Friday, 21 October 2016

Orlando!

A month ago, we got back from an amazing 9 days in Orlando, Florida. The first proper holiday we've been on in 4 years, saving up for so long made it so worth it! And we spent every penny we took, which was the intention, I just didn't realise how much stuff would cost over there! Most of it went on food, and a few little souvenirs, but savings are made to be spent on something memorable so we don't regret a thing! This will be a pretty long post though...

Whilst the holiday itself was amazing, the journey there left something to be desired; After waking up at 3am for a 6am flight, it was delayed by a couple of hours, and once we did finally get on, it didn't leave for another hour and a half. This meant our other 2 flights had to be rearranged as we'd missed them. They sorted this, with a few bumps, and we basically ended up on the same route, just 3 hours behind.

Our last flight (JFK to orlando), or rather just JFK the airport, was a fucking shambles. When you require special assistance, even if that's just the lend of a wheelchair cos you can't walk the ridiculous distances, they basically push it for you, even if your other half is totally capable. Apparently we needed a taxi to take us to the other terminal as the airport was fucking huge. We waited 30 mins, for the taxi to get here (with a member of staff telling the other 2 couples that John and I were the first to get on as our plane left first), for everyone else to bundle in, the back two seats not be able to fold up into seats, and for the taxi to leave without us. The staff member then pointed us to the air bus... right across the street, and that would take us to the terminal (which it did, in 2 fucking minutes!) She took the wheelchair off us too though. We had to then stand for about 20 minutes through security (as i had no fucking wheelchair!) with unsympathetic staff who didn't care that our flight left 15 minutes. We managed to get into a slightly shorter line, only for some actual shockingly super obese lady, her daughter, and her accompanying special assistance staff member, to shove in front of us, and take decades of time to get her stuff through the scanner. John had pretty much given up any idea of making the last flight, and I walked ahead, out of breath, shins and back hurting from the walking, to get to the gate, which was typically, the furthest away, and once I was there, I may or may not have promptly burst into exhausted, frustrated tears when she said they hadn't shut it yet so we could still get on (they closed it right after we did, though!). That flight was a couple of hours long, we got our transfer (which took over an hour as the driver decided to drop off everyone else first, when our hotel was 20 mins from the airport), and got to the hotel, to be greeted with a massive rush of boiling humid air at 11pm.

Once checked in and in our hotel room, I shoved my Dnase into the fridge. It's meant to not be in room temp for more than 24 hours and it had been out for 25 due to the delays. I think it still worked well, my chest was a bit more chunky through the week but that may have been the humidity or something.

After all that wonderful excitement, we started our holiday properly! We had one empty day during the whole time, and in hindsight, it would have been smarter to have set that free day for the first day to sort out the jetlag, and the fact that i felt dizzy from the planes, hungry (and sick from hunger) from having eaten 2 meals since 3am uk time the previous day (getting to the hotel at about 4am uk time the next day), having had about 6 hours sleep in about 48 hours or so, and possibly having taken the wrong creon amount during one of those two meals as i felt bloated and sick, which is how i feel when i don't take enough. Regardless, we started our two days at universal, and they were amazing! We had 2 day, 2 park tickets, with a quick queue ticket which came in part with staying at the on site hotels, and a special Gold pass, from the charity who gave us the park tickets, which allowed us to skip the queues in places where the quick queue didn't work (mainly meant going the long way to the rides which was useful as the wheelchair we had to hire due to the distance I'd have had to walk, as well as the heat, wouldn't always fit round the queue lines very well).

John went on everything, and i went on anything that didn't give me horrible vertigo (due to my whacked out balance and hearing problems, on top of the fact i already felt sick). I went on one 4D ride and nearly threw up, which was saying something as they're the ones where your chair just moves about while you watch a 3d film. I had to skip most roller coasters (i went on a couple, and quickly found out that barrel rolls and loops do nothing for the vertigo) but i did go on a few mini roller coasters and some that were kind of 4D but not as bad, like gringrotts, spiderman, transformers etc (they were pretty good fun but i'm also a wuss meaning if i didn't have vertigo i wouldn't have been able to go on the huge roller coasters like Rip Ride Rocket and the Hulk anyway)

We had a list of rides we'd made from looking on the website, which basically skipped the kiddy rides, and I'm really pleased we did everything we aimed to. The quick queue certainly helped though as some rides had really long queues. On rides where we weren't sure if they spun or rolled, john would go on first, and tell me what it was like so i could decide. We also went on the water rides, and because it was about 30+*C, we dried out quick too!

