I knew we'd forget something. With all this packing and unpacking, something was bound to get left behind. If you count our Gatwick guest house we've now stayed at four hotels. That's a lot of stuff being shoved in cases and bags and into and out of the car. So, you may be wondering what on earth I'm waffling on about and what we've left in Miami that's so important that I've kicked off my daily ramble with it. It's simple. We've become acustomed to a certain amount of sunshine down in the more Southerly part of Florida and it became apparent, halfway up the Turnpike this afternoon, that we'd left it behind. Someone forgot to pack it, obviously and it wasn't me. It was even, dare I say it, raining when we reached Orlando. You'd almost think we'd gone home for real.
We didn't come straight up to Orlando from Miami this morning. We stopped off in Hollywood as there was somewhere I needed to visit. We've already been to two Hard Rock Cafes that I hadn't been to before on this trip, but there was yet another one on our route. Plus a hotel so that meant more bears to collect. I'd done really well so far, finding three new bears at both Miami and Key West so I was crossing my fingers for the Hollywood Cafe. I was in luck. They had a gorgeous Scuba diver bear plus the Classic hoodie bear and another colour in the Punk Beara. In the separate hotel store they had a Seminole bear plus a hotel Classic hoodie bear. Result! I'll line them up for a photo shoot when I have some daylight.
Then a steady drive north all the way to Disney's Beach Club Villas. You know you're at Disney as soon as you arrive. We pulled up at the gate and showed photo ID so we could drive down to check in. We were given our car pass which was ready for us. As we drove down to the entrance we were waved to a space by the kerb and both doors were opened for us simultaneously. I left Stephen to deal with Bell services while I went to the entrance to go and get us checked in. A cast member approached me before I got there and greeted me by name. I guess she would have been alerted by the man on the gate but it took me by surprise for a second. She guided me inside and round to the desk and straight up to a position where I was checked in immediately. Now that's Disney service!
Within minutes I had our room keys, after being 'Welcomed home', and was waiting for Stephen to come in so we could go up to our villa and wait for our luggage which followed a few minutes later. You know a place feels like home when you even smile at the familiar pattern of the carpet in the hallways. And the pictures on the walls when you get out of the elevators. And when you don't need to look at the map to find your room as you know how the room numbers run. I really, really love this place.
Our living room area is just as familiar and comfy as usual except for one important update. Important to Stephen anyway. The TV has been replaced with a flatscreen. He's quite happy with that. I'm currently sitting at the dining table with the laptop plugged into the HSI which is faster and hopefully much less temperamental than the wifi I've been using the past few days. I've just been standing on the balcony watching the Epcot fireworks. Some of them, anyway. We're not quite high enough to see all of them but the higher ones were quite spectacular and we could see bits of the rest through the trees. Hey, I'm not fussy, it was nice to see some of it from our very own balcony.
Another upgrade is in the bedroom. We have an ipod dock. Whoo hoo! I soon got my ipod plugged into that. In fact, you can see roughly what time we arrived in the room, as I had the ipod out of my bag and in that dock within minutes. Playing The Killers, of course.
Here's the familiar bedspread. Another reminder that we're home and a Mickey head to welcome us. All the towels are folded and fanned, even the tea towels in the kitchen are fanned out beautifully.
I love the bathrooms here with the doors that go round in circles. There's the bathroom off the bedroom with the whirlpool bath under the shutter windows so you can watch the bedroom TV from the bath if you wish. Then there's the huge shower that you could lie down in if the fancy took you, which is in a separate room. Then there's the sinks with all the storage and counter space. And it's all so clean and spacious. I love it! And I love the huge bedroom with the comfy bed, it's own balcony, TV and now with added ipod.
This is one of my most favourite places in the world, and we're here for seven nights. Much as I enjoyed Vero Beach, Key West and Miami, it's really good to be home.