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the big gay honeymoon – days seven and eight – that BITCH next door

Day 7 and 8 – that BITCH next door

I am joining day seven and eight together as they were down-days, where we did surprisingly little due to Paul being unwell – poor love had come down with tonsillitis. We woke at the Polynesian fairly late, and after wiping away our tears and trying to scuff off some of the more unusual marks we had left on the room (that blue sunscreen), we climbed into the taxi that would take us to our next hotel – the Wyndham Resort on International Drive, conveniently located next to McDonalds, Walgreens and only a stone’s throw away from Titanic: The Experience. Sadly, despite throwing many stones, it still remains in business. WORST OIRISH ACCENT EVER.

Continuing the Titanic theme, the first thing I said when we flounced into the lobby of the Wyndham was that ‘It doesn’t look any bigger than the Polynesian’. Carmen Miranda behind the desk was a proper miserable cow and imbued the check-in process with as much class as a hurried crap in a service station toilet. Our room wouldn’t be ready until 4pm, but we could leave our suitcases with the Chuckle Brothers who would ‘take care of things’. Only they didn’t, as they refused to take our rucksack in case it had a laptop in it. Despite reassuring them that it didn’t, they didn’t seem to understand, and sent us on our way, meaning we had five hours to kill on International Drive with a heavy, uncomfortable rucksack. Not a good start.

We killed the time by wobbling into McDonalds and sitting their ‘How to order fast-food in eighty-seven simple steps’ exam. Paul passed with flying colours, but blimey, how complicated can you make it? There’s three counters involved now. After lunch, we decided to go upstairs and try our luck with the arcade. We were very lucky, in that we didn’t have a cap popped in our collective asses. It’s all a bit ghetto up there, and unless you’re desperate for some out-of-date gaming action, I’d stay away.

With a plan to walk down to the IMAX and catch a movie, we happened to just see if our room was ready early. Turns out it was. Carmen delighted us in giving us a key and saying we had been upgraded – score! But, let me put it this way, if the room was an ‘upgrade’, I can only imagine we were originally down as sleeping in the housekeeping cupboard, because not only was it as far as possible away from the main desk (the Wyndham grounds are huge), but the air-conditioning was extremely noisy AND our room wasn’t even contained in the building itself, but stuck on the side next to the vending machines. Then the final cherry on the cake? Having christened the room, we were lying on the bed when a garish pair of shorts became visible in the window. Opening the tatty curtain revealed an extremely hairy, very loud Mexican gentleman, with his full fat-apron on show, bellowing into his teléfono móvil at a volume you would use standing on a pier to shout instructions to someone on a departing hovercraft. That loud. Yep, our room looked out over the main traffic concourse for every Tom, Dick and José who wished to enjoy the sun. Wasn’t having that. Called for an immediate room change, and was moved to building seven.

Much better. Billed as an ‘Junior Suite’, the room was decorated exactly the same except for the fact the table-lamp had power sockets for plugging in a laptop. Nevertheless, it was a better location and very clean, so we were happy. Paul was beginning to feel unwell, having complained about having sore tonsils for a while (I don’t help matters), so we had an afternoon nap. Only to be woken by what sounded like a dog whining. Except, super-loud. And high-pitched. Eyes rolling, we looked for the source of the sound, and discovered that the room next door had left their dog in the room all day, and the poor thing was obviously scared because it was whining like something not right. Called reception and asked them to have a word – they never did. They offered a room change but we had unpacked everything, and asked that instead they moved the guy next door.

They didn’t. Despite him breaking the rule of not leaving animals in the room, they did absolutely búgger all (by the way: I use accents on swearwords so they don’t get hashed out by the filters. I hope this isn’t too offensive but we’re all adults and I figure not many kids are going to be reading my written diarrhoea) and it stayed this way for five days. In the end, we tuned it out, like you do with a faulty smoke alarm or a distressed child. So that was the day, pretty much – we just stayed in and watched TV. There was a Walgreens over the road so, of course, I made a swift dash – I bloody love Walgreens. So much choice at excellent value – I was mesmerised by the choice of sodas, and ice-cream, and fags…amazing.

Now, both Paul and I gave up smoking a few months ago, but still have the odd one. For whatever reason – perhaps my honeymoon urges – I bought a pack of Camel Crush. To be honest, they’re such a novelty that I had to do it. They’re menthol cigarettes but you squeeze the filter and it clicks a little capsule to make them even more minty. I know smoking is terrible and all that, but the odd one on my honeymoon isn’t crime of the century. Anyway, we’re going to Universal at the end of the holiday and they’ve got a shisha bar in the Hard Rock Hotel, so I need to work my lungs up for that! I got Paul some Ben and Jerry’s and throat spray. See? I can be a sensitive boyfriend! He’s so brave mind, choking down ice-cream with his sore throat. After Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Minute to Win It, the day was closed.

Day Eight commenced with Paul saying he felt terrible but didn’t want to stay in the hotel all day, so after dosing himself up and bravely trooping out of bed, we decided to head to Premium Outlets at the top of I-Drive. Now, to confuse matters, Prime Outlets has now become a Premium Outlets, and we had senior moments trying to figure it all out. We just wanted shoes! We shuffled our way around the mall, bought er…a few shoes (see below) and got a taxi back, as Paul was feeling so bad. Decided that as we had Discovery Cove booked for the day after, it was best to get him back into bed to sleep it out.

A small selection of modest purchases.

This left me on my own to scratch about. As I only spent the day reading Alan Sugar and sitting by the pool, there’s not a terrific amount to say, save for the fact that I must have a big ‘MINCER’ sign above me as no sooner had I sat down in what I thought was the empty pool-side, then another gay couple (‘bears’) came over and asked me where the steam room was, with an extremely subtle leer. They had no chance. Frankly, even when his voice sounds like Joan Rivers and he is swollen around the neck, Paul’s still the royal flush when it comes to gay-poker. They were sent on their way. But here’s a bit of information for you, as I always like to teach.

I mentioned bears before to describe the two gay men who approached me. For whatever reason, some members of the gay community like to ‘tag’ themselves as animals to describe their body types. They break down like this. A ‘bear’ is a hairy, fat bloke, normally ‘masculine’ but not adverse to putting on a Kate Bush album every now and then. In my experience, despite being masculine, they know too much about drapes to get away with it. I would be described as a bear as I’m fat and hairy. Now Paul, he would be called a ‘cub’, because although he’s fat, he’s not especially hairy, like you would expect a small bear to be. It gets odder – you also have an otter – a thin, hairy bloke, normally quite camp by my experience, and there again, you have a wolf, either an older gay guy or a more ‘rugged’ bear. The best bit? If any ladies out there ever wanted to be a fag-hag to Paul and I, you would become a ‘Goldilocks’ – i.e. the girl who terrorised the bears! If you prefer a Disney theme, feel free to call yourself a Fairy Godmother. The whole animal name thing has always annoyed me, as it tends to promote odd cliques amongst gay men, especially snobbery from bear types towards the camp, mincing type, and I’ve never set much stock by it. Frankly, I don’t see how growing a handlebar moustache makes you any better than any other bloke, and the only reason most overweight / overactive gay men grow a goatee is to hide the stretchmarks. Think about it…

See had I bought this wonderful thing I found at the Mall, I would have been downgraded from a ‘Bear’ to an ‘Otter’. Christ knows what the box next to the girdle does, but apparently it’ll give any woman a FAJA REDUCTORIA. I’ll get one sent to Katie Price ASAP.

