Abilene to Los Angeles

usa-flight-2017-boys.pngDuration of this trip was from 28th November to 13th December so that we could take advantage of the boys’ early school break up to do one last overseas trip with them altogether

Leonie has been out for past month visiting her mother and took the opportunity to fly home with us. The purpose of this trip was to visit family in Abilene Texas so our grandsons could meet and reconnect with US family as well as experience a belated Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Leonie. We love our turkey day celebrations that is for sure!!

via Qantas QF7 (A380) Direct to Dallas great flight well looked after. Scott and Leonie were there to meet us. We picked up our Dodge Caravan hire car which was perfect for our needs.

Having previously had this type of vehicle in LA with four adults and two children on that occasion. So this time it was perfect for three teens and the grandparents (us) for our planned road trip to Los Angeles.

Beautiful West Texas Sunset
Headed West

In no time at all, we were away on our way to Abilene (2.5 hours west Dallas Fort Worth)

The first stop unanimously voted on as Cracker Barrell at Weatherford where we meet Scott and Leonie for dinner. Everything was up to its usual standard and the boys reminiscing about previous visits on their last trip.

After eight days in Abilene which included a couple days back up in Dallas/FortWorth where we did the JFK tour and visited the Fort Worth Stockyards before catching up with more family for dinner and movies.

A highlight of the stay in Abilene was the opportunity to watch a high school playoff game in the new Abilene Christian University (ACU) Stadium. It was amazing the Graham Steers were playing the Sweetwater Mustangs. Scott’s sister Stephanie teaches at Graham High and the rest of Scott’s family live in Graham, Texas so we happy to hop aboard the bandwagon and become steers supporters for the night.

Our Abilene stay included lots of good food at places like Perini ranch and BBQ brisket and a visit to Sonic which intrigued the boys no end having their orders served to the car window.


A highlight was a visit to the Abilene Heritage centre which provided a fantastic insight to Abilene down through history, the boys loved this and spent hours exploring and watching the shows and reading stories.


Soon it was time to hit the road towards Los Angeles taking in El Paso, White Sands National Monument the Santa Rosa Blue Hole and some of Route 66. It was pretty cold and miserable and wet when we set off but we made good time to be at the border for our first night. I always wanted to drive west of Abilene and keep going. Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 11.11.53 am.png

Alberque was our next overnight stop where we ate at the Standard Diner before settling in for the night at another LaQuinta Hotel. These hotels are great budget rooms when traveling and the complimentary continental breakfasts come in handy as well.


The next stop along the way was at the historic El Ranch Hotel the historic El Rancho Hotel provides a unique Southwest Experience in the midst of the American West.  The El Rancho Hotel is a pillar of the West and was the Home of the Movie Stars throughout the 1930s to 1940s who filmed Westerns in the area.

Back on the road to our last overnight stop at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Kingman Arizona before arriving in Los Angeles.Dinner was at yet another diner, this one had not changed a thing in 50 years, Rutherford’s 66 Diner  2011 E Andy Devine AveKingman. 

We hit the road early the next morning and ready ourselves to handle the LA traffic. As I have driven in LA peak hour(s) a number of times before we thought we endeavour to get there before the peak.


We achieved this and had a good run into Hilton at Universal and checked in about 2pm.

Ian and I returned the car to the closest car hire which was at the Bob Hope airport. We took a taxi back to the Hilton and settled in for our final few days. It is always a relief to get rid of the car’s unscathed. The Hilton is the perfect location for everyone to do their own thing and for the boys to explore all that universal and the CityWalk where everyone could do their own thing. The grandparents could get a bit of a break and relax in the hotel before a full day at universal and our flight home.

We used a great car service Lansky Transfers (used previously when in LA) to collect us from the hotel and get us to LAX in plenty of time to check in and board QF12 for the flight home. Very reliable and no fuss, takes all the stress out of getting to the airport that is for sure.



This trip goes down in the archives as another successful travel experience with the boys we love being able to broaden their horizons. We like to spend their inhertiance on having great adventures and experiences with us not on us after we are gone.

13th December Flew home on QF12 from LAX

Last days before flying home

Our last few days…

Back to Hilton Anaheim which is located not far from Disney, decided to get a bit better hotel for this
part of the trip but used Hotwire.com and got the room for $80 a night.

