A trip to Orlando, day 14 – the last day

After our very long and late night,  we have a slow start to the morning.  We want to go into Epcot later because Katie wants to do more Kim Possible missions and we haven’t seen Illuminations properly,   but first we just chill out,  and then after 5 minutes of that I make them all go shopping.

I have done very little shopping on this holiday and I am determined to rectify that.   I make up a short list of stores I want to visit,  and make Phil drive me to them.  First stop is Joann’s on the 192 where I am after some craft things.  I had a 40% off coupon  and was hoping to buy a tote  for my scrapbooking things,  but they didn’t have anything I fancied,  so I bought some papers and then at the last minute I picked up a Cuttlebug.  I;ve been wanting one for ages, but they are a bit pricey.  i decide if I can use my 40% off then it will be reasonably priced.  The lady at the till can’t decide if I can use my coupon,  but eventually decides I can.  Then she rings the machine through and it comes up with a sale price,   so I can’t use the coupon in the end,  but the sale price is pretty good,   so I decide to get it or I will kick myself later.   Phil is muttering about the weight of the bags,  and the amount of craft stuff I already own,  but I know how to ignore mutterings when I need too 😉

After Joanns I go over to Lane Bryant which is in the same carpark,   this time I leave Phil and the girls in the car and shop alone,   much better plan!   I am after some jeans and work trousers.  I bought work trousers here last trip and have lived in them ever since,  but I didn’t find any today.  I did however find some jeans and was really pleased with them.  I would have bought a few pairs but they only had one colour in my size.   Painfully aware the kids were waiting in the car,  I just took the jeans and left without trying anything else on.

Next stop,  Michaels,  another craft shop,   still no totes here either,   and I have a feeling I left with nothing.   Which is unheard off!  Actually,  I must have bought something as I can remember using my coupon – I think it was 2 sheets of stickers!

Across the street from Michaels is Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Katie has recently had her bedroom decorated and I am hoping to find her a ‘room in a bag’ set to complete the look.  For some reason I thought BB&B was quite a posh store,  something akin to Pottery Barn,  so when I walked in and it was piled high with boxes of Kitchen stuff I thought I must have walked into the wrong store.

What a strange place,  it’s like a B&Q for housewares,  and they had every single one of those random ‘only for sale on tv’ things that you never knew you needed.

Once i got over my shock,  I quite liked it, and could probably have bought loads of random stuff I didn’t need,  but I focused, and found Katie who had found some bedlinen.  Pink & green bedlinen for her new lilac bedroom.   She was in love with the bedding and was not going to be detered by the slight issue of it not matching her bedroom.  I searched around for something lilac instead but there was nothing as nice,  so we left with this.

I had my eye on some towels as well,  but Phil was muttering about cases again,  so I had to leave the towels behind.

Still hoping for a tote,  and an album for Molly,  we make one last stop – I know this really is the last one as the kids (and Phils) patience for shopping is wearing thin.  Earlier in the week we had spotted a scrapbook store near publix,   so we go back there.   It’s quite small,  but they have some nice cruise papers  so I buy a couple of sheets,  and also some cool laser die-cuts that say Hollywood Studios and Epcot,  etc.

That’s the boring shopping done, and it wasn’t particularly successful but at least I got my jeans which was my most important purchase.     We head back to WDW and make a stop at Downtown Disney.   Molly still has $60 on her gift card so we took her to Once upon a Toy.   She is really not sure what she wants,  but she likes the look of the My Little Pony,  so we stuff a box full,  we get 2 ponies in there and every possible kind of princess hat, skirt, shoe etc  that they have.  She also buys some Mickey Dominoes and a set of Princess rings.   I think she spent $40,  so she still has $20 to spend.