Gay Names 101 over, a little about the Wyndham. If you TripAdvisor it, it tends to get quite poor reviews, and despite the cow on reception never sorting out the dog next door, I don’t see why. The grounds are absolutely immaculate, full of flowers and pruned hedges. So the rooms look a little shabby on the outside, it’s to be expected – it’s a massive, budget hotel with what I imagine a very high turnover of guests. The rooms were always spotlessly cleaned, the staff around the place helpful, and, thank heavens for small mercies, it actually had a deep pool – 11ft!

It’s laid out like a Butlins, with 16 blocks of rooms, and the further back you are the worse the deal you received, because it really is a trek. But, if you ask, they’ll shuttle you about on a golf-cart. We never took advantage of this, but we did see an extremely obese woman being shepherded from the on-site ice-cream parlour (which stocks Hag and Daz ice-cream, according to the in-room literature) to the pool bar mere moments away. There’s several pool tables dotted about, plus some fun table-tennis, and all in all, I’d stay here again. If you’re looking for a cheap base on International Drive, you could do a lot worse – trust me, I’ve stayed at the Metropolitan Express, where the only relief from my surroundings came from the bountiful amount of marijuana smoke drifting into the room from the gangs in the next room. The hotel would be exceptional if you have a family – close enough so that everything on International Drive is within walking distance. The grounds never felt unsafe, either. Oh!

There was a small problem. I went to tumble-dry some clothes at about 7pm, not unreasonable. I stuck my clothes in, set it away and went back to the room. After checking twenty minutes later, I found the door had popped open. So I set it away again, and watched it for a few minutes – door didn’t come open. I had an inkling from the way that some hairy-chinned old bugger had been watching me from his room that he had come out and opened the door deliberately to stop the noise of a few t-shirts cascading around. And sure enough, once I was out of sight, he came out and opened the door, leaving my clothes open to any passing fancy.

My revenge? Simple. I went back to the room, got two pairs of my new shoes, and stuck them in the tumble-drier with the rest of the clothes. It was a cool dry setting, so it didn’t matter. Then I sat on top of the tumble drier for the full forty minutes whilst they banged, clattered and bounced around in the drum. He opened his curtains a few times, but each time he would see me simply sitting on top of the dryer with a beatific smile, reading Paul’s Alan Sugar book (it’s actually pretty good!). I win that round, old timer.

Final thought? American quiz shows are just the best. I’m hooked on Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Minute to Win It, which is like The Cube only without Philip Schofield and his nuclear-winter-white hair. They need to bring over the American way of doing quiz shows, which is just getting through the show extremely quickly, instead of the British way. Take Deal or no Deal. When I get on that show, I’m going to pick the boxes in sequential order from 1 to 22. When Noel Sex-Pest Edmonds asks me for my sob story, I’m going to deny having any emotion and sit there mute. They’ll still make wring 65 minutes from it, though.

That’s it. Apologies for the lack of photos and funnies but it’s hard to write when nothing was done!

Oh, one final sign-off. I know I’m going to hell, and I’m sorry, but…really? What’s wrong with Bold, or Lenor? Hee…

A cheap laugh, I know.

the big gay honeymoon – day six – lake patrol to major hom

Day Six – Lake Patrol to Major Hom

Given our little spell yesterday at Hollywood Studios, we decided a day relaxing by the pool and enjoying the Polynesian was in order. As a rule, we don’t tend to suffer ill-effects from the long flight other than nightmares about the woman who had a face like she’d lost a fiver and found a pound (see day 1 trip report), but perhaps jet-lag was kicking in. As a result, there isn’t a terrific amount to say about this day, so I’m going to talk about my views on Disney once I have the nitty-gritty out of the way. This might not be a trip report in the truest sense and I may get another ‘infraction’, but let’s just roll it out.

I think we stirred at 10ish, and decided to breakfast at the Contemporary Café, where we had enjoyed lunch the previous day. The Polynesian is superbly located in this respect, as we could almost roll out of bed, onto the monorail and into the café if we had wanted to, and if Paul had remembered to remove his basque. It’s quite a snotty monorail actually, given it serves the Polynesian, Contemporary and Grand Floridian – full of spoilt little girls with their Bibbity-Bobbity-Boutique outfits on (yes – for the deposit of either a full leg or two arms, your daughter can too have her hair scrapped back for an Essex facelift and get some glitter thrown on her face!) simpering and posturing. But I hate children, so perhaps I’m biased.

Paul and I often get asked whether we’re going to have children, but saying as sending up the chimney is frowned upon, I can’t see any real reason for them. We’re far too selfish anyway – it’s so much easier taking long flights and holidays when you don’t have to wipe bums and keeping answering the same six questions over and over, which is the same reason we don’t take my grandparents.

For breakfast – a bean burrito for me, a platter for Paul. Bean burrito for breakfast? I figured I was already at the pebble-dashing stage of the Florida Belly Syndrome, I might as well go for broke. Perhaps the masses of tour groups in the park had been rubbing off on me, which is yet another reason to worry when a group appears behind us in the queue. The best part of the breakfast had to be a bird crapping on the table, but once I had explained to the waitress that this isn’t going to get her a tip, she went away. Chef Mickey’s is next door for a character breakfast, but I could see from the table that this wasn’t my scene. I can’t be done with meeting characters (remember me breaking the previous cast member?) as I always feel a) scared and b) slightly disappointed that they didn’t cop a feel.

Breakfast done, it was back into the arcade to pour a few dollars to try and win that ‘The Office: Clue’ board game we had spotted the day before. After a fair few games of Deal or No Deal, we hit the jackpot – and once we had amassed the requisite 2000 tickets, it was in our clammy hands.

These arcades where you win tickets reminds me of the first time we were here in Florida and were playing upstairs in the big McDonalds on Sand Lake Road. We won the jackpot on the Wheel of Fortune game, and collected 300 tickets. Paul raced into the prize room to claim something fabulous like a colour TV or some park tickets, only to return with a 4” plastic version of the retarded spokesblob Grimace, who he claimed he had to get as he looked so much like me. I can see his point. Parents – don’t bother letting your kids spend money in the McDonalds arcade, it’s a complete rip-off. Get them learning a cards system, it’ll pay off in the long run.

The cheeky sod. I’m only this shade when I wear that bloody sunscreen!

After we claimed our spoils, back to the Polynesian for some afternoon delight, and a soothing dole whip for afters. Takes the sting away. There’s a running joke between Paul and I that no matter what he orders, I’ll have a piece of it, so even when he orders something rancid like pineapple flavoured ice-cream, I’ll be taking a bit, just to test it. He claims not to mind, but I’ve noticed he’ll buy flavours that even he doesn’t care for just to put me off. It doesn’t work, and don’t worry, this is something I will beat out of him in time.

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing by the pool and on the beach. We never did swim in the volcano pool because I was worried all the beautiful people by the pool would laugh at my moobment as I swam and sashayed up the stairs to the slide. However, it looks beautiful.

Oh yes, we also rented the boats again – the fast Sea Raycers – as Paul enjoys it so much. Following his brush with Lake Patrol the day before, he was being ultra-cautious, and I was being careful to keep an eye on him, so much so that I went straight through the ‘No Wake’ zone under the monorail bridge at full pelt. Naturally, Lake Patrol see this, and over they come in their little boats with the siren flashing, and good lord do I get told off. I’m not that sure why, actually, it’s not as if I was going to bring down the monorail bridge with a hearty wave. Anyway, after she had finished waving her finger at me and threatening to take the boat away, and I was finished internally thinking how I could Kirsty MacCall her, she went away, leaving me to take some pictures and also, discover a mysterious hatch just hidden off the shoreline of one of the tiny islands in the middle. Being a Lost fan, this was super-intriguing, but I very much doubt there’s an angry Scottish man down there.

