Day Eleven – Florida 2016

I’ve started to chill a bit now I’m in Florida, I’ve even started to wear a t-shirt with “Crowded House” on the front (my “Wings tour shirt may come out tomorrow if I dare!). I’m sat here with a coffee and me iPad, overlooking the sunrise. Blood pressure is low, shoulders don’t ache, the birds are singing, the crickets chirp. What am I thinking?…. Have the kids watered the hanging baskets and mowed the lawn?

I’m currently in the middle of a “tussle” with Disney, over tickets. I’ve made it my mission to get as much free stuff as possible, especially as I now have lots of time on my hands. You may remember my success last year with Universal tickets, my free golf rounds, and upgrades on flights, well, the battle continues, and here’s why….. These corporations lie to us all the time. They say “sorry but we don’t give out complimentary passes”, when in fact they do. They’ll tell you upgrades aren’t available, and then call you and ask you if you would like to spend more money on exactly the same thing you’ve asked for. I’ll give you two examples…..

1….The British Airways upgrade. My call to customer relations went like this. “Hello, I’m a secretary acting on behalf of David Beckham. I know it’s short notice but David and Victoria need to fly to Orlando next Monday. Can you fit them in?”. The reply, not word for word was, “Our pleasure, here’s your reference, a representative will meet you in the USUAL place with your complimentary tickets, and take you to a private lounge”. I can see their point….DB on BA = PA.

2…. “Hello Disney, I’m an agent working for Robbie Williams, and he’d like to bring his family to your park tomorrow, are there any special measures to accommodate him please?”. “Yes, no problem, we’d love for Mr Williams to come to Disney. Marcel will be his guide for the day, and we’ll make sure he’s given all the VIP treatment. His complimentary tickets will be with Marcel”. Why does Robbie get this treatment? because he wrote Angels…..

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll pay for a service if it’s right, but they’re literally taking the mickey. This is why Aldi and Lidl are taking off in a big way. Same food as Tesco, but a fraction of the price, and they’re still making money from you. Your money! My money. Time to get some back….now Disney have not updated their rides for some time. I’ll use Disneys Hollywood park as an example. Their main rides at the moment are Tower of Terror (opened in 1992). Star Wars (opened in 1990), The Muppet 3D theatre (1989) and Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1873). No mention of Frozen, or any of the other zillion films they’ve made since the 80’s. No updates at all, and yet their entrance fee has gone up from $24 (in 1991) to $106 per person today (plus tax) AND it’s $20 to park your car in their car park at their park. No upgrades or new rides, but a massive increase in price. My request to them was for a press pack, so I could upgrade and update my free guide to Florida (available to you free for iPad, kindle, iPhone, on the Facebook page, and computer if your interested). Their excuses to date for refusing me are that “we don’t give complimentary tickets”, “Your request needed to be done 14 days prior to travel” and “We never had your request”. Luckily, I’ve kept the emails….I’ll keep you updated….

My, I am waffling on! Yesterday was spent on a golf course, and the next bit explains my frustration at golf courses, that only maybe golfers will understand. “Hello, is that Kissimmee Golf Club? I’d like to book a tee time for 11am please?”. “Certainly Sir, how many golfers?”. “Just the one, my Wife will drive the buggy and act as my caddie”. “You’re all set Mr Tallbert (which is my name in America) see you at 11”. And off we set. When we arrived, I paid my extortionate fee of $18.60 for a round and a buggy, and started to walk out of the shop. “Mr Tallbert, you’ll be playing the front nine twice, as we’ve closed the back nine for refurbishment”. “When did that close?”. “March”. Mmmmmm….could have mentioned that over the phone, and before I paid. Never mind, onward and upward. What he also never mentioned, was that all the greens had been hollow tined and top dressed with sand, so putting was almost impossible. Still, it’s giving me something to do in a morning, besides write this…..but you understand I’m sure.

From there it was back for a swim before popping out to Hooters for tea. People underestimate Hooters, or won’t go as they see it as something that it’s not. The food is good, the waitresses are friendly, they show all the football games we can’t get in the UK, and in my opinion, it’s one of the areas best kept secrets, even though everyone knows about it. We had buffalo shrimp starter, burger and crabs legs for main, and cheesecake for afters. Together with beer, less than £30. And I managed to watch LA Galaxy v Orlando. Oh, and stare at ladies…..

Wasn’t a late night, but we were awoken this morning by a troupe of Donald Trump sponsored Mexicans cutting our lawns. One of them is wearing a t-shirt that says “We’ll sort your borders” . Is that a dig at Trump or is he going to prune my fuchsias?

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