Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My sister does Disney

In January this year my sister, much against her better judgement, was talked into booking a holiday in Florida where the emphasis was to be strictly Disney.

Now we went there five years ago with friends and had a simply brilliant time. It was just after 9/11 that we were there. British people 'brave'* enough to travel at that time found themselves feted as the greatest friends America had - but apart from that embarrassment the holiday was one long laugh.

One thing I remember from it was my propensity to get lost. It was very strange. One thing I am normally really good at (THE thing I am normally really good at) is remembering places. As a general rule if I go down a road I have been down before I remember it, even if it was years and years ago. In Orlando I could simply not recognise anywhere and this resulted in several very round about trips back to our villa. Two such journeys stand out in particular. The first when a wrong turning resulted in me and Fiona facing three armed guards by a security gate. The second was when I was following my friends in their hire car. I followed and followed, across lanes, around corners, I kept right on their tail for fear of getting lost yet again. Then they turned into a shopping area. I wondered what they wanted to buy. They stopped the car. I stopped my car. They shot off at speed. I shot off after them. They drove round the service area behind the shops and so did I. Which was when I finally realised I had in fact been following the wrong car and whoever was in the car ahead was clearly terrified I was out to rob them at gunpoint. Hire cars do have a tendency to look all the same. And by then I was seriously lost!

Back to my sister. The holiday was booked for the half term just gone. We were all insanely jealous. She however was incapable of accepting she might actually enjoy it. If I had a quid for everytime I have heard her tell someone over the past ten months that 'Florida isn't really her kind of thing'I would be rich and nowhere near as irritated as I was hearing it without the financial incentive. She would bore people rigid telling them that she looks for a bit of culture on her holidays and she was really only doing this for her daughter. The day before they left she was still saying she would rather be off for a week in France (where she has been many times before).

My sister has another habit and that is when you ask her after an event if she had a good time she will start by pulling a face and saying "Wellllll....it was alllll right I suppose." Can you tell this drives me mad? So I was dreading her return from Florida. I did seriously consider that if when I asked if she had a good time she started with another "Welllll....." I might have to smack her.

She got back yesterday. She was at my house when I got home from work. I hardly dared to ask the question but, deep breath, "Did you have a good time?"

Sheepish look from my sister, followed by huge grin "It was bloody brilliant!" she was forced to admit.

Hold the front page! MY SISTER HAS GOOD TIME IN FLORIDA!!!

Although she did complain that you can't buy brown bread out there so she hasn't returned to us a completely different person ;-)

*Bravery had nothing to do with it. Cowardice comes closer. In fact I did have brief second thoughts about travelling at that time, but simply wasn't brave enough to contemplate telling the kids we were not after all going on the holiday they were so very much looking forward to.


The Moy said...

Florida is wonderful. My family used to spend at least two weeks ever summer there, at Destin, which was then a very small, unfrequented stretch of clean beaches and reasonably priced cottages. Beautiful warm turquoise colored water, astounding night skies... I do miss it.

Much of the kindness you encountered was probably inspired by the dearth of tourists after 9/11, but a good bit of it might have been the hospitality and warmth of American Southerners.

Not to sell Disney short, of course. I've never been to Disney World, though I've been to Disney Land out here a few times (and a very strange world it is, too.)

J.J said...

I would love to visit more of Florida - but there is so much of your country I want to see The Moy definitely including your part of it.

Reidski said...

Talkin' of Disney, here's a joke (as told by Scottish people):

Q: What's the difference between Bing Crosby and Walt Disney?
A: Bing sings and Walt disnae!

Bet no-one's heard that one before!

marc said...

Parts of Florida are indeed beautiful but there's a certain rightwing 'redneck componant' (or cracker, as we call it) that is to be avoided. After all, George Bush's brother is the governor of the state! Check out Louisiana (even after Katrina) for southern hospitality.

Reidski: You need to be muzzled for that one!!!!

J.J said...

Reidski, I wrote that just so you could get to tell that joke of yours.

Hi Marc - when are you coming back to see us???? Jeb Bush- we have not forgotten that.