Travel hack – Flying to Florida

As seasoned travellers to Florida I like to think i am experienced at organising a great holiday there.

Given that i am usually booking for eight or more people i am particularly good at making sure we stick to a reasonable budget. 

I have just booked our flights to Florida 2018 and I’ve got to share this little gem with you.

Usually, if you fly from the South East of England to Florida you would either fly from Gatwick or Heathrow to Orlando, or Heathrow to Miami.

Unless you have air miles or you are booking a package holiday, flights are really expensive. 

Especially, lf like us you have to work around school holidays, even worse when you are paying for eight people!

So, here is my secret…….Norwegian Airlines!

They now fly direct from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale airport is about 30 minutes north of Miami and about a 2 1/2 hour drive to Orlando.

Fort Lauderdale itself is our favourite holiday destination.
The beaches are stunning, restaurants are amazing and there is always loads going on.

If however, you are heading to Orlando, the price of flights will make the drive worth while.


Drum roll please…….

Return flights for the Easter holiday 2018 £450 per adult and £350 per child.
This is for the Economy Lowfare plus ticket which includes In flight meals, 20kg check in baggage allowance and seat reservation.

Gatwick is so much more convenient than Heathrow for those of us that are South of London.

Now let’s talk about the airline.  

Norwegian is classed as a ‘budget’ airline, But there really isn’t anything budget about them.

We travelled to Florida with them last year for my sister in laws wedding in Key West.

The check in service was excellent (but when flying with five children you tend to get treated like VIP….mainly to move you on as quickly as possible).

The Dreamliner plane is a new aircraft. It offers good legroom (lowfare plus) and hi-tech facilities.  

The touch screen media kit means you can order and pay for your duty free, food and drink using your tv and the cabin crew bring it straight to you. 

The kids and I were fascinated by the ‘magic’ windows that are made of smart glass and tint at the touch of a button!

The service on board was great and the cabin crew were very attentive and patient with the kids.  As all of us parents know, that can make a big difference to a nine hour flight.

If you are considering a holiday to Florida, check them out.  I’ll be sharing more posts on holidays in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami soon.

Let me know if you have any travel hacks when holidaying in Florida.



Orlando heart break 💔

Before you read this, I am not big on politics, this is just my opinion on the latest mass shooting in America.
From what I have read recently, a bi-polar, steroid pumping, wife beater who had shown such aggressive homophobic views that his colleagues had been forced to leave the security firm he worked at because they couldnt tolerate him anymore.
This man was arrested and questioned twice by police after being linked to various ISIS radicals and was on their ‘watch’ list. 
Somehow, because of the gun laws,  this lowlife was able to walk into a sporting goods store and buy a assault rifle and hand gun!?!?
What the f#ck!!!!!!??
I am proud of our gun laws in this country and the security around them.
Mike holds a UK shotgun and fire arms license.
To obtain this licence he had to submit an in depth form to the firearms department, where they carried out criminal record checks and checks on his background.
Once that was approved the local firearms officer had to visit our home. He analysed Mike, his state of mind,  his relationship with me,  his motives for wanting to own a gun and exactly where it would be kept.
Once he had satisfied himself that Mike was responsible enough and low risk he gave him a thorough briefing on what it is to hold a gun license in the UK.
He told Mike that along with a gun licence becomes a huge responsibly. 
If your circumstances change in anyway your licence is revoked immediately .
My point is,  it would have been unlikely that the vile scum that destroyed so many lives in Orlando would have ever had a license here or legal access to a gun.
Don’t get me wrong,  this doesn’t mean things like this could never hapen here, I’m sure you can illegally get your hands on a gun, but it makes it much harder.
The majority of mass shootings in America occur because they have easy access to a gun.
The unstable people responsible for these atrocities would be highly unlikely to have ever obtained a licence or a gun in the UK.
Im not even going to go into the amount of accidental child shootings!
I think British people in general have much more respect and awareness of the dangers of guns.
The American attitude seems much more blazey.
I certainly don’t think guns should be banned anywhere.
I do,  however feel that the US could take our lead when it comes to this.
This was a recent BBC News Article on Us shooting statistics.
America is without a doubt one of my favourite countries in the world, hence why at every opportunity we are back visiting.
The week before the Orlando shootings I was in Disneyworld with Mike and the children.
It was the 25th Anniversary of GayDays,  one of the largest Gay celebrations in the world. 
It is estimated at least 50,000 Gay men and women attend.
The first Saturday in June they visit Magic Kingdom, Orlando …..the same day as we were there!
It was fantastic!  What I loved was the complete normality, love and acceptance of everyone there. 
So,  when a complete no mark,  a screwed up, evil c#@t who probably struggled with his own sexuality manages to get his vile hands on an assault rifle and hand gun and opens fire on one of our most colourful and beautiful communities then we must stand together and realise, for every evil,  mental extremist there are far more good, decent,  people full of love, acceptance and understanding in our world.
We Stand United
My love, prayers and thoughts go out to the men and women and their friends and family involved in the Orlando shootings 💔

