Sunday, February 17, 2008


We spent the day in the Dordogne today and since spring has come a couple of months too early, we spent some time in the woods picking daffodils. Not the tall majestic ones that tend to adorn roundabouts but the stumpy little ones with pale tissue paper flowers. I would like to show you a photograph of them, but somehow I have managed to corrupt my photothèque by using a more recent version of iPhoto than the one I have installed. I can't quite work out how this happened.
Preparations for Florida continue apace and my main reading matter for the past week has been "Walt Disney World With Kids 2008" which is perhaps one of the most frightening books I've ever read. It informs me that "character meals" should be booked at exactly 7 am. exactly 180 days before the required date. We leave in exactly 6 days. It is also full of advice about booking meals, terror ratings (?) for all of the rides, exhortations to be at the parks at the crack of dawn, tips about vantage points for fireworks shows and parades and something confusing called Fastpass which short circuits queues for the most popular rides but still involves queuing. I feel that we may be somewhat under-prepared.
On one of those sites where people tell you the real, honest, down to earth truth about the hotel you've booked (only what you usually find is that 50% of users say they had a wonderful holiday in this luxurious establishment while the other 50% tell you it was a rat-infested hole run by a MR. B. Fawlty, so really you're no further forward), I discovered that our hotel's pool is closed for refurbishment for the next three months. I'm beginning to suspect that Disney may not be the house of fun we have been led to believe, it is rather the sort of sneaky multinational that let's you come all the way from Europe to sunny Florida and neglects to mention that the hotel has no water in its frigging pool. It's a good job I spend most of my waking life on the internets, otherwise we wouldn't have known until we wandered down in our swimmies. We're arranging a transfer to the hotel next door, only now our 'magical something or other" luggage labels which ensure that we won't have to bother our pretty little heads with our luggage between dropping it off at the airport in Bordeaux and finding it magicked into our hotel rooms on the other side of the Atlantic, have bar codes for the Wrong Hotel.


Vivi said...

Hey Lesley,

I grew up near there and worked at MGM Studios for two summers, so if you have any questions, let me know!

Clare said...

You are a braver woman than I! The thought of Disney World, be it in Florida or Paris, makes me shudder! Whereabouts in the beautiful Dordogne were you?

Lesley said...

Vivi: I doubt if I'm organised enough to have any questions, but if I do, I'll come running.

Clare: We were just outside Savignac-les-Eglises in a little wood that is completely carpeted with daffodils. (Re. Disney, I'm not going to knock it until I've tried it.)

Anonymous said...

Take your swimming gear in the hand luggage ... but don't take any nail scissors or penknives.

Oh, and take a Spanish phrase book, the only time I went to Florida no one understood even basic questions such as What time is it? and Where is the nearest bus stop? But everyone was very friendly and the warmth was fab. so pool definitely important.

spentrails said...

Sounds like a job for Bach's Rescue Remedy.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely recommed Fastpass. Either that or Passfast.

Anonymous said...

First - you don't need a spanish dictionary! People here in the US speak english - especially at disneyworld. I have been there many many times, I agree you need to move to a hotel that has a pool that isn't under construction. Fastpasses are a god send....but then you need to find something to do until your fastpass is ready. All I can say is just relax and enjoy - the kids will have a fantastic time, no matter what. Don't stress about things, it will all work out and you'll have a great time. Next time - you should take the Disney's the best!!!!!

leon's life said...

Lesley: As an expert in all things Disney (yes I am one of the millions or foreigners that work in the Paris one) I would suggest only a couple of things:

- Take it slowly as a day in any Disney park in totally knackering. Don’t rush there first thing in the morning, as you’ll be exhausted by midday. Try to do one part of the Parks bit-by-bit rather than rushing around and seeing nothing. Get you fast passes marked and then work your day round that.

..and yes a fast pass still means you queue but no for so long !

- Go to a shows/ parades that are in the parks, as this gives you time to sit down and rest your weary feet (no snoozing in front of Mickey is allowed of course) the timetables for the shows can be picked up at the park entrances.

- Book your dinners at the bginning of you stay as the queues are never ending, even at meal times and after a long day there is nothing worse than waiting to be fed with winging ankle snappers.

- Don’t bother spending you money in the more expensive restaurants; a real waste of money and I can guarantee that you will be disappointed. Stick with the hot dogs etc …

- Be careful in the boutiques there are so many child enticing things to be bought the kids can go wild. Wait until the end of you stay before buying that lovely princess dress.

I’m sure you’ll have the best time. I know many people that are very anti USA and anti Disney but have had the best time at Disney.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lesley, The daffodils here in S.W. Scotland are little green sprouts just poking above the frosty grass. the snowdrops are all out now though.
These small daffodils with pale petals and slightly brighter trumpets are the original wild variety. Much more elegant than their cultivated cousins.

Lesley said...

Thanks for all of the tips and comments. My Disney Mantra is going to be "Relax and enjoy. Relax and enjoy" and I'm sure I will, and the children are going to absolutely love it.

Pauline : when are you going to start blogging again?

Ronnie (age 43 and 364 days): The camelias are all in flower here too and the mimosa is even a bit past it.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, ronnie

would like more wild life comments!


Being confined indoors most of the day, just the four of us, is reminding me of the days when my children were wee and most of our weekends ...