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Old 10-09-2009, 04:40 AM   #1
Pinky166
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It’s a “Wonder” I survived: Trip Report - Day minus zero, Hilton Gatwick

Well now that I have been bought back down to earth with a week of rain and never ending laundry which I can’t get dry. I thought I should make a start on my trip report and relive all those magical and one or two not so magical memories.


Firstly for those that may not have read my pre trip report let me introduce the cast:

Me – 34, Disney obsessed, Shopaholic & extremely clumsy (more on that later).

Lee - 35, My crazy hubby who is now known as the Mad Hatter….you’ll soon see why.


Here we are (please excuse Lee's chapped lips, he was getting over a slight cold):





6th September 2009 = Day Minus Zero

Let me start by telling you that when a big event is happening in my life, such as my Birthday, Christmas or the night before a holiday I turn in to the biggest kid in the world and work myself up into such an excited but tense/stressed frenzy that drives everyone around me crazy….including myself!

Well today was no exception when I woke up at 2am!!! I knew that there was no chance of me going back to sleep so rather than wake Lee I got up and went downstairs where I laid on the sofa for an hour, then tidied up, played with the dogs in the garden, paced around the house and generally sat twiddling my thumbs counting down the minutes until Lee finally got up about 7am.

We took the dogs for a nice long walk and packed the last few essentials in the case then waited until about 1pm before loading the cases and the dogs in the car…it was a tight squeeze for the cases but we managed it. We drove to my parent’s and dropped the dogs off, had a quick cup of tea and said our goodbye’s. This for me is the worst bit as I drove away crying my eye’s out, I miss my little pups and 23 nights is the longest we have ever left them.

It took about an hour and a half to get to Gatwick, the roads were clear other than some speed restrictions where the road works are. We drove straight to the BCP long stay car park (I had managed to get a good deal of £110 for 23 nights) then caught the bus for the 2 minute ride over to the terminal. We went over to the Virgin section to do Twilight check in – wow the queue was huge so I guess there was a flight due to leave soon. The Premium Economy check in queue had a rope across closing it off so I went and spoke to a guy at the side who kindly unhooked it for us and let us sneak over to the next vacant check in desk. Result! We got the seats I had reserved online 78 A+C which are in the upstairs cabin but a row in front of the one’s we prefer, 79 A+C. Anyway we were now free of our cases so we decided to walk around the shopping village where I started my spending spree with a necklace from Accessorize.

We checked out the restaurants for dinner later but neither of us fancied anything in particular so we decided to see what the hotel has to offer. We walked over to the Hilton as we got near there was another massive queue, fortunately we were able to bypass this queue & head inside to the lobby to check in. It turns out that a Virgin flight to Las Vegas had been delayed so they were all checking in at the Hilton - I really hoped this wouldn’t have any knock on effect on our flight in the morning.

We checked in easily using our voucher (I cashed in £25 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers for a £100 Hilton voucher - thanks to Joh, Wilma bride ) and the extra £48 in cash. We were given the keys to our room, 7140 which was in the new building. It was a bit of a long walk but it was a very nice room, very bright & spacious with an extremely comfy bed.







The lovely bathroom:





We relaxed in the room for about an hour or so watching tv, I called my mum to see if the dogs were ok then I filled in the Visa Waiver forms to get that job over & done with.

We freshened up & went down the the Garden Restaurant in the hotel about 6.30pm. We decided to order off the menu rather than the buffet they were also serving (it was busy due to the delayed flight). Lee had the duck breast & leg confit (sorry I can’t remember what came with it & I forgot to take my camera down to dinner) I had a sirloin steak with hand cut chips & mushrooms. We waited 20 mins before our drinks - two cokes arrived & 55 mins before our dinner was bought out. It was awful service (not just slow but a miserable waitress too) and the food was just average = £65 + small tip!

We watched a bit of tv before I fell asleep about 10.30pm….I was so tired but felt a bit more relaxed as we were at the airport & checked in!

Coming up – Travel day & the first of my not so magical memories……
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Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland

Last edited by Pinky166; 10-09-2009 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:22 AM   #2
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Ooooh!!! That's a lovely pic of you and Lee, Claire!!! Very glamorous and your hair looks lovely...

Hotel room looks nice too - very smart/comfy...

And does this mean I'd better get on and do my trip report...?
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:35 AM   #3
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Great start Claire - just think I will be at the Hilton tomorrow night

I love the photo of you and Lee
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:49 AM   #4
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great start looking forward to reading More
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:59 AM   #5
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Great start Claire, look forward to hearing more
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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Great start Claire, I can't wait to read some more
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #7
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Great start, really looking forward to reading more

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Old 10-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #8
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Great start
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:35 PM   #9
Pinky166
a little on the OCD side
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They don't call me "Clever Claire" for nothing!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CustardTart View Post
Ooooh!!! That's a lovely pic of you and Lee, Claire!!! Very glamorous and your hair looks lovely...

Hotel room looks nice too - very smart/comfy...

And does this mean I'd better get on and do my trip report...?
Thanks hun....Lee has mastered the art of taking those hold the camera out as far as you can and hope for the best type shots....whereas I have to take about 10 to get it right.

Yes you do need to get on with your trippie.
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Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:37 PM   #10
Pinky166
a little on the OCD side
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Thank you all for reading, hopefully I will have the next day up later or tomorrow.....not much you can write about a long plane journey.


Hope you have a fab time Jackie! I am insanely jealous.
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Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:50 PM   #11
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Great start Claire Glad you posted about the Hilton and Tesco. Think we might give this serious thought for next year.

Wish we had been given the Visa Wavier form in advance this year as it would have saved me having to redo them at MCO
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:31 PM   #12
Pinky166
a little on the OCD side
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They don't call me "Clever Claire" for nothing!
 
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Quote:
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Great start Claire Glad you posted about the Hilton and Tesco. Think we might give this serious thought for next year.

Wish we had been given the Visa Wavier form in advance this year as it would have saved me having to redo them at MCO
Thanks Reid. Definately worth doing the Tesco voucher thing - I didn't have many saved hence only using the £25 but you can change up as many as you like.

At Gatwick they always have a pile of the waiver forms on the top of the check in desk so you can take as many as you want....I always grab a spare just incase.
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Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:14 AM   #13
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Great start - looking forward to reading more
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:27 AM   #14
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great start cant wait to read more .
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:51 AM   #15
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Your hotel room looks fab! Look forward to reading more!
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