Our evening meal was at Ohanas, as we had luckily booked this well in advance. We were expecting a serve yourself buffet but it’s actually so much better than that. After getting yet another super-gay drink…

Might see if some of the pubs in Newcastle can knock this up for me. Might be leaving out the window, mind…

…we were shown to our seats, sat beside a rather brash New York couple (who actually turned out to be just charning) and given salad (meh) and bread (ooh, despite being coconut and pineapple flavour – all I could think was that coconut and pineapple were two of the flavours you used to get in those ‘Tropical Flavour’ condoms in pub toilet machines) (I swear to God I have seen a curry flavoured condom before, by the way – talk about putting the spice back in your relationship).

I’ve just read that back, and realised that I have totally overused parenthesises in that paragraph. Apologies, it’s one of my writing tics, that and using hyphens instead of commas. I’ll try and lay off them.

So, if you’re wondering, at Ohanas you don’t go and get your food at buffet trays, but rather they bring barbequed meats to the table, sliding them off skewers onto your plate. It is absolutely, utterly delicious. Steak, chicken, pork and shrimp (though both Paul and I left the fish, we’re all about the meat in all ways) to die for. We had the rookie mistake of filling up on bread, of course, so though we managed a few farm animals, we did have to call it quits. But oh no – our waitress wasn’t done with us yet – and she brought out a bread and butter pudding, topped with a jug of syrup. Naturally, as there are people starving in the world, including myself now as I write this, we had to choke it down. Easily the most delicious meal so far on the holiday and one that I can’t recommend enough. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, give it a whirl and use up two credits. As our waitress was lovely, and the meal was superb, we left a $100 tip. Spread a little magic, I like to think.

OH! Forgot to mention. I got ‘hit on’, to use the American vernacular, by a waiter. He asked me how the honeymoon was going, to which I replied ‘Brilliant, full of the usual honeymoon pleasures’. He looked me up and down and replied ‘I’m incredibly jealous’. I mean really, how inappropriate. I only meant getting free upgrades and showing off my ring. Clearly, he was all about the latter. Paul gave him some stink-eye and off he went.

And that, my friends, was that. Our last night at the Polynesian finished as you would expect – us groaning, packed full of meat, and gasping down Rennies for all they were worth. We would move to the Wyndham the next morning and I plan to start from there with the trip report, so here’s a few thoughts about the Polynesian.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. It’s one of the most expensive resorts on Disney property but it really shows – it is immaculately kept, exceptionally clean but without the stuffiness of the Grand Floridian. We seemed to get a good deal through Virgin Holidays and it was always our intention to bookend the honeymoon with more salubrious hotels, and this certainly lived up to it. I can see why some people find it too dark, for the decoration is a little muted in places, but when the torches come on at night and you’re lying on the beach watching the fireworks, it is perfect.

Location wise, it really can’t be beaten, only matched. Not once did we struggle to get to a park – either hop on a monorail and change at the Magic Kingdom or get a bus from the TTC, which is right next door. A lovely touch is the resort boat which shuttles between the Grand Floridian and Polynesian from the Magic Kingdom, which made getting back after enduring Wishes a breeze.

In terms of facilities – two pools, one quiet and one for kids, was just the right mix. There is a long beach for relaxing, swinging in the hammock and looking at the volleyball and tennis nets and thinking a bit of exercise wouldn’t harm. There’s an arcade room, an excellent pair of gift and grocery shops, a jogging trail (yeah, didn’t do that either) and the choice to rent boats and bikes for the more adventurous and/or folly, like Paul and I.

Food – well catered for, arf arf. Captain Cooks does excellent counter service fare whilst Ohanas is one of the most popular Disney restaurants on site. There’s also a coffee bar and a sushi eaterie but being unrefined gentlemen, we partook in neither.

Flaws? Very few. Being a ‘top’ resort, it does attract a few snotty people who like to swan around thinking they are ‘It’, and their attitude to cast members shows that. It may come across in these reports that Paul and I are snobby, and to an extent we are, but we’re always polite and friendly with people doing a job. Unless they do it badly, then it’s dirty protest time. Another flaw would be the distance from the lobby to some of the longhouses if you’re put in a ‘branch’ that’s far away, but that can’t really be helped, and I’m sure you could request a room change if it became difficult.

Cast members were always exceptionally friendly and the Mousekeeping service did an excellent job of cleaning the room and sandblasting the toilet every morning, probably oiled along by the tips we left. There were two notable cast members – Bailey and Sarah on reception – who were just fantastic, giving advice and actually spending time to have a good conversation with us. Even the ladies in the gift shop remembered us and made time to have a chat when they saw us dithering amongst the ornaments.

In all? A superb, superb site, and a good chunk of the reason for our newly-discovered love of the Mouse. I want to write more about Disney and plan to use a ‘quiet day’ coming up to ramble on, but for now, this is enough. Coming up: Discovery Cove, NASA, shopping and Jaymes and Paul vs Sweet Tomatoes.

And now…some photos of the Polynesian, and one for all your foot-fetishests out there…

the big gay honeymoon – day 5 – Magic is Might

Day 5 now, for your viewing pleasure…remember if you’re enjoying these, let me know!

Day 5 – Magic Is Might

Day five rolled around with an unfailing sense of inevitability, and we rolled out of bed at some ungodly hour in order to get to our favourite park – Hollywood Studios – in good time. A quick breakfast at Captain Cooks where I managed to embarrass myself by spitting cold ice-tea all over the place after mistaking it for hot tea – I loathe ice tea, and you know in movies when someone is told something incredulous and spits coffee, that was me. There will be a day when Paul and I can visit a restaurant and not make a tit of ourselves. Here’s something – the Polynesian does a breakfast called ‘Tonga Toast’, and I strongly believe it is the major contributory factor to all of those severely overweight people you see beetling about Disney on an electric wheelchair. You take about a third of a loaf of unsliced bread, remove some of the bread filling, fill it with bananas, brown sugar and cinnamon, then seal it back up. Roll the bread bomb in more brown sugar, and deep fry it. That’s breakfast. Deciding that I’d rather not have an ungainly zip on my chest from having a pacemaker fitted, I declined, and spent most of the breakfast time deriding Paul for choosing it whilst shovelling a cheese and bacon croissant down my gullet. There’s no shame being me.

Uneventful bus trip to Hollywood Studios, we arrived at 8am, for park opening at 9am. Now, at Magic Kingdom, you can wander around the shops and allow Disney to pilfer through your wallet at least an hour before opening, but no such luck at Hollywood Studios, though I think that had more to do with the marathon that was running through the park early in the morning. So, we waited an hour, right at the front, being jostled hither and thither by gangs and pushchairs, until tada – the gates open. And good lord, you would have thougt they had announced free pastries for all by the way the chunky fuckers ran to Toy Story Mania to get fastpasses. I don’t get it myself – it’s good alright, but really it’s nothing that Men in Black or Buzz doesn’t do. Nevertheless, it was also our first port of call, and we received a fastpass ticket for 9.45am.

Best part of all this? Imagine the huffing, puffing and moaning coming from the crowds who had to wait to be allowed to cross the path of the marathon? I’ve never seen so much indignation. Quite a few families just ran across the path of the runners, who had been running for 24 miles previous – imagine getting that far only to trip over some Cheeto-faced toddler being pushed in a hire-stroller. Genius.