We had lunch at Earl of Sandwich, which was very nice and quite reasonable,   I had to laugh at the menu though,  they have all these specific sandwiches listed but for kids it’s just PB&J  or Turkey and Swiss.  I ask a CM if we can make substitions and he says we can order anything we like,  so the kids get Ham and Cheddar which is rung through the till as Turkey and Swiss, hold the Turkey, hold the Swiss,  Add Ham, Add Cheddar.   I had a hot roast beef which was lovely,  and Phil had a Club which was enormous.   It was all very nice, and I really enjoyed it.

More shopping ensued,  with Molly attempting to buy something with her last $20 but she really wasn’t about to be parted with it for anything less than the ‘perfect’ thing and nothing really took her fancy.

Eventually we gave up and went back to the hotel for a nap.   I tried to pack and everyone else just flakes out.  Phil was keen to go into Epcot at 4,  but the fireworks weren’t until 9 so I felt we could leave it a while longer,  so he took the girls swimming whilst I finished all the packing.   We came out with 2 cases and are returning with 5.  To be fair,  one of them has a cuttlebug and 2 cushions in it,  and the other is full of bedding and nothing else,  so it’s really only 3 proper cases.  At least that’s what I am telling myself.

The half hour quick swim they are having takes about 2 hours,  but eventually they return to the room and we head out to Epcot for 6.30,   Katie really wants to do Kim Possible and I am quite worried it will have closed for the evening,  but there is a station near the entrance and we manage to get an appointment (like  a fastpass) for 7.15 in Norway.

We walk around to Norway via Japan where we stop for some tea,   the counter service place here is lovely and we all have Teriyaki Chicken and rice.  After tea,  we go into the Japanese store and Molly decides to buy a Hello Kitty cushion with the last of her money.  I am so pleased she’s finally decided on something.  I take it up to the till and am informed we can’t use the Birthday gift card in this store,  so it’s up to Mummy to buy the cushion,  and now I am the proud owner of a $20 Disney gift card.  It’s the card that can’t be spent….   It’s a long walk to Norway and I keep remembering the bus driver telling us it’s 3 miles around that lake!   But we do get there eventually and our sent on a mission to save the world in China.

We have rarely entered the Chinese pavilion,  so it was quite interesting to go inside and take a closer look.  I was fascinated by the display of pottery soldiers.

We had to solve a number of clues,  which wasn’t really very hard as there were a lot of kids doing KP challenges,  so you just had to look for the other teams to work out where to go next.  Regardless,  the effects are clever and the kids enjoyed it so much they fancied another one,   so we headed over to Mexico for a final challenge.  This was all inside the pavilion,  so nice and cool as well.   We were not offered a further challenge after Mexico so I think KP must stop running around 8pm.  We took a ride on the Donald ride, (and had to queue! for at least 3 minutes,  but really a proper queue,  I should have taken a picture)   and then we went outside,  where it was dark.   Molly couldn’t quite comprehend that it had been light when we went inside and it was dark now.

We want to watch Illuminations,  and preferable from near the International Gateway so we can leave shortly afterwards.   We are quite late so there aren’t a lot of good spots and everytime we see a potential spot there is a massive tree blocking the view.   Phil is all for taking a tree-blocked spot,  but I am on a mission to find ‘the perfect spot’,   and remember reading about the garden behind the Fish and Chip shop.   We get there just before 9 and it’s pretty crowded so I think I’ve blown it,  but then I notice that at the railing there is a little path off to the left that doesn’t really go anywhere,  and there is space down there, in fact there’s a lot of space,  I think it’s quite secluded and most people don’t even realise you can go there.  We really have scored the most perfect view,  it’s almost the same view as from the Rose and Crown but lower to the water.

There is a wall to our left but the action is all in front of us so the wall doesn’t really block anything.   I was very pleased and felt a little like we’d cheated,  you aren’t supposed to be able to walk up at 5 to 9 and find a great view.  But we did.

The fireworks are great,  and I am sad that we have to go home,  but as the bellboy later tell us,  if you don’t go home then it becomes your job,  and then you really do wish you could leave….  I can almost see his point.

We take the boat back to our room,   and head off to bed.

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