No 1 Duck’s little brother

Although a little further from the entrance of Disney still easily walkable and near good restaurants and CVS pharmacy which is always good, they are like mini supermarkets which means we could stock up on supplies and fruit etc for the kids.Chris, Ollie and I had a down day, Ollie had been having a horror stretch of no sleep at night, started biting his tongue in his sleep again.We went for walks and slept while Charlie Emi and Sarah managed to get one more park day in.Sarah Chris and Charlie headed to ESPN bar for dinner and the kids and I had room service and settled in for some tv time.

They love Pooh
and Tigar
and Chip
My mate Tigar

These little ones are the best little travellers. Emily(4) and Oliver (2) are on their second overseas trip and with a passionate Disney lover like their mum, there will be many more trips to comeEveryone had been sick with a cold at various times during last week so everyone starting to look forward to heading to the plane, via a detour to the outlets on the way back to LAX.We decided to head back to Orange Outlets first for one last meal at the Saddle Chop Ranch before heading to Citadel to pick up some last minute things and fill in some time as it was raining today.



Car returned without incident and we all agreed we were pleased with our Chevy and the ease of checking back in and getting to airport to wait for our flight. Everyone had a great flight home, kids slept well and again we had extra seats to spread out.


Maxi taxi home for Sarah Charlie and the little ones and Ian collected Chris and I.Now where can we go next?


A look back our our Disney trip 2017…. To be added soon

Big meal for a little girl
Emi loves ribs

Hollywood, Basketball, Universal Studios and Rodeo Drive

Hollywood and Universal Studios

The next few days we headed to Hollywood before heading back for three more nights at Disney in lieu visit to Las Vegas which we decided to put off until another trip.

We set off after an iHop breakfast of pancakes and bacon.  It was decided we would call in at the Citadel Outlets on the way to our hotel in Hollywood.

Getting a reasonable hotel in Hollywood is no easy task, I alway recommend travellers stay up near universal and do day trips down to Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive.  The other alternative it to purchase and ticket on the Hop on Hop Off bus and it will allow you to visit all the areas without having to stay in the area.

Back to our visit to Citadel Shopping outlets, located on I5 they were about halfway between Disney and our Hotel in Hollywood.  Ollie was a asleep within minutes of getting in the car so I was happy

The best way to do ‘The Outlets’

to park the car and let him sleep while the others shopped.  As we didn’t was to be stuck in peak traffic we set off by 3pm to find our new home for the next 3 nights.

The traffic was heavy but not unreasonably so, my trusty navigators were on the job and we arrived at The Moment Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. A boutique hotel located along the world-famous Sunset Blvd, the Moment Hotel
Just a short five-minute walk to the famed Sunset Strip and Hollywood Walk of Fame we provide a unique one-of-a-kind Hollywood experience for guests traveling on vacation or for business. Features the chic flair of Hollywood, the modern style of LA, and the laid-back vibe of Southern California in one cutting-edge and minimalist package.

Stop number 2 of Hop on Hop Off Bus – Red Route is right across the road.

No1 Duck at it again!!!!!

After checking in we headed out to find some dinner near the Hollywood walk of Fame.

The boys were equally shocked, as I was on my first visit here, at how grubby this place was, not a sign of the glitz and glamour we all expect of Hollywood.  Dinner was at the Hard Rock Cafe, nothing to write home about but that could have more to do with how tired everyone was.  After a walk around the area we called it an early night.

Not a happy boy –
Loves his new mate

Everyone hoping Ollie would sleep without biting his tongue tonight. Sarah was running on Empty as Ollie has has some many bad nights biting his tongue in his sleep waking up screaming.

No such luck, he actually drew blood a few times in the night and his poor tongue was so sore. After a rough night we decided to hang in the hotel for the day to let Sarah catch up a bit and rest the kids up.  Chris and Charlie headed across the road to Ralph’s (a supermarket) to pick up some food and drinks.  Sarah, Ollie and Emily slept for most of the day.

In the evening we decided to head up to Universal for dinner at place that Charlie visited previously. The Saddle Ranch Chop House was excellent and just as Charlie remembered it, sure to become a favourite of ours.