Hee. This made me smile.

Toy Story fastpass allocated, off we waddled to the best two rides in the park, after Paul and I naturally – Hollywood Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (featuring Aerosmith). The queue for both rides was negligible but as we hadn’t done a proper rollercoaster yet, we bundled ourselves into RnR. Sadly, we were placed right at the front, which is never fun on a rollercoaster, and the whole ride seemed a little…slow? Still love that launch though – 0 to 60mph in 2 seconds. Having a fat, squidgy face means it all pulls back when I shoot through the ride photo and I look like I’ve had a stroke, which is never fun.

Outside: terror.

Inside: Cher’s bedroom

The ride itself is still marvellous despite its apparent slowdown, but I wish they would move the fastpass queue so that you went straight to the boarding hall, rather than having to endure Aerosmith’s acting every time? Worst line – listen out for ‘Grab my black Les Paul guitar’. It’s all I can do not to jam my fingers so far into my ears that I could pick my nose from the inside. It doesn’t help that all four of them look like sub-par transvestites.

Our thirst for speed and thrills slightly abated, we were straight onto Tower of Terror, where, as you all know, you’re strapped into a lift cart and flung 13 stories into the air, for a random fall immediately afterwards. We adore this ride, partly because it changes every time and the theming is absolutely incredible. To think they have built a hotel lobby, library and boiler room that looks exactly how you woud imagine a 1920’s deserted hotel to look is just marvellous. Of course, the scariest moment would come after the ride itself…

…when, I tried to buy a t-shirt. Jesus. I think we must have encountered the rudest, most unhelpful member of Disney yet – Vanna. Apparently, I needed to show my passport to buy a t-shirt on my room key. I explained that I didn’t have any ID as the whole point of carrying the key card was that you don’t have to fart on with money and the like. But nope, she got a proper cob on. ‘You need to carry ID, YOU know that living in America’. When I explained I was from the UK, she continued ranting, saying that I still needed ID. This continued, but I noticed all the while that she was packing my shirt away anyway, so I just continued letting her rant at me. To be fair to her, I think the wheel was spinning but the hamster had died a long time ago, because she had weird, distant eyes, and a bit of shoulder-bite about her. Got my shirt, and after wiping off the spittle, Paul and I spent a good hour alternating between the two scary rides.

Then – abrupt halt! Heart pains ahoy. I have an irregular heartbeat and it started kicking off something rotten – so we called it a day there and then. I have an irregular heartbeat and probably shouldn’t overdo the g-forces, but I like to rally against these things. If I ever get a false leg, I’m going on the fastest rollercoaster I can find purely because I think it look hilarious flying off across the park whilst I barrelled through a loop. I felt terrible, but didn’t want to chance having Vanna giving me mouth to mouth and telling me she was my number one fan, so we hotfooted it (well, walked slowly, lest I keeled over) to the bus for the Polynesian. After sitting for a while, I felt much better, and we decided to take lunch at the Contemporary.

Now, I bloody hate the building style but wanted to have a nose at Bay Lake Tower, the new DVC building. We always get asked about joining the Disney Vacation Club, I just reply saying I’m bankrupt and they back off – try it, it works. I might add I’m not bankrupt. It looks lovely, but I would hate to look at the window and see the Contemporary Resort upclose – it reminds me of the Get Carter carpark.

A Contemporary View.

The café was perfectly adequate, usual Disney fare with the addition of a ‘Dirt and Worms’ cupcake, which was…odd. Our eyes were drawn to the arcade though, and in particular, the Deal or No Deal game. Essentially a collection of big coloured buttons, it doesn’t half suck you in as you try and win some tokens to go towards that 59p Slinky toy you’ve always wanted. Now, some people get more carried away than others…

Deal…or no deal?

No frickin’ deal!

…arcade done, it was back to the Polynesian for a swim in the pool. A charming pool and exceptionally quiet, my only fault would be the fact it doesn’t have a deep enough deep end – what’s with American pools having a deep end of 6ft? I’m a big lad, and I can’t do my ‘emerging from the water scene from Platoon’ impression if the water isn’t deep enough. Plus, deep water hides all manner of dirty sins. I did find a lovely warm heat jet, and without giving too much away, when Paul asked me to go get him a towel, I had to swim to the cool end of the pool first. It was empty, I stress.

The final activity of the day was hiring the little Sea Raycer boats to go careering around the lagoon. We love them, it means we get to pretend we’re in Baywatch or something similar (let’s be fair, both Paul and I have the correct sized bitch-titties to pull that illusion off) and we spent a good thirty minutes chasing each other about and creating big old waves to crest over. Being heavy-set, the tip of my boat wasn’t half sticking up in the air, to the extent that it made a great slapping sound whenever it hit a big wave. Then, I lost Paul. He disappeated, nowhere to be seen. I coasted about a bit, then I heard the siren of Lake Patrol. Nipped around the corner, and there he is, engine off, being told off by Lake Patrol.

I wish I could say I was a supportive boyfriend, but I was paying for the boats so I wanted to get use out of them, so I throttled back up.

Once Paul had caught up, and I faked not seeing him in trouble (oops!), he explained what had happened. Paul being Paul, he’s never happy just doing what he was supposed to, and wanted to flip the boat into reverse to see if he could make it back in reverse. But no, the boat’s engine cut out, and there he was drifting. This wouldn’t have been so bad except the Magic Kingdom ferry was heading straight for him, and, according to Lake Patrol, ‘THEY CAN’T STOP’.

Yeah yeah. Paul had to be towed out of the way and was left with a flea in his ear after being told that if he misbehaved anymore, he’d be sent back to shore. Poor lamb. I explained that I hadn’t seen him because of the sun in my eyes and totally got away with it. Er, sorry Paul.

After boats, we travelled over to the Swan and Dolphin hotel to have a go on the crazy-golf course there. I LOVE this. A couple of quick photos for you:

I know it’s crass, but SOMEONE needs a super-heavy.

The Mouse itself.

I won, again. The only thing Paul has ever won is my heart. After golf, we rushed back to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks up close. And oh my, I had forgotten how bad the bloomin’ Wishes song was. The fireworks were amazing – as ever – and we managed to squeeze onto the teacups afterwards so all in all, a good day.

The rest of the evening was spent watching TV and taking it easy – so nothing much more to add! Apologies if this isn’t a laugh-a-minute recap, but it was a quiet day!

the big gay honeymoon – day 4 – segway? WAAAAAY!

Day Four – Segway? Waaaay!

I need to get something off my chest – and it isn’t the remnants of Pringles caught in my chest hair that I sometimes save for the morning after (it’s where I put the bean dip that I can’t write about). Something is very wrong with this holiday. Every morning, whilst I brush my teeth and Paul ped-eggs his feet (something to sprinkle over our nachos later), we have the news playing. Now, as you all know, American news is awash with low-budget adverts, and the last two times we have been to America there has been one advert that gets under your skin. The Bob Dance adverts. They feature some booming fat guy and the most precocious, annoying, apple-cheeked little girl (Grace) ever committed to film. I could deal with that but the advert used to sign off with Grace mooing ‘BOB DANCE WHERE EV-VA-BAH-DEE RIDES’ in some bizarre off-key manner. ……..

Today, Epcot, land of terrifying accents, loud shirts and a surprisingly fun kids adventure. But first, Segway! As a surprise, I had booked the Segway Around The World tour a while ago, and it was something we had both been looking forward to for ages. You need to understand that Paul and I were born to be on two wheels, as this recent picture illustrates.

To Dennys!

