Florida 2009  

We were desperate to take the boys to Florida and we reckoned we had waited long enough and they were just about old enough to remember at least some of it.

Florida VillaWe chose to stay in a Villa, both for cost and logistics, it's much more relaxed with a family.

We were lucky that we arrived just in time for one of the last Space Shuttle launches, and our first day was therefore spent at the Kennedy Space Centre in great anticipation. We were not to be disappointed as the launch ran precisely to schedule, for a change! Thomas remembers our time at the Space Centre well, Jamie was just a little too young, but enjoyed it nevertheless.

We tried hard to keep the pace slow for this holiday, but we failed. We planned to leave the theme parks mid afternoon, but we never got away before early evening as we always saw just one more ride with no queue crying out for our custom. The boys however coped without too many issues, though they did get quite fidgety during dinner on most nights which is quite uncharacteristic, but we can't really blame them.

I can't believe how kids just don't seem to get affected by jet lag though! Must be an age thing I suppose.

The boys loved Disney, it's in their genes!

Jamie was not tall enough on this trip for any of the more extreme rides, and we benefited from the Disney Child Swap system, which basically meant that Thomas got to do all the rides that Jamie was too small for, twice.

We balanced things out by doing many of the Character Meet and Greet (Photo) opportunities, as Jamie really did enjoy a good cuddle from an oversized cuddly toy.

Thomas really started to enjoy swimming while we were on this holiday, the Villa had a small pool and we used this on many afternoons. Lessons at our local Sports Centre were duly booked on our return home.

It was a few years since Linda and I had last visited Florida, and we noticed a distinct fall in the quality of customer service, particularly in restaurants. So much so, in fact, that on one occasion, Linda saw fit to request to speak to the Manager so that she could have a go at him about his staff. We still bring that up in conversation when appropriate!

Tower of TerrorWe had some dreadful weather during this trip, most afternoons eventually turned into a continuous torrential downpour for the rest of the day, and this did shape our timetable to some extent, but we still managed to do pretty much everything we came for, just one exception, every time we went to one of the spectacular firework displays at Epcot, Jamie fell asleep and missed the whole thing!

On the way to the theme parks there is an animated advert for the Tower of Terror, and every time we passed it, we dared Thomas to go on it, and he turned us down, until our last day, when he decided he was now brave enough. Well, four rides later, he said he'd had enough, and yes, he's got the T-Shirt! We thought he deserved that.