2 girls, 1 week in an Orlando holiday villa

We woke really early – it was still dark – due to the 5 hour time difference ftom the UK and our early night.  I opened the blinds in my room to watch for the sunrise.

As the sun rose, I donned my swimming costume and stepped out to the pool for an early morning dip – the sun rise was beautiful and the temperature perfect – pool was like bath water without pool heat.  As I relaxed by the pool afterwards a couple of hot air balloons glided over.

After a light breakfast, quick showers and getting dressed we headed out to visit the Premium Outlet on Vinelands Avenue.  With more stores and an easy to follow layout we prefer this one to the one on International Drive.  We looked in Ugg, GAP, Saks on Fifth before moving across the road to where the bulk of the stores are.  Best buys were probably in Kate Spade with upto 80% off.

Then an early storm came in, starting with a few large drops of rain, the skies darkened dramatically and then opened.  We decided it was a good time to visit the food court for some lunch!  There are a couple of new franchises in the food court including Greenacre which makes from scratch salad bowls and a new sandwich stall.  After the storm passed, we completed our outlet shopping and then headed to Target on the way back to the villa.

Super Target at Rolling Oaks really sells everything and is clean and not so crowded at Walmart – although it is a little bit more expensive I think.

Starting to feel hungry our final stop was to order 2 take out pizzas from Papa Johns.  $6.99 each, cooked to order and delicious!

Still gettin used to the time difference we watched a little television Dancing with the Stars and an hour of the presidential debate before calling it a day.

 

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Throwback Thursday – Peabody Ducks

If you turned up at the Peabody Hotel on I Drive at 11am and 5pm you used to be able to watch the resident ducks get the red carpet treatment as they either arrived or left their lobby fountain home.  Guided by “Duck Masters” they were directed with walking sticks.  They even had their own private elevator which linked their lavish rooftop enclosure with the lobby fountain that was designed just for them.

The tradition ran from 1986 right through to October 2013, when the tradition ended as the Peabody was sold and became the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

We used to enjoy a trip to see them on the way to the I Drive Outlet shopping – stopping in the air conditioned lobby with some toast and coffee for breakfast they were a joyful start to the day.

Hopefully, the Peabody ducks are all enjoying their retirement, at the time it was reported that they were going to be cared for on a private farm.

 

The Orlando Eye

Back in June 2015 my friend and I decided to try The Orlando Eye.

We booked on line and saved 25% as it was more than 24 hours ahead.  Finding it was relatively easy – it’s on I Drive and it’s hard to miss.  We were very pleasantly surprised to find there was lots of parking and it was free!

On arrival, there are 3 attractions available – Madame Tussauds, The Sealife Aquarium and The Orlando Eye.  As you would expect there were also lots of school parties there, although they seemed to be mostly visiting the Aquarium.

We opted for the $20 just Orlando Eye experience (there is additional discount for Florida residents).

The experience begins with a ‘pre-flight’ 4D Cinema film – definitely written by the Florida tourist board, it is used to show both how the Orlando Eye was developed, designed and constructed while also showcasing other Florida attractions.

We then queued for a short time to enter our capsule.  There were only 3 other ladies in the capsule with us – a total of 5 which meant we had plenty of room to move around.  As the sun was shining (this is the Sunshine State) it was very welcome that the capsule is fully air conditioned.

It was a beautifully clear day (we went just after noon) and we had views of downtown Orlando, the theme parks, Cape Canaveral and a great view of the I4 and I Drive.  The observation wheel stands 400ft high and as I am not that keen on heights I did take a seat when we reached the summit.

We both enjoyed it and think that it is an attraction that would be great for all ages, however, as my friend pointed out it’s not The London Eye so you don’t get to see lots of historical buildings or points of interest.

I would definitely do it again – I think it would be amazing if you could time it for sunset as that is one thing that Orlando definitely excels at.

For more information go their website

where amongst other things you will now find a lighting calendar so you can see what colour the wheel will be when you visit.  See more at: https://www.officialorlandoeye.com