A quick hop on the monorail to the TTC and another to Epcot, and we were at the park in plenty of time to er…visit the restrooms, take pictures of the golf-ball and try and spot the gayest looking legends ever. Not really the most fun way to kill an hour but in no time at all, we were being greeted by our trainer, an acerbic old lady from New Jersey was who brilliant – no Disney treacle and a good sense of humour.

Now, I have to confess – the weight limit for the Segway is 250lb and I’m not entirely convinced that I’m not about twenty pounds over that limit. Being the stunt double for Lisa Riley has its downsides, you know. So, whilst she was telling us all about how to steer, I’m sitting there imagining that as soon as I step on the Segway, it was going to beep, buckle and shriek out in a Johnny-5-like voice ‘No coach parties please’. However, I needn’t have worried, as there was no such issues. Either I’ve lost weight or they set the bar a lot lower than the machine can cope with. SO – if you fancy the Segway tour but are just above the weight limit, don’t fret. I feel I should warn you that there isn’t a tray to rest your pastries on, mind.

Handling a Segway could not be easier, as the machine does most of the balancing for you. You lean forward slightly to go forward, same going back, and turn left and right by tilting slightly. You do not feel as if you’re out of control, or that you’re going to fall, and it’s genuinely safe. Unless you’re the creator of the Segway, who decided to test its flying capability. It doesn’t fly. You start off navigating around some cones and a small hill in the Innovations Centre – there are no crowds watching and the instructor makes a game of it, so there’s no pressure or worries about what you look like. Once the handling is sorted, you’re off, across the park and into the World Showcase.

For both Paul and I, this was easily the best part, getting to go around the different countries before they fill up with crowds, because, and I’m a little ashamed to admit this, the last two times we have been to Epcot we have walked around the front of the World Showcase not realising all the little streets, rides and shops behind the main buildings at the front. Dense, yes, so the tour was a revelation. The tour guide gives a little bit of history at each stop, and outside of Japan there were some photos taken. Admit it. You’ve never seen such sexy specimens on two wheels.

The reality of our tour.

We wrapped up the tour at 11am, wheeling back into Innovations and getting to do the Segway parade where you wave at slack-jawed folks on the way past. I have to confess – I felt like the Bionic Man – shame I actually looked like the gay robot from Lost in Space.

Ooooh Betty

As a neat touch, you receive a special pin for taking part in the tour, which I can’t wait to get home and display.

On eBay. We were also told our Just Married badges would bring a few pounds on eBay these days, which is good news. No room for sentimentality!

After the tour, we planned to take it easy, with a few rides and a leisurely walk around the WS. We managed to get Test Track out of the way, which I remain undecided on. Part of me thinks it’s a great ride with superb theming, the other part of thinks it could have been so much more, much like Soarin’. Oh, speaking of Soarin’, I got to play the big macho husband for once. We were waiting in the queue when this swarm of Portuguese visitors started to push past Paul.

This is my one massive bugbear with Florida – not tour groups as such, but the fact they always play ignorant and just try and squeeze past without so much as an excuse me. Anyway, I could see there was about twenty or so behind us trying to join the four in front of us. WELL. Not having that, so I stood my ground, and pushed right past the ones who had overtaken us. Of course, the tour guide starts up saying the ones behind us are with her group and that it wouldn’t harm to let them past.

I came back with ‘Then you four can go behind us, problem solved’. She didn’t like that one bit, but given me and Paul are the size of two hot water tanks, once we had spread out there was no getting past. With a resigned look on her face, she slunk behind us, and we got to claim a small moral victory. I would like to say at this point that I’m not normally that bothered about queue-jumpers, but I get sick of the lack of bloody manners involved, plus her Kevin Webster moustache didn’t help matters. So, I’m glad I stood my ground. Let’s move on.

We decided to take in the sights of the showcase, starting in Canada. But yet, how gutting is this – having made our minds up to get some lunch, we chanced Le Cellier to see if they had any free tables, only for the couple immediately in the queue ahead of us to ask the same question. And the response – to them? ‘Oh you’re so lucky, we do have a table, and this normally never happens’. Typical. Once I had finished grinding my teeth to dust and secretly cursing the old biddies in front of us, I tried, and got a snotty no. Ah well. Couldn’t get more disappointing, no? Only, have you SEEN ‘O CANADA’, the Canadian presentation presented by Martin Short? Bloody hell. Boredom she wrote. Once Paul had brought me back to life and packed away the defibrillator, we went outside only to find our first storm of the holiday was busy emptying all over Epcot.

Of course, being British, we stepped out regardless whereas the Americans scattered about as if it was acid rain. Bah! Balls to that. We noticed the Kim Possible station and decided to give it a go.

Now, I am so glad we did – it’s excellent! I think it is geared more towards children but given Paul and I are big kids at heart, we loved it. You get a tricked-out (get me) mobile phone and are sent assignments to complete, such as finding codes or smoking out a villain. For example – caution, spoilers (hello sweetie) – in the UK, you get issued a little golf-ball that rolls out of a fake telephone box which everyone else passes straight by. Pop the ball in a tankard on display in one of the gift shops, and you get told to go behind the shop, where the window floods with water. It’s extremely well done and (I imagine) a good way of getting younger kids who would otherwise be bored by the World Showcase to have a good look around.

After we ousted the United Kingdom villain, we set off to France for our next mission, but decided to catch some lunch at Chef de France. I’ve heard some snotty comments about this restaurant but the food was lovely – onion soup, quiche and gateaux for me and Paul chose a croquet monsieur. We were joined by The Demon Headmaster and Remy from Ratatouille, see below, which was hilarious. I’m not too sure who the girl was who decided to get into my photo with her cheesy grin, but good on her – we’ve ruined many more photos in our time so fair enough!

Armando, the excellent character waiter, who is clearly The Demon Headmaster.

Our surprise guest. Also, Julie Martin from Neighbours appears to be having an excellent time.

With our bellies full, we waddled all the way around the park to get to Ellen’s Energy Adventure, which Paul had been clamouring to see all day long. Well. Frankly, I would have had a better time if Ellen herself had come down and tried to turn us both straight, because I’ve genuinely laughed more at a funeral.

I should probably explain that. When one of my ancient Aunties died, bless her, her husband decided he couldn’t live without her and threw himself in the Tyne, only for his body to be caught in the water intake station down the river, which was both beautiful and tragic at the same time. Anyway, when they did the service at the crematorium, they had her coffin on the proper conveyor belt but, in an unusual touch, they had his coffin on a decorating table just in front. Now, given I have a nervous laugh, I was already on edge, and coupled with the two thoughts that a) the table might give out and send the coffin cascading down the aisle and b) the body in the Tyne getting stuck just like the pig in The Simpsons where Lisa becomes a vegetarian being shot out of the dam outlet pipe. I know it’s macabre but I’m a firm believer in laughing at death, and I burst out laughing during the prayers. I blamed it on hysteria. I know, I’m going to Hell, but the sodomy most likely made sure of that. Anyway yes – Ellen – just don’t bother. I’ve had funnier bowel movements.

My sweetcheeks husband’s reaction to Ellen.

Tired and emotional, we made our way back to the Polynesian. We had the Wave booked for our evening meal at the Contemporary, but couldn’t face it, so we ended the evening watching the Electrical Water Pageant (and its absolutely amazing music) bustling its way around the lagoon from the safety of our hammocks on the beach, after watching the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom from the beach.

As an aside, the music used in this pageant sounds so much like the style of music used in Carrie during the detention sequence. That is all.