It was decided that we would have another lazy start to the day tomorrow with a drive to Rodeo drive for lunch. 

Another rough but a little better night for Ollie, so after a sleep in we drove down and parked at No 2 Rodeo Drive, can’t beat the the valet parking so worth it. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory it was just a short wait to get in and needed to back back in time for the boys to go to basketball game.

Basketball was a bust as the main player boys came to see sat that night much to their annoyance and that of basketball fans everywhere, boys paid top dollar for good seats only to not see the best players play.
Still a good game but not what they paid for.

Our day at Universal Studios.

It was decided that after a rest up everyone was ready to tackle Universal Studios, highly recommend this as a day out for the family. Future visits we will be sure to stay up near Universal most probably

at the Hilton so that we can make full use of all the facilities around the park. Many food options and shopping opportunities to explore.

We opted for the ‘Front of line’ one day pass, a little bit more expensive but so worth it especially on busy days.  Ollie was in full flight after a couple of better night’s sleep and ready to visit all the characters.
Shrek was right there after we entered and Ollie and Emi held court with him for ages, they loved donkey sticking his head out as well.
We spent the day walking and walking, had lunch in the Moe’s bar it was good. They had the system worked out to keep the crowd moving. We landed a great table almost immediately which only enhanced our experience.  
After lunch it was off to meet Homer and the simpson characters, the kids loved this and the characters loved the kids especially since they were wearing their hats again.
The boys and Sarah did most of the rides and Emi did the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride with them.  Ollie and I found a shady spot outside and he just wandered around and amused everyone with his pluto hat.
We head to the lower level, a must do, only if the escalators are working, there is no way without them. It is a very steep descent but gives a great view over the city below. The kids said the best ride is down on this level called (to be added)
While Chris Sarah and Charlie were riding the bigger rides the kids and I spent time in the play area where Ollie had a nap before making friends with all the other kids and playing for ages.  It was a great section, only one way out so Grandma parked herself here and rested while they played.
After more rides then it was ice cream and donuts time. While the big kids got in a few more rides before we called it a day.  The boys were hoping to get to another game of basketball on the way back to Anaheim but we left the park a little too late. The gave it a miss as they were going to miss some of 1st quarter, of course it turned out to be a great game. We were all checkin at the Hilton to watch the last quarter and the boys hit the room service and Sarah and I decided we would make do with snacks from bard downstairs.  Everyone crashed pretty early and waited to see how Ollie would go.
Room Service

Not good was the answer, CVS was the answer get got some gel to numb his tongue so he managed a full day’s sleep with grandma the next day…

Disney Day and Characters Galore

After a day at the races yesterday,  the boys and I appreciated that Sarah spent half the previous day getting our passes organised before having fun in the park with Emi (4) and Ollie (2).

We set off earlyish to beat the warm day that had been forecast.

Grandma coming down with a cold so decided to hang in until later in the day before taking the little ones home for a sleep and well earned rest arvo.

After hotdogs and ice-creams in Mickeys Toontown. Ollie and Emi made their favourite purchases of the whole trip – Donald and Pulto hats.  We headed for the tea cups ride where Chris treated Sarah and Emi to the spinninest ride ever, of course his neck will be out for next few days. Hard tell his mates pick up an injury on the tea cups

The boys and Sarah stayed on at the park for the rest of the afternoon, evening and then head to ESPN bar in downtown Disney for a late dinner.

Loving the Dalmatian puppy that
comes out when the button is pressed
‘Again’ was all we heard for half an hour
Charmed all the park Photographers 

Grandma and the kids had
well earned sleep and everyone felt better for it.

After late night snack of pancakes and coffee from iHop next door to the hotel we settled down for the night.  Tomorrow it was early start with character breakfast in the park.

Our ‘No 1 Duck’

Our second trip to Disney
 in 2 years -Lucky kids
Love my Pluto Hat

‘One more’
Waiting for the pup to appear…
for the 20th time today

Character Breakfast and Our No 1 Duck meets The No1 Duck

Our no 1 Duck after Donald
showed her the stance
of all No 1 Ducks
Now where is that duck? 
Ollie with Tigar getting the obligatory autograph

Up early this morning, needed to in the park and waiting by the restaurant where we were booked in for the character buffet breakfast. This is a must do for anyone with kids visiting the park.

