, doing crosswords and reading the news online or listening to music/podcasts through headphones.

The dogs opposite us also kept us amused when they were let out for their daily run. They were identical white and brown spaniel types who never barked but kept chasing each other up and down the hill between the villas. Every few seconds one would leap on the other and they would tumble in a bundle over and over down the hill. It’s a good job Ellie wasn’t with us as she would probably have adopted them on the spot.

After an early lunch we decided to head out for the afternoon to explore more Disney property we had never been to. We drove to the Caribbean Beach Hotel where we were shown where to park by an ex-pat who was on the security gate. This turned out to be a lovely sprawling resort set round a lake. It was very much of us we thought (in our dreams).

From here we walked to the Riviera Resort which is another Disney Vacation Resort property. The building itself is not pleasing but the grounds were lovely. Neil and I had a quick go on the Cornhole game that we found. I forgot the rules and inadvertently allowed him to win. Karen got herself a coffee whilst we sat on one of the balconies overlooking the grounds.

We then decided to ride the free Skyliner to the Art of Animation Hotel. It was a lovely journey. Initially we were not taken by this Disney Hotel as around the main block it was very busy in the pool area and full of pesky kids. But the Hotel blocks slightly further away were much quieter and much more pleasant.

Back on the Skyliner we then thought just for the hell of it that we would take a detour to ride over Epcot. This was quite a long journey and enjoyable. We got to see right across the vastness of the Disney estate and enjoyed seeing parts of Epcot from the air.

Apart from the cost of Karen’s coffee we ended up having a lovely afternoon exploring Disney for no cost.

After chilling back in the villa for about a hour we headed out again. We ended up driving to a new restaurant for us called Saltgrass Steakhouse.

As ‘Landry Club’ members you get $25 to spend during your birthday month. Somehow since we started coming here in November, we must have accidentally registered Karen’s birthday for this month. Now as we hadn’t used either voucher last year, I was keen not to waste both this year. We normally use it in Bubba Gump’s at the CityWalk but as Neil doesn’t like eating food from the sea (unless battered cod occasionally) we thought we would try somewhere different hence we ended up at Saltgrass.

The restaurant was a real country and western type place with animal heads on the wall and just a hicksville feel. However, it was spotlessly clean. The service was top notch as well. We all went for the steak which was more expensive than Outback but was much more tender. Both Karen & Neil were super impressed whilst I enjoyed it very much, I did miss the Outback flavourings. It came with the usual sides and some honey bread.

We then headed back to Disney Springs for one last time. It was heaving. Karen & I had one last look for masks and although we didn’t find any cloth ones, we did locate a vending machine selling paper ones for $2 each. Neil visited Uniqlo to make a purchase.

Our last stop was a cookie shop that Neil wanted to visit. It has built up a cult status since it opened a few months ago a bit like the Voodoo doughnut place in CityWalk. This one seemed to be themed on an old bookshop. However, there are no windows and had wooden doors that are only slightly opened by staff to let people in/out so you could not see inside.

The queue to get in was over 1 hour long. Yes, that’s right a 1-hour queue to buy cookies that start at $6 each. I just didn’t get it. Neil tried to explain that there was only one other place in the world where you could buy them. I suggested that this doesn’t make them any better than any other cookies. I wondered if I could open a hut in Norwich selling Cookies in the same way. Could I generate the same word of mouth notoriety? He said I was missing the point.

Then it was time to get back yet again we had another early start for another busy day planned for tomorrow.

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