Primrose Villa.

Home ButtonFirst Impressions of Florida..

Our first visit to Florida was supposed to be that "once in a lifetime" holiday...
Up 'till then, we had holidayed in our static caravan in Shaldon (South Devon).
We inherited a small amount from an aunt & decided that as it was 'unearned' income we could, with clear conscience, blow the lot on a memorable holiday. We decided that we'd head for the sun & combine a visit to Disney Florida with a conventional beach holiday.  Our youngest was 5 at the time so we waited until the girls were old enough to be able to appreciate - and remember - a visit to "the Mouse".  This was to be the most expensive holiday ever (for us) so we did lots of research - read all we could find - the most useful being the 'Unofficial Guide to Disney' & decided that we & our children would enjoy the experience more if they could both actually go on most of the rides - there's no fun when one can & t'other can't do something - hissy fits just get boring...which meant that the youngest would have to reach the heady height of 52".  After a wait of a couple of years, she sprouted at age 7...
As we were used (and much happier) with self catering accommodation as opposed to the hotel thing, we decided that we'd go with that option.
We didn't know any better at the time,  just wandered into our local travel agent, relied on the counter girl's expertise & blew our whole budget on a Virgin 2 centre / 3 week holiday with Disney tickets, Orlando Flextickets & a convertible thrown in - half in Kissimmee & half in Sarasota. Can't remember quite why, but we flew out of Manchester (we live near Bristol) !!!
Virgin Atlantic decided that as the flight was overbooked, we'd quite like a coach trip to Gatwick (from Manchester) to catch a different - much later - flight. We decided that we wouldn't, stood our ground & got seats....Got talking to others on the 'plane (as you do) & discovered that by booking a 'package'  we'd overpaid for everything - flights, accommodation, park tickets & car hire !!!        Have never flown VA since....
    Orlando airport certainly creates  the right impression, light, airy & efficient. Don't know if we've been lucky, have never had a problem at immigration; if  you're friendly to the guys, they're friendly back....
Picked up a Chrysler Sebring convertible, all piled in & followed the given directions to Somerset Villas in Kissimmee.... If  you're thinking convertible, definitely take soft bags as opposed to hard cases, the boot is pretty small & gets smaller still with the roof down !!  We both found driving on the right for the first time ever not difficult, the steering wheel on the 'wrong' side's a bit of a clue & automatics make life easier..
    Alright, bear in mind we were as green as grass: Turning in to the entrance to Somerset Villas, there's a small lake - saw some white herons fishing - remarked on 'plastic' birds 'till one moved.....
    Breakfast was part of the deal, discovered US doughnuts!!! Not the heavy, stodgy UK apologies, but light, fluffy creations great with coffee....
    First day out, roof down, waiting at traffic lights, guy in car alongside hails us:  "How do we like the Sebring" (it was a new model then..) had a bit of a conversation & realized kids are doing the same in the back...... Bit of a culture shock, as a car's supposed to be a cocoon isolating you from the outside world isn't it ??   Not in Kissimmee !!!
    Quickly realized that Americans in general like & are interested in Brits !! When you're from Somerset, there's no disguising the accent & we got drawn into many conversations with complete strangers. Was very surprised that "have a nice day" was genuinely meant & that shop assistants actually try to assist !!!!

Must admit that whoever decided that all US banknotes should be the same size wasn't over clever...

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