The is best opportunity to see a lot of characters and enjoy a very substantial buffet breakfast.

It is advisable to spend as long as you can at your table and there are ample photo ops with the various character that visit each table.

We sat on the balcony which gave a go view of the park and only had to walk a short way to access the breakfast laid out inside.

Mmmm Bacon!!!

The characters visit every table which makes again a worth while exercise for all ages, even the boys enjoyed interacting with the character. Meeting Max (Pluto’s son) and eye-ore were highlights for the the kids.

They loved all the characters Emi was a little scared of XXXX for a bit then was okay when she got to know him. The hammed it up with everyone that came by, of course the characters loved Ollie and his high fives and big grins.

How much do we all love Disney?
Right let’s get the bubble happening
See I got it
One of the many Princesses

After the breakfast it time to hit the rides, Emi went on the Big Thunder ride with her mother, Chris and Charlie, so brave for a 4 year old.

Charlie and I headed home early with Ollie who needed a sleep and Sarah and Emily needed to get around plenty more characters.

We headed back over to the park so Emi could meet No1 Duck, she dressed up in character and Donald was blown away by her. People were asking her for her autographed as she headed around the park dressed as the duck.  She loved being a little bit famous for awhile.

Uncle Chris giving me a seat for a bit
Loving Disney

Two weeks in LA – Disney, Races, Basketball and Universal Studios

Boys (Chris and Charlie) decided they would fly to LA and watch some basketball games so Sarah without much encouragement decided to pack up Emi (4) and Olli (2) and surprise them with a trip to their favourite magical place. So thought I hitch my wagon and go with them all

We stayed in town the night before we flew out, stayed near the airport in the Holiday Inn Express located near the domestic airport. A good cheap option with lots of fast food outlets nearby and a shuttle (small charge) to the International airport.

Allow plenty of time for the shuttle they may run behind and don’t want arrive at airport short of time. We are always early anyway, who wants to be stressed and rushing on holidays right.

We flew American Airlines our we lucky to have spare seats on each of our rows. The flew seem to pass by fairly quickly and the kids slept for at least 6 hours which was great.  Such good little travellers, got this while long haul flight down pat.

Landed early in the morning and were pleasantly surprised how easily we navigated through customs. This was probably quickest we have ever cleared customs in LA.  It seemed like no time at all and were we on the car rental shuttle bus on the way to collect our wheels for the next 10 days.

Not a bookie in sight

Loaded up we headed for our hotel across from disney with the hope of early check in as we were hours early. No such luck so it was off to find food and somewhere to hang out until the rooms were ready.  After awhile we headed back to wait in lobby (boys had a sleep in the car) the kids slept in foyer and the hotel to their credit got us checked in as soon as they could at 12noon which was 3 hours early and we were so grateful, it had been long day and night.

After a welcome nap everyone freshen up and we headed to downtown Disney for dinner at the rainforest cafe after a wander around we headed back to hotel to get early night ready to start our holiday.

Massive stands and heaps private boxes

We stayed at the Desert Inn which was suitable for our needs, clean even decor a little dated but best of all was the location. The location was fantastic right outside the parks and an easy walk to downtown Disney, surround with good food options such as Tony Roma’s Ihop (good for midnight pancakes and coffee to go)

Day two saw Sarah and kids heading to park for the day while boys and I headed to San Anita for the races.  What luck three Group 1s programmed with some great fields on both grass and sand tracks?

It was about an hour drive with yours truly behind the wheel and the boys on navigation duties. We arrived in one piece and were immediately amazed by the sheer size of the carpark, if this was anything to go one we were in for a day and a half.

The boys soon got the placing a pet sorted, no bookie all machines and I mean rows and rows or them.

If we were prepared to stay late to collect we were surprise we would have be able to bet on the Wellington Boot.

It was such an amazing venue with great views of the track and it was amazing that you could get so close to the horses parading and the mounting yard was always teeming with people.
Not something you would see here in Australia these days. The beer was good the food was good and both commodities readily available around the venue.