Popped the roller-coaster cherry #proudmama

It was a very proud day for me today.
It was a moment,  as a mum, and a lover of roller-coasters and fast rides, I have been waiting for for nine years.
Today, my twin sons lost their roller-coaster virginity!
We have spent the day at Islands of Adventure, the partner the partner theme park of Universal Studios, Orlando.
It’s much more geared for children and thrill seekers than Universal.
Once I had sussed out that they are finally taller than the height restriction my mission started.
I started them off tamely on a Harry Potter simulated ride. 
We then moved from their onto a small outside roller coaster train, which they were really scared about at first but absolutely loved.
Then,  they were ready for it….
The big one!
Well,  I thought they were ready for it.
During the ride i looked at them both and they were so scared they were trying to cry but the force of the ride was so fierce that they couldnt.
When we got off Mikey told me the next thing he wanted to do at the park was punch me in the face for taking them on it.
I was then told I was the worst mum…. Again!
Five minutes later, we asked what their favourite part of the day had been and they both said The Mummy – The big roller-coaster that they had just been moaning at me for taking them on.
F#@k knows what these two are going to be like when they are moany, hormonal teenagers.
Can it really be worse than the basket cases I’m dealing with now?
Whatever,  I gave myself a mental hi-five, Future theme park visits are going to be so much more fun now! 
Go boys!!! 😘

Happy but tired mum 😴

After two weeks my body clock still hasn’t adjusted to the time difference between London and Florida.
I wake up at 3am every morning (8am london time) and just lay wide eyed.
It hasn’t helped that George has been teething aswell.  
Just as I manage to drift of he usually stirs, then by the time I get him back to sleep its too late for me!
Don’t get me wrong,  it hasn’t been all that hard work,  I’ve had no school runs to be up for and the sun makes it easier.
I am anxious about next week though.
Getting the kids back into the routine of school. Plus, it’s the way home the jet lag really kicks in.
I can’t wait for them all to be climbing the walls at 2am because they can’t sleep.
I will be buying plenty of Bacardi at Duty free on the way home…. Don’t judge me, it’s for me, not the kids.
They prefer vodka anyway 😝

First week of our holiday

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with my blog.
Holidaying with five children doesn’t allow me much free time.
Between applying suncream, feeding them and getting in and out of the pool one hundred times a day I just about have time to take a pi#@!
We are one week into our three week holiday in Florida.  Our first week had been in Key West.
I am going to do a separate blog on Key West but I would sum the Island up as the American Caribbean, laid back and boozy.
I saw a sign in a shop window that said
Key West emergency plan:  GRAB BEER AND RUN LIKE FUCK!
That’s pretty much sums it up.
We have met some really interesting people and watched Sarah (my  sister in law) and John get married which was beautiful and a complete honour.
The kids have been on top form this week.  Enjoying every minute of the weather,  pool and the relaxed atmosphere. 
They have always loved the States and, like Mike and I, feel completely at home here.  Mikey has even been speaking in an American accent since he landed…
Slightly embarrassing when ordering food or speaking to a native! 
They have been a bunch of comedians aswell, I’ve been making notes of some of the sh€t this lot have come out with.
Harrison on the toilet
‘Don’t talk to me while I’m pooing, I can talk,  but you can’t…. I mean….I need to concentrate’
Libby whilst trying on my wedges
‘so when you are in heaven I can wear all your clothes and shoes can’t I!?’
‘ Mum you look like Megan Traynor, mainly because you both have ginger hair and a big booty ‘
‘ how long is this wedding going to go on for?  I’m starving and I want some cake! ‘
‘Sarah looks beautiful….. John looks bald but Sarah looks beautiful! ‘
We have had a great first week to our holiday.  
It’s sad to say goodbye to our family and friends but we are looking forward to our next week of holiday adventures in Fort Lauderdale and Miami!