We ordered room service, see the picture below, which was absolutely delicious, and crashed out watching Family Guy. All in all, a fabulous day – loved the Segway tour, plus seeing plenty of Epcot which was new to us, and gaining a new appreciation for life after nearly dying of boredom with Ellen.

Nom nom nom. Expensive mind!

So, all together now, what’s the bottom line Grace?

AAAAARGH. HER EYES BURN MY SOUL.

FIN.

the big gay honeymoon diary – day 3 – you ANIMALS

Day 3 now – if you’re enjoying this, leave a comment!

Day 3 – you ANIMALS

January 8th marks a very special occasion – Paul’s birthday. My happy little butterbean turned 25 and boy, did he like telling me it was his birthday and that, as a result, I had to do anything he wanted.

Anything.

So, after we had done his idea of anything, and I had spent twenty minutes crying in the shower like that guy in The Crying Game, we set off early to catch a bus to the Animal Kingdom. I confess I made a boob out of myself by asking Kevin from Florida – the bellboy – how to get to the Animal Kingdom so early in the morning. When he pointed out I would need to go from the Transport and Ticketing Centre, I asked him to call me a taxi.

It was only then that he pointed out the TTC was ne’ry a hop, skip and a flounce from the Polynesian, and we were there in no time, anxiously waiting for a bus and doing that thing that EVERYONE does of trying to count how many people were waiting ahead of me and worrying whether I would get a seat accordingly. Once Paul had reassured me that there would be more than four seats on the bus and that the sole couple waiting ahead of us posed no threat, we were gaily on our way.

But – oh no. The bus took bloomin’ ages due to the marathon taking place over the weekend, meaning the roads were blocked with sweaty, heaving bodies all panting their way around Disney. I could see from the bus that it wasn’t my scene and turned away from the window to concentrate on ‘not noticing’ the elderly-ish person who had got on at Animal Kingdom Lodge, or whatever, and who could have taken my seat. Now, you probably think I’m being ignorant in not offering my seat, but she shot Paul and me such a look when she noticed our just married badges that I took great pleasure in making her varicose veins throb a little. Shame.

Having turned up at Animal Kingdom nice and early, we were almost at the front of the queue to be let in.

Me and Paul working the crowds

They have some fantastic Christmas trees still up at Disney – here is one, badly taken by me with my School of Michael J Fox Photography skills.

Blur Baby Blur

Then we were off, doing the half-running half-remaining-nonchalent dance that everyone does to try and get to the good rides without looking over-keen. So British. Luckily, we arrived at Everest in enough time to bang our way to the front and get on the first ‘train’ of the day.

I bloody love Everest. I think it is one of the best rides at Disney – not for the fact it is scary, or especially fast, but just how clever the theming is. We’ll often forego the fastpass queue just to get a good look at all the little details in the queue, and to crack the obligatory ‘scat’ jokes when we get near the front. Juvenile but fun. I think we managed to do Everest five times over, just rolling straight back into the queue each time. Best place to sit on Everest? The middle. Too near the front and you’re almost down the hill before any speed, and too near the back and it’s over all too soon. That’s never good on a honeymoon.

Here is Expedition Everest – when it goes dark, you’re going backwards. GASP.

Yeti done, we followed a hot-tip and went to do the safari, knowing that most animals would be active first thing in the morning. Too right they were! We got lots of good photos of animals but to be honest, I can’t think of anything more boring than looking at other people’s photos of animals so I’ll spare you lot.

OK, have one.

It was drinking from the lake, sweet.

Highlight of the safari, apart from Nelson Mandela clearly doing the voice of the poacher-watch person? Easy. The guide told us to look to the left where we would see ostriches up-close. Too right we did – there was one about 5 foot from the vehicle, who promptly turned and plopped out its breakfast right in front of us. Charming. Thing is, without being too crude, it looked exactly like the white gravy that they serve with the ‘biscuits’ over here, and that’s scarred me for life. That, and being so close to an ostrich’s bumhole that I could have reached over and used it to moisten my stamps for the postcards home.

Safari done, Nelson Mandela happy and crummy animatronic elephant saved, we hustled over to Dinoland, where we enjoyed a frozen lemonade so sour that my mouth looked exactly like the aforementioned ostrich. They are good though – probably my vice when out in the parks. Still healthy-ish though – they’ve got lemons in, like a gin and tonic or a cheesecake.

I love this picture. Cheeky face or what.

Queued for Primeval Whirl which I really enjoyed, save for the fact that, somewhat cruelly, Paul and I were crammed in with another couple. Now, as a foursome, we were packing a lot of weight, and it must have looked like when you cram all your rubbish down in the kitchen bin instead of emptying it because there wasn’t a jot of space. I had visions of us spinning to our death, hurtling off the corner of the clearly too narrow track and rolling straight into the lake, to be killed by a band of cruel-faced, defecating ostriches. It didn’t happen. In fact, I can’t even recall going back in time like the ride says.

Once they had brought the block and tackle round to hoist Paul and I out of the ride, we were straight onto DinoSOAR or whatever the dark ride is. Annoyingly, we were in the queue right behind Brazilia – not some model, but rather the entire capital of Brazil, who were clearly so overcome by the joining of Jaymes and Paul that they were destined to test all the rides that day immediately before we boarded to ensure the safety.

I have to confess, it makes me a little insecure when I see them looking at us and laughing and rolling their Rs. I wish I knew what the Portuguese was for ‘Blue Faced Fat English Couple’.

No mind – after twenty minutes of hearing what Jose said about Maria when she was seeing Carlos who was cheating on her with Luis (I make my own soap opera up in my head when I don’t understand the situation – this one was called Lilt), we were on the ride. Love it! Keep your eyes out for a brilliant piece of acting from Dr Marsh – she’s so damn ghetto-fabulous and stern when she’s giving out the orders.

Next – a quick lunch at the little restaurant in Dinoland – nothing flash, just another veggie sandwich for me and a burger for Paul, who had thrown caution to the wind in his quest to become wider than he is tall. I love him for it, so I encourage it. I’m a secret feeder – I won’t be happy until we have a system of winches just to wash his cankles. The lovely thing was the lady on the tills getting the entire restaurant to sing Happy Birthday to him, and even better – he got a free cookie.

Which I ate. I’m a mean husband.

What next? The Lion King Live, of course. I wasn’t expecting much, as I like to rally against stereotype and thus I’m not a fan of ‘theatre’. However, this was great! Two things stuck out (well, several things stuck out, thanks to the male dancers wearing lycra so tight you could tell they weren’t Jewish) – the guy with the flaming torch who runs through the fire (there was nearly a bush-fire – I had the number for WESH dialled on my phone ready to go) and the little kid who, when asked to make the sound a giraffe makes, replied ‘They don’t make any noises at all’. Thatta girl! Christ, lucky they didn’t ask me to make the sound an ostrich makes – I would have popped a vein straining.

The King Is In

The day was brought to an end with us going round and redoing the various rides, and a bit of shopping – we always buy a t-shirt wherever we go. Some cracking ones this year.

Oh, before we go, we went to the petting zoo. I’m glad we did, we would never, ever get the opportunity to er…pet a goat. Ah well!