Although not a huge crowd in attendance given there were three group ones on the card it would be amazing to see the stands overflowing as I am sure they do during the Breeders Cup or Derby day.

After a slow start on the punt the boys came home with a break
even day. We agreed it was a fantastic day out and could easily become a highlight of the trip

Boys decreed that all future trips to states must include a trip to San Anita or another race meeting.

We arrived back to hotel and headed to Tony Roma’s for a steak for dinner, Sarah and the little ones arrived home from the park after a long but successful day for them as well.

Tomorrow a family disney day.

MacWool Tour 2016 – Flying and Santiago

Getting there…

Surprisingly all travellers are still in good spirits despite so many hiccups in the first few days. All started when we started to arrive at Kingsford Smith to see that our LAN 800 flight had been cancelled between Sydney and Auckland. 
The saga begins… on check in we were advised that LAN airlines had chartered a
plane to get us to Auckland to meet LAN 800. After a delay, being bused to the plane and few other minor frustrations we were on our way. 
Arrival in Auckland saw us climb aboard another bus to the terminal before a 30 minute walk then through security again to find our gate. 

What could be next, a passenger (not one of our group) got lost in the airport so after waiting for what seemed like forever we had to wait a further 20 minutes while the ground crew located and unloaded the luggage of the ‘no show’.

We were off the ground late but on our way now it was to be all plain sailing/flying right. 
Well yes if we are only talking about the 11 hour flight but true to form that was the only break coming our way for Saturday 16th Jan. 
Getting through customs etc was some and super quick but that’s when things all fell apart again. Out of the 26 in the group more than half were left watching expectantly an empty carousel go around and around with not a sign of their luggage. It was still in the land of the long white cloud the along with that of a third of the passengers on the flight.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

Don’t worry we said it will come tomorrow so with a quick shopping trip for urgent essentials were started our adventure. Jumping ahead three day still no sign of luggage but have told it was sent ahead of us to Punta Arenas. We won’t believe it until we get to hug our bags.
Back to  our first night deciding to put our troubles behind us we headed out to have some dinner which fantastic a sign things were on the up right. 
Well not quite but anyway we were looking forward to day two which included a visit to a winery for a tour, tasting and lunch hosted by Rabobank. This was a very pleasant day and the food was excellent and the tour tasting equal to any. 
Following lunch we will head back to hotel for a rest well almost, why not take a detour and run to the coast for a look. Great idea we all agreed should have known this was not as simple as planned. 
The run over to the coast was about an hour okay let’s have quick look and head home …at about 5 mile an hour for several hours. Sunday was a Chilean holiday and every Chilean was at the beach and driving back to Santiago with us.

Eventually we arrived back to the airport (it was decided since we were passing that we should shake a tree and see if the missing bags would fall out.) So the men without bags stayed with Michael to chase this up and girls with a couple men headed back to hotel arriving at 10:30pm in time for a very late dinner. 

What day – the bag hunters arrived back at midnight to collapse in bed. Tomorrow will be an easy day quick 3 hour flight then rest and beautiful seafood dinner in Punta Arenas. 

Plain sailing now…

Hmmm well one couple completely overslept (on account of no sleep for two days) and were awaken with the news bus was just about to leave. They were the envy of those with little or no sleep due to jet lag. No big deal we were on the road within a few minutes of planned departure time. 
Now things are back on track smooth check in and security plane departs on time and we are away. 
Wait for it…. 30 minutes into the flight there is an announcement in spanish followed but a collective groan among the spanish speaking passengers. English announcement due to a problem with pressure or navigation we are turning back to Santiago as a precaution. 
Flying back for 30 minutes in a holding pattern for another 25 minutes and here we sit on the tarmac while techs work on the problem.  Hopefully when we pick up from where I am leaving you now all will be back on track (not that things ever been on track yet). 
In 17 years of extensive travel I have never travelled with anyone losing luggage, never had more than a 30 minutes delayed flight or a cancelled flight nor a flight with issues. With the exception of one landing ‘go around’ in a heavy storm once it has been exceptional. 
A lot of firsts for me on this trip the only thing that is running true to form is the true bush spirit and positive attitude of these people. Well done everyone the laughs keep coming although they are sounding a little more hysterical by the day. Michael Blake we would have been sunk without you and your local knowledge and fluent Spanish.  
Watch this space for some exceptional highlights from here on, we have all the lowlights out of the way. 