After those two days, we went to Busch Gardens, Sea World, the Kennedy Space Centre, and Aquatica. I don't have many photos at all, a combo of mostly being on rides (or waiting for john to finish his ride) and having a shit camera. I couldn't take my Nikon D3 due to the weight and its value, so borrowed an old bridge camera, which was blurry, terrible low light, out of focus a fair few times and took 3 seconds to take a photo (meaning i missed a few things i had a second to capture). About 2 thirds of the photos i took were blurry or hard to see due to the bad lighting. A bit annoying when i realised my dad was genuine when he asked if i wanted to take his canon IXUS which takes amazing photos, and its a pocket sized camera too.

There were a lot of roller coasters in busch gardens and sea world, and john went on most unless they were shut. I went on this insane green roller coaster in busch gardens which was the kind which speeds up as it goes upwards, and I tolerated that one fine considering there was one barrel roll. I'm glad i at least went on a couple as i used to love roller coasters but now they scare the living daylights out of me. I'm scared of heights so any vertical drops have me bricking it just looking at them. There was one insane looking coaster at either sea world or busch gardens, and i was going to go on it until i saw it had a vertical drop, and got myself in such a panic i just sat and watched in horror as john got on and came off a few minutes later grinning like mad.

We also decided to go to Halloween horror. It cost a lot but it was so worth it. We managed to get another gold pass (which are impossible to get unless you have someone helping) as ours was only good for the two days we were at the park originally, and i think the only reason they gave us it was because we already had one. John over heard three people come in and ask for one while we were at the desk, and they were all turned away. The quick queue for HHN was about $80 per person, per night, and the hotel one didn't count for it. The queues for the horror houses were up to 2 hrs long and there was no way I'd have managed that. We still had the wheelchair but even sitting in it gets uncomfortable, and there was various people smoking all over, as they apparently seemed to think that if it was dark, you didn't have to go in the smoking areas.

We went to halloween horror three times (its only open certain nights but our ticket was valid for about 21 dates - its expensive but if you're around for that long its pretty damn good value) and there were also several rides open during it, but with much shorter queues. I think John went on the Rip Ride Rockit rollercoaster about 5 or 6 times, and we went on the mummy and the gringrotts ride several times too.

On our last day, we'd been to Aquatica, but weren't there all day due to the fact that neither of us liked the slides where you didn't have a ring - you felt each join in the tube with your spine and fuck me that hurt something rotten! There was also a thunderstorm coming which meant lots of things had to shut. The same thing happened the previous two days, and the rollercoasters, and various other stuff, will stop if the thunder and lightening is less than 5 or 10 miles away. A lot of the time a massive rainstorm followed which meant most people weren't exactly about to go on a coaster anyway.

That evening we went for a meal at hard rock cafe. It was pretty pricey but worth it for our last night. We decided to walk back to the hotel rather than take the boat that went back and forth every 10-15 mins, and I simply thought John suggested it cos he didn't fancy waiting. There was a tiny beach on the walk back next to the pool (although that was shut as it was 10pm) and john suggested we stop and sit on the loungers. Again, i thought he was just making sure i wasn't getting too worn out. I was sitting in front of him, admiring the view, and he pulled out a ring and put it in my hand!

I may have not put two and two together (something in me didn't want to presume as we've always said we'd want to get married but i wasn't expecting anything just yet!) so I turned around and John asked me to marry him :)


It turned out that when we went to my parents the night before we left (at his suggestion but i thought that was a simple popping over to say hello before we go on holiday kind of thing) he asked my dad for permission which i think is very sweet - of course my dad didn't mind at all as my parents love john and get on with him brilliantly. He told my mam after we'd left, and other than them, the only other people to know were johns parents.

We've been together 5 years and lived together for over 2 and a half, so people have been asking and asking when he would propose. I'm glad he waited till he wanted to and didn't feel pressure, and now people can finally stop bugging us (but the 'when will the wedding be' questions have only just started!)

We came home on a bit of a high the next day, with no problems thankfully, although it was weird at first settling back into regular life, and yes, I've already started gathering wedding plans! We don't want to be a 'get engaged and just stay engaged forever' couple as everyone loves a good wedding. Just kind of hoping for a small windfall to pay for it ;)

Health wise, I'm quite well! I went 4 months between my last ivs before needing them in prep for holiday, and I'm about 6 or 7 weeks out of those and coughing a bit, but i think its the sudden temp change as england seems to think its migrating up towards the north pole.

More photos if you made it this far! Sorry it was so long!





















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