Dinner was over the road at the Grand Floridian, and sadly, I forgot to take my camera so there are no pictures. It was just the 1900 Park Fayre, and whilst I enjoyed it (and ordered the gayest drink ever, see below) (picture taken at Ohanas later in the week, but you get the idea) Paul wasn’t too keen on the food, which did seem a little subpar. Guess it’s all about the characters – which we hadn’t realised when we booked the bloomin’ thing. So there’s the two of us, dressed for success, when Cinderella, Rapunzel, Random Disney Token Ethnic Princess #2, Prince Charming and one of the sisters asking us questions. Good lord. I hate stuff like that, it makes me want to die of embarrassment, but I was doing well until I was asked, by Cinderella, what I thought of Prince Charming. Now, bearing in mind I was a bit tipsy, I whispered to her that I thought he was a ‘male skank’. Well it’s true! He’s stringing along several sisters if you believe the story that they put on. Anyway, it was brilliant, because the Disney cast member’s facade fell for a second, and she laughed out loud – made my evening! Remember, they must deal with the same inane comments all the time, so it was a good way to end the evening.

Oh – there was one wrinkle. We received excellent service, and tipped $30 on what would have been a $90 meal. However, we were on the Disney Dining Plan (where you have already paid for your meals), so we were given a receipt to complete, and we put down $30 in the tip bit, as we were enclosing $30 in notes in the wallet. That’s what I thought you had to do, so they had a record of who had left what. Anyway, when I checked when we got back to the room, the waitress had put an extra $30 on our bill (the ‘tip’ I had written down) AND pocketed the $30 I had put in the wallet for her. I was a bit put out by this – fair enough I may have made a mistake and not realised that writing it meant it would be taken, but I felt she could have realised my error and not taken $60! Ah well. Learnt my lesson from there on in. It was only a buffet, she only brought drinks!

Afterwards, we walked back to the Polynesian along the beach, got a quick hot chocolate, and went to bed. That was Paul’s birthday done! His present you say? Poor bugger had nothing to open because I left his present at home! He’s got a brand new phone and I made it up to him by scratching his back with the side of a matchbox, which he enjoys.

The final highlight? Mousekeeping left this on the bed.

They earned their tip this time!

Day four soon! No more typing today though, I’m all out of puff!

introducing – the big gay honeymoon diary – Day 1 & Day 2

I did say I would write more, so here we are! I kept notes on my honeymoon in a scribble-book about what we did, and every now and then, I’ve been typing them up in order to make a hardback book as a keepsake for me and the other half. It’s full of nonsense but then, what do you expect from four weeks in America! I hope you enjoy.

Day 1 (Flight Day) and Day 2 (The Magic Kingdom)

Woke up in the salubrious location that is the Gatwick Hilton, drowning in beige and polyester sheets. Luckily, we had the VROOM booked and had done Twilight Check-In the night before, so it was just a case of completing the 4 Ss and we were off, mincing for all our worth down to the VROOM. Now, it was raining quite heavily and a bit windy – and as I’m not the best flyer, I was nipping each seat I sat on, but having the VROOM helped – I was able to console myself with Eggs Benedict and a good dose of bigotry via the free Daily Mail. After being horrified by asylum seekers eating Princess Diana or some such malarkey, the time came to board the flight.

We had decided to fly Premium Economy both ways this time – partly because we didn’t want to blow too much on Upper Class but also because we can’t get in and out of economy seats with any dignity – it’s like watching an elephant scratching its bum on a tree. So, upstairs we went, and that’s when we got our first surprise – I knew we had been moved to different seats to those which we had booked but I hadn’t realised exactly how good the seats were – right at the front, behind the cockpit, with no-one in front and tonnes of legroom. A perfect start to the honeymoon – not only would we arrive first but I could also step into the cockpit and play hero should the situation arise. A glass of champagne and a lot of hand-squeezing later and we were in the air, climbing away from the unrelenting grimness of Gatwick and towards Florida!

There isn’t too much to say about the flight except to say it was wonderful – almost no turbulence to speak of and good food (I had risotto, Paul had Something and Mash), plus plentiful drinks and attentive service from the onboard staff. I think it may have had something on our booking about it being our honeymoon and that’s why we got bumped into the best seats available – and if that was the case, I’m very grateful, as it really made a difference. We worked our way through a couple of episodes of The Middle and The Amazing Race, watched The Social Network and dozed.

Paul snoozing in that masculine way of his.

My dinner on the plane.

Six or so hours in, the view from the plane. Never had much cloud and everything down below was snow and ice. Beautiful views.

Oh – there was one problem – we had a proper sour-faced old cow sat across the aisle from us. What ticked me off was that she was complaining because she had been moved up into Premium Economy, which seemed a bit remiss. Ah well. I said good morning to her and mentioned how good the seats were only to be met with a granite stare and nothing else. I really can’t bear bad manners like that, so Paul and I spent the rest of the flight silently breaking wind near her every time we went to the toilet. No wonder her face looked like she had seen her bum and didn’t like the colour of it when she got off.

Crack a smile!

Touched down slightly early, straight into immigration where they have done away with the individual lanes and now just have a snaking line of misery. Got through pretty quick but if you’re reading this, make sure you take a bottle of water off the plane or something for the kids as it is boiling in there. Our officer was very kind, asked if we were brothers (we get that quite a lot, and I don’t even have a Norfolk accent) and waved us through. Moments later, we were sharing a taxi with another English couple who, I’m sorry, looked very unpleasant. He was all red shoulders (sunburnt BEFORE you go on holiday – when it has been snowing for about forty months – is impressively common) and tattoos, including one of a completely naked woman over his shoulder with her veejayjay showing. They were swiftly dropped off at Port Orleans or some such place and we were deposited at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

Well – oh my. It is just beautiful. We were checked in immediately, giving those flowery neck-things whose name escapes me, and told we had been upgraded into a better room. Well – I did ask. As astonishingly arrogant as this sounds, I do think I have the gift of the gab when it comes to getting upgraded – the key is in being subtle, polite, using their name and asking nicely. Anyway, we had a lagoon view room, which we crashed into, undressed, and got the honeymoon off to a raunchy, sexy start.

By sleeping.

Until 5.30am the next day, at which point we shot out of bed (what can I say, it had been a while), got dressed, and day two commenced.

Day Two – Magic Kingdom XXL

Second day, we had made a mistake. We did the silly thing before we set off and bought our suncream from Wilkinsons. However, it didn’t just stop us burning, it turned us a lovely shade of blue. No amount of rinsing, washing, scrubbing or sanding would shift the blue tint, so we spent the first few days looking like slightly gay Smurfs. Nice.

After making our faux-pas and hurtling out of bed so early, we spent an hour or so walking around the Polynesian grounds, taking some photos, seeing what was about. I have included a few pictures here but as you can see, my camera isn’t great so I apologise for the dumpy quality. We had a quick breakfast at Captain Cooks, the onsite counter service restaurant, which was actually very god throughout our stay – I recommend their salads! After a couple of poses on the hammocks on the beach to watch the sky turn blue, we were off to the Magic Kingdom, albeit somewhat early.

Poly at dawn.

Now, I confess, the last time we were at Disney, we absolutely hated it. Stayed in an awful resort (All Stars Movies), thought the food was dire, and had a tiny budget. This time round however, the ‘Magic’ got us, and being at the Magic Kingdom when it opened was a great experience. We bought a few souveniers in the shops and got them sent back to the Poly (another excellent service about staying on site), including a really quite lovely jacket for $80 which celebrates the 40 years of Disney. They dropped the ropes and we were straight onto Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, where we screamed all the way round – not because it’s a scary or exciting ride, it isn’t – but just because we could! Cathartic and good times. Straight onto The Haunted Mansion which isn’t at all like I remember it – I wonder if it has changed? I was gutted to find Splash Mountain is shut for cleaning all January, but what can you do? Wandered around taking in (and dropping off) Pooh and Indy 500. That was great fun, if only because I got to take Paul from the rear and enact some revenge for making me drag the broken suitcase all the way down from Newcastle. Oh, there was a slightly unfortunate incident with this cast member who was trying to shout the instructions to this poor bloke in one of the cars. He wasn’t having much success. Now – I could immediately see why – the guy in the car lacked ears. It was a peculiar thing – like someone had just sliced off his ears. Anyway, unusually for Disney, the cast member didn’t seem to grasp it, and just kept on shouting. Poor guy, I’ve never heard such fierce instruction for ‘don’t bump into the car in front’.

