Orlando United & NOLA

As I sit typing this I feel sadness, as we have just arrived home from a day 10 trip to Florida and New Orleans. I have wanted to go to New Orleans for some time, but the year we were planning a trip Katrina hit & we just haven’t found the time to re plan our trip.. But here we are 10 years on off to New Orleans… Let’s start at the beginning though..

We decided to fly from Manchester again, purely because of the price, but it’s a great excuse for us to have a night out before the holiday. This time around we kept with the football theme and visited Rio Ferdinand’s Italian restaurant Rosso http://www.rossorestaurants.com & we were not disappointed, the food and the wine (oops) were amazing, so I am pretty sure Rio wasn’t in the kitchen.

So the alarm goes off at the crack of dawn and we head over to the airport.. Our little Jess is slightly excited, as you can see by the picture.. (She has not met Mickey Mouse before)

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We had a stop over in Washington on our way to Orlando & for Jess and myself it was another state to tick off the list, as we had never been to Virginia before, so we snuck outside to say we had actually smelt the air, but as you can see by the picture it was quite polluted. Sarah was obviously rolling her eyes back at check in..

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Once safely in Washington Dulles we had a couple of hours to spare and as the Euro’s had just started it was perfect time for us to grab a bud light and watch the game.. Well this is whre the panicked started, my brother calls, which unfortunately I just missed & I thought the usual message would follow to say “ Can you pick me up some trainers “ but this time around the message was “ Sabrina call me ASAP “ Of course I went into total panic, as those with brothers know, you only hear from them when there is something wrong or they need something. My fight or flight instinct kicked in and of course I ran, found a small corner, cried my eyes out and proceeded to think the worst. Sarah called the UK for me & it was amazing news.. My brother and his wife are expecting their first child in January, so the lucky kid will have a few new aunties! I then had a 5 minute serious chat with my brother and I am going to send him on a course on how to deliver news!

I think the drama was far too much for Jess & this was how she spent the next 2 hours on the way down to Orlando..

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The week before we landed in Orlando the city suffered the worst mass shooting in US history. You could tell that the place was suffering & all around the city flew the rainbow flag. Orlando was on high alert, all the theme parks had extra security, the soccer game we went to see was full of armed officers & we attempted one day to go shopping, but even before we arrived the mall had been evacuated due to suspected gun shots (fortunately this time it was a false alarm). We spoke a lot on holiday how that in a split second your life can change for the better or the worse & I will never understand people’s hate for one another. I know the world would be an even scarier place if we were all the same.

On arrival in Orlando we were lucky enough to be staying at an amazing villa in Davenport, so we felt at home straight away. We had a couple of days relaxing planned & of course a few days at the parks before we headed off to New Orleans.

On one of our relaxing days by the villa we had a couple of incidents.. Firstly Jess in her wisdom wanted to play a game of volleyball in the pool, now this usually would be a great idea, but Sarah who has recently torn her ACL for the second time decided to join in & no one thought anything of it until the knee popped out & it took us an hour to get Sarah out of the pool.. Fortunately for us Sarah knew what she was doing and managed the rest of the holiday without anymore knee issues, albeit with a limp!

and then….

What do you do when you see a fully clothed Jess leaning over a pool.. Well my answer would be to push her in & usually I would, but there was something that stopped me from doing this and it was a really good job I didn’t as seconds later I spotted a snake in our pool.. Now if you know Jess, you will know what her fear of snakes is like, although I did scream snake & her reaction to the scream alone was priceless, so who knows what would have happened if I had actually pushed her in..

We visited Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios & of course Universal. They had some new rides at all the parks & of course the old, but great ones were still around. Although I don’t think Jess will be attempting Mission Space again! https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/epcot/mission-space/ I knew best and chickened out.. When I found Jess after the ride she was on the floor with a bottle of water. The wine tasting we found soon cheered her up again though!

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Our time in Orlando was great and the city goes on, but from what we saw will never forget!

Our early morning flight to New Orleans was a quick one with the wonderful Southwest https://www.southwest.com every time we have had a flight with these they always make it enjoyable and there are some great youtube videos out there to prove how funny some of their staff members are & here is just one of them for your entertainment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_o_xn-q5Zk

Well New Orleans where do I start.. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever visited a place quite like New Orleans. You have the history, the music, the food and then there is Bourbon Street.. We were staying in the French Quarter at an amazing hotel called http://www.hotellemarais.com it was close enough to Bourbon Street for the experience, but then far enough away from the noise and carnage of the street if you wanted to stay away!

We took a Paddlewheeler ride down the Mississippi http://www.creolequeen.com and had a great time learning all about the history of New Orleans and then on our return the talk turned to hurricane Katrina and the boat was silent, you could hear a pin drop. The guide was excellent and his own family had their on story about Katrina, but it was extremely upsetting to listen to what happened to the city.

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If you are ever in New Orleans you have to check out this place http://www.cafedumonde.com/beignets quite possibly the best donuts I have ever tasted.

We spent one evening celebrating Jess’ birthday in the most amazing restaurant http://gwfins.com the food is brought in fresh every day and the staff were fantastic, it was probably the best seafood I have every tasted! On another table though there was a party celebrating another birthday and two of the girls were asleep at the table, which was more than likely from their experience along Bourbon Street, but hey that’s New Orleans for you!

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So as the sun goes down on another trip away, this is certainly one we will remember for a long time to come & isn’t that what our holidays are all about..

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So Y’all till next time, travel EZ the ladies from EZPZ