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Florida Trip 2015…Day One

Day One …. It’s all going swimmingly

Welcome everyone to another Florida Holiday Blog. Can I start by, as I always do, thanking all the people who make such nice comments about the blog, and how sometimes it makes them smile. Can I also thank my family who make the stories that I write about. Yes, once again they’re all real…..
I carry a pencil and a pad around with me at all times to capture such gems as Nikki (Wife of thirty years) climbing in the wrong car, Nikki forgetting how to open a car door, Nikki telling us about how honest her toes are”, and of course, the Russell Trouser Story (which is the best story ever, and features on an earlier blog). Today’s entry, and we’ve only just taken off, is yet again Nikki related…

We started our journey with no arguments, no dramas and no hitches, completed a King run to the airport (a feat that involves leaving your home and your vehicle wheels not stopping until you arrive at the airport, despite traffic and roundabouts, a challenge invented by my good friend Jason King, hence “Kinging It”) and booked in our cases. The woman at the check in desk made me sing a song from Frozen. Why? I’ll tell you why…
Nikki was crying. When the lady looked at her at check in she asked, “why are you crying?” I intervened…
“I’ve just sung Let It Go from Frozen, it always sets her off crying”.
“well” she said with a smile, “you’re not getting booked in until we’ve had a verse”. And with that, she sat there, arms folded, until I’d sung a few lines.
Not bad was the verdict. Wasn’t quite the truth though…..
Truth is people, is that Nikki was crying because of toothpaste, and a toothbrush to be exact.
In the queue, just about to book in, yards from security, and with no prompting whatsoever, or reason, Nikki passed each of us, me and the kids Georgia and Sam, a disposable tooth cleansing set.
Why? We all thought it, and we all asked it…
” I thought you might want one”.
Our joint refusal produced a Gazza like response ( at that moment in Italia 90 when, standing next to Gary Lineker having just been given a yellow card, he realised he would miss the final should we have got through).

We cleared the check in, whilst Manchester Airports Finest Cleaning Department mopped the floor dry underneath where we’d been standing, and we went to the cafe area. Yep, it’s still four grand for a weetabix, and if you want toast you have to have the deeds to your house and a venture capitalist to back you just in case you fall behind on the payments. Hang on….

She’s crying again. What have I done now? Looked left instead of right? Did I pick up my toast without asking? No…..
I gave the kids a few quid to spend on Duty Free should they have wished to do so, but didn’t tell Nikki the correct amount (I was out by a fiver). I got a telling off at first, but then somehow the song “Let It Go” came out of my mouth, and she stormed off in a pointless fashion. Pointless because we’d actually passed through security, so she couldn’t storm anywhere. In fact the furthest place she could have stormed to was the ladies. She’s a bit poorly today……she’s got a colouring book with her so she can relax if necessary, and guess what? The criminal woman smuggled 20 ink filled felt tip pens through security, each one containing 100ml of fluid, and she didn’t put them in a clear plastic bag! Anarchy!

There’s a quiet satisfaction as we board the plane. It’s a small 757, with three seats either side of a single aisle, quite small for trans Atlantic travel, but somehow quaint. Seat back TVs with games and films aplenty. Nikki is sat opposite me, and as the seat belt signs go off, she reaches for her picnic bag, containing snacks galore for our journey. Despite reading otherwise, the drinks were free, so she needed something to go with her Pom Bears, Scampi Fries, M+M’s, Les Cadbury’s Fingres, Smarties and egg and cress sandwiches, which were now piled on the tray table in front of her. She chose white wine. ( which Egon Ronay recognises as the ideal accompaniment for egg and cress sandwiches). With a kind heart, and recognising that her mid air banquet may encroach on her neighbours space, Nikki asks the small Asian lady next to her if she’d like a finger.
“I can’t, I’m fasting, Ramadan”.
(I know what you’re thinking, but this woman was tiny, and not only was she fasting for her religious beliefs, but she had also put her clock back five hours so she could fast for even longer. It’s what God would want. And when a member of the cabin crew came past offering snacks, when Nikki told her that the lady next to her was doing what she was doing, “Cindy” said, “Mmmm, Ramadan (in an American accent) I’m not familiar with that one”. Staff training needed……

And on the subject of staff training, might I also recommend you having a word with the staff on our connecting flight, who had us boarded for a 3pm flight in comfortably record time, only to tell us that our pilot was flying in from Georgia and hadn’t arrived yet, and unfortunately he had the keys to the plane, and was the only person who knew where the switch was to operate the air con, and the only one, apparently, who knows how to work the intercom and let passengers know what the hell is going on. We’ve just flown seven hours to New York, rushed through the airport to get our connecting flight, it’s 3pm, and we’re sat here for an hour, with the doors open, with no drink, no food, no reason, and no pilot. Then he arrives. Hooray! No readers. Don’t get excited, he has to do his pre flight check.
Not sure if the woman next to me is just eccentric or mad. Nope. She’s mad. 2 hours later….
We’re here. Florida. Again. Never get tired of this place.

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