Mind you, neither had he.

Moving on, we tackled Tomorrowland next, which I love. Almost walked onto Space Mountain, which I had remembered as quite a lacklustre ride, but I’m not sure if I had a different seat or something because when I came off, I was most bemused – it was super-jolty and quick! Loved it, so straight back onto it. Now, I am pleased to report that we upheld our tradition of ‘Look As Miserable As Possible On Ride Photos’ – give it a try yourselves, simply put on a sulky / miserable face whenever you know there is a camera coming up. I dread to think how many little kids have proudly shown off their ride photos to friends only for them to point out the rather fey looking Mitchell Brothers pouting into the camera behind them. Mahaha.

Next onto the Astro Orbiter. Now, Paul and I made a rookie mistake here by saying we were riding together, and once we had taken the lift up to the loading platform, we were told to get into a rocket together. Not going to happen. Paul and I are built for comfort, not for speed, and there was no way we were fitting into a rocket together. So we came to an amicable compromise – Paul took photos of me looking masculine as I screamed round above Tomorrowland. Score!

I make it look so manly!

Next the TTA for a bit of a kiss and cuddle in the dark, then into Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. If you haven’t done this, get it onto your next trip to the Magic Kingdom, because it is brilliant, and Paul got put up on the big screen with the caption ‘Can Burp the Alphabet’. Little do they know he can order a Chinese Takeaway by farting down the phone, too.

Obligatory MK shot!

Lunch was next, and we picked a good time for our reservation at the Park Plaza because most people were out gawping at the bright colours in the parade. I had a vegetarian sandwich (not because I’m veggie – I’m not – I was just trying to bulk out to prevent the Florida Belly I always suffer from) (nice eh!) and Paul followed suit with a club sandwich. Good lad. Food was delicious, waiter was tipped handsomely and we decided to call it a day and got the resort boat back to the Polynesian, where after a quick nap, we hired a 21’ boat and took it out onto the lagoon.

Alan Carr is AT THE WHEEL.

The last time I was at Disney, I proposed to Paul on one of these boats out on the lake, and it was a nice, albeit quite slow, trip down memory lane. We meandered slowly past the Grand Floridian, pas the Contemporary and back round, but, somewhat aggrieved by the lack of speed, we made our way back to shore with the promise that we would hire faster boats later in the week. It was a lovely, warm dusk – and I’m afraid to say we didn’t even eat out that evening because we went straight to early bed.

the fuck-it list

ahahahah FUCK IT list. Sounds like bucket list, but just that little bit more controversial. Gosh, it’s been so long, hasn’t it? Looking back at the last post, I was busy foaming at the mouth neight months ago. Well, as I’m not one to drag out the tension, here’s the new status quo:

  • I’m still hilariously obese. I prefer hilariously to morbidly because morbidly obese conjures up the images of those horrid amorphous blobs in America who get attached to settees and can’t wipe their own bum without a three man team and a scaffolding tower. I’m not that bad, although I DID pass the Big and Tall Man shopand found myself thinking that I could get away with a lumberjack shirt if only I was a lesbian.
  • I’m now married. Yes, the other half did the decent thing and made me an honest man out of me. Don’t worry, I didn’t have the nerve to wear white. Not that I was a slut before I met Paul, mind you. Partner count never went into triple figures and I can still make a noise when I fart. However, because of my sausage-esque fingers, I had to get my ring let out. Is that a wedding first? Even the jeweller looked disdainfully at me whilst he got the ‘special’ sizing rings. Bastard.
  • I’m now UNEMPLOYED. Yes. I left my previous job thinking that the security of a new job was more important than the paltry redundancy money offered. However, a day into my new job, I was told there would be big old cuts, and that my job role was going to be minimal. Super. They cheerfully gave me a decent redundancy package and I was on my way, again, with only the happy memories of the lovely people I worked with to provide me comfort.

So, unemployment. Given how difficult the job market is, I’m obviously a bit worried, but I’m not going to let it faze me. I’ve decided to take a mini-sabbatical anyway and get a few things nailed down that I’ve wanted to do but never had the time, which I’ll cover momentarily. Being unemployed and doing nothing would not sit well with me, not least because I don’t actually own a shellsuit, nor do I have a pram so full of black and white children that it looks like a barcode for 20 Lambert and Butler if viewed from above. No, I’ve long mocked the unemployed for their trampoline-filled gardens and slackjawed expressions, but now I am one…so, to stop myself falling into the above categories, here is my ten point ‘Fuck It’ list for the next three months:

  1. Appear on TV – something I’ve always fancied, though preferably in a positive capacity – I don’t want to be arrested for lewd conduct or something tawdry, and advertisers, if you’re listening, just because I’m unemployed does not mean I’ll star in a Brighthouse advert. I’ve got my dignity, plus my own set of teeth.
  2. Write more – yes, it’s a cliché, but I do love to write, whether it is a blog-post, complaint letter, bit of fiction or a videogame review. I need to express myself, and as Lady Gaga has already got the ‘bloke wearing a meat dress’ thing down, I need to find something else.
  3. Grow my hair – I’ve had the same Richard O’Brian / Jade Goody / Gail Porter look for over three years, and I’m sick of old ladies clutching their handbags close to their chests when I pass them of an evening. I’m not a thug, I’m just not gay enough for hair clay. However, in the spirit of trying new things, I shall let it grow. Not to the extent I had my hair a few years ago, when I had long black hair and looked like a fat, camp version of Snape from the Potter movies.
  4. Learn to drive. Ooh, this is a depressing one this. Paul and I want to be able to gallivant of a weekend, and having a car would assist this greatly. Having decided to learn to drive, I requested a copy of the provisional photocard licence I originally set up when I was 17. The photo on the card is me, but nine years ago. I look so fresh-faced and innocent (I wasn’t), and there’s so much I could tell young me.
  5. Speaking of Yung Mi, it’s out with the takeaways and in with the fucking baked beans again as I need to lose weight, especially if I’m to get on the television (preferably not on Supersize vs Superskinny, where gigantic-faced Dr Christian ‘Gay’ Jennsen showsmy weekly food intake in one of those giant tubes – I always think the fattie’s tube looks delicious – am I doing this wrong?). So today, I joined a gym, and I know enough about my diet to lose weight. I did consider taking Alli, the weight loss tablet, but apparently it makes you shit hot grease, and I don’t want to leave skidders when I’m sat in the Job Centre looking disdainfully at the shaking masses.
  6. Finally, find a job. However, I’m not going to rush into the very first job I can find. Paul and I are lucky in that we have no debts nor major outgoings, and can afford to take some time out. But a job doing what though? I’m not sure. All my working life I have been doing stuff for someone else, perhaps it is time to find a job where I can be a) creative and b) wear super-gay bright trainers. I’m hoping that something will come along and take my fancy, but we shall just wait and see.

That’s my list for the next three months. Hopefully, I’ll get there.

PS: I still think Simon Cowell is a wardrobe-sized vagina.