Visit to Vino Casa Del Bosque – thank you Rabobank
They way this group has already bonded together and kept their good spirits despite everything that has been thrown their way in first few days.


Too many to list (nothing but speed humps to this group)

 More photos…

What a wonderful (White) Christmas break in Texas

After a bit of a rocky start (Nan diagnosed with shingles not long after arriving) we have had a very restful and relaxing almost 3 weeks in Abilene Texas. Just as well as 13 days after arriving home we fly to South America as part of the MacWool

Wool growers tour to Chile and Argentina.  No time for jet lag as there are a couple trips in the car to far west in those 13 short days.

Back to the holiday, after things settle down with Nan, Mum Ian and Ian set of for a day in Fort Worth at the historic stockyard. Fort Worth is about 3 hours driving from Abilene so it was a pretty full day but we enjoy the history of this place.  Even the drive was good just to be on the road to somewhere.

Another highlight was a visit to Frontier Texas in Abilene, this was a very informative place and filled with loads of Texas history. Hard to believe that so many bison could be in one place and that man could almost wipe them out in such a short time. Although if the bison were still roaming in such numbers there would have been no grazing for cattle, can’t have everything

The weather in Texas had been so unseasonably warm for December we thought there was no hope of any of the white stuff, we were wrong.

Although not falling on Christmas Day it did snow a couple of days afterwards which was fun.  Two out our Three Christmas trips to Abilene there has been snow which is amazing as it doesn’t happen that often.

A little bit of the Marra in Texas

Christmas day was spent with family and the turkey was fantastic (Scott and Ian were in charge of the bird) while everyone else contributed to the rest of the great food we all got to share for Christmas dinner.

During our stay got to eat lots of BBQ (Sharon’s brisket is one of my favs) mexican this along with a fair few visits to Cracker Barrell we had our fill of delicious food. A highlight was BBQ at Hard 8 on our way to to the airport to fly home on New Years day.

A favourite of mine

With Leonie having a significant birthday between Christmas and New Year this was a perfect opportunity to have lunch as one of the best steakhouses in all of Texas (well my opinion anyway) – Perini Ranch (Grandma even got to meet founder Tom Perini whilst she was wandering the grounds)

It was wonderful that Leonie, Ian and their mum could be all in the same place for such celebration and given Nan is 88 now, not going to be too many more opportunities to have everyone at a significant family celebrations.

It was a great stay with family and worth it to see the snow and all

the effort that people go to to light up their homes, something is sometimes missing here.

The flight home was uneventful and a first for us we flew out of Dallas Love Field airport. This is a great little airport and we surprised as how good the facilities and service was, recommended.

Short post but as I mentioned the aim of the game was to catch up with family, rest and eat and we did all three very well.

Watch this space for the next installment – Chile here we come…

Christmas is Texas

Itchy feet again…

On this day 6 years ago we were in San Diego heading off for a day at Sea World, today we board QF7 to fly to Dallas before a couple hours in the car to Abilene for Christmas.  Ian’s sister Leonie has lived in USA for many years with her husband Scott. This is one last opportunity for Ian Leonie and their mother(88 years and vows this is the last trip ) to spend Christmas day together. 

Love there is a direct Qantas flight to Dallas, anyone flying to the states should consider Dallas as their entry point, much nicer than LA and a good hub for onward flights.

A little about Abilene ~ thanks to wikipedia

Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in west central Texas. The population was 117,063 according to the 2010 census making it the twenty-seventh most populous city in the state of Texas. It is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2011 estimated population of 166,416.[5] It is the county seat of Taylor County.[6]Dyess Air Force Base is located on the west side of the city.
Abilene is located off Interstate 20, between exits 279 on its western edge and 292 on the east. Abilene is 150 miles (240 km) west of Fort Worth, Texas. The city is looped by I-20 to the north, US 83/84 on the west, and Loop 322 to the east. A railroad divides the city down the center into north and south. The historic downtown area is on the north side of the railroad.
Established by cattlemen as a stock shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881, the city was named after Abilene, Kansas,[1][7] the original endpoint for the Chisholm Trail

A White Christmas

Although unlikely it does gets very cold and it is possible, what are the chances of striking it twice, the last Christmas we spent in Abilene was just that white. Fingers crossed!!!

We a planning a quiet break and staying close to home base most of the time so won’t be so many posts this trip, I will make up for that in late January when we head to South America, with a group woolgrowers and the MacWool team.

Let the magic begin…..

After three flights, 28 hours travelling we collected the hire car and after a short drive we arrived at our hotel at 2am (Florida time) on Friday 3rd May.
 The boys were fantastic and didn’t complain once about all the travel, given they have never travelled more than a 3 or 4 hour stretch at any one time this was a real accomplishment. Most adults I know would struggle with this trip. Our hotel, the La Quinta Orlando near convention centre. This hotel has proved to be excellent located halfway between the airport and Disney World.

After sleeping in until about noon it was off to Cracker Barrel for a very late breakfast. Everyone agreed that Cracker Barrel was a good place to eat and everyone enjoyed their food. After breakfast it was off to DownTown Disney to get this disney adventure underway. We wandered around and checked out all the store, boys were fascinated with the Lego sculptures. It amazes me that this is my third trip here and still I find new stuff to do and see. We found a BBQ place nearby for dinner, it was okay but there are plenty of better places in States for BBQ but it did its job and filled a hole.

Magic Kingdom was our first park and this proved to be a ver long day as we stayed until the last parade and fireworks (watched these from the car-park, everyone exhausted) The bigger boys rode thunder mountain no less than fout times and said it got better each time, Jai went on a few smaller rides.

We had prime position for the afternoon parade and this up to its usual great standard. I found a table to watch the evening events and Jai sleep for a couple of hours while the boys go around the other rides and shared a cookies and cream ice-cream with Pop. I enjoyed the rest myself as we had walked miles around the park.  Hotdogs all round for dinner except for me I went with the mini corn dogs (Like mini dagwood dog without stick)

Another quieter day with lazy bekkie at Cracker Barrel before retuning to hotel for an afternoon around the pool. We decided on mini golf to finish off the day, fortunately there is a great course right behind the hotel. Pirate Cove proved to be a testing course with a lots of interesting pirate facts at each hole. A few hours fun had putting and laughing before a very good dinner at Tony Roma’s also located within walking distance from the hotel.

My favourite disney park was the next destination. We started our Animal Kingdom adventure with the Safari through the animal reserve, they boys loved this and the animals were all out and about as it was cooler and early in the morning. 

Jai was fascinated with the nile crocodiles and liked the elephants and giraffe’s who came right up to the jeep. After the safari concluded they boys set off to conquer everest for the first of five times while Jai Pop and I headed to the snakes and spiders area, Jai loves all these creepy crawlies. He picked out a safari suit to bring home to wear when he catches lizards at home, he had the shirt on most of the day. We met up again for the ‘It’s Tough to be a Bug’ 4D show, it was great as usual, they boys loved it especially when bugs all left the building… Jai finally plucked up his courage and did the dinosaur ride with the boys, it was a bit scary but he loved it.


As one day blurs with another today we went to Disney’s Blizzard Beach where there was lots of fun in the sun while the oldies rested up in the shade. After a minor dispute with Jai over wearing the life jacket. I won that round in record time and he was in the water having a ball within five minutes…and was overheard asking Pop if he could get a life jacket to take home as we were leaving the park. We decided to rough it for dinner on the way home so headed to the biggest and most unique Macdonald’s in the world (the sign said so). Burgers for everyone a few pics of a squirrel getting drive through (eating a chip in the car-park) and it was home to bed….phew. Surprisingly everyone is holding up well and the pace hasn’t slackened yet. Boys just had a Skype session with Sarah re-living and comparing their disney experiences  After getting a few tips from Sarah on the ‘must do’s’ for tomorrow’s park we signed of and they headed to bed. Jai has booked in a Skype session with Charlie tomorrow so he can tell him what rides he went on.