I can remember waking up at Five o’clock in the morning to catch an early flight from Heathrow airport. I was so excited I forgot about the daunting effort of getting up so early. My Mum, Dad, Brother, grandparents and I set off on the long journey to the airport, then Orlando Florida. I remember the white taxi van used to transport us to the airport with its incredibly tiny seats, which made getting any sleep impossible. Sitting next to my brother, who was in a very irritable and annoying mood, made this slightly harder.
There had been a major accident on the motorway that held me in suspense not knowing whether we would get there in time to catch the flight. When we finally arrived at the airport my brother was ordered to go and find a luggage trolley, which I remember he was very unenthusiastic about doing.
The only part of checking in I can remember is when my Gran couldn’t understand a word the Pakistani steward said only made worse by my Gran’s hearing impediment.
The eleven-hour flight over to America was one of the most exciting parts of the holiday for me. Trying to work out how to put the seat belt into the little lock contraption puzzled me for a while. Even though it was so long ago the thought of playing games on the plane with the onboard games console still excites me today. After about five hours of exploring the onboard entertainment, it all got a little boring. So I turned to looking out the window and asking my granddad what was below us for entertainment. I remember asking my granddad why my ears felt funny then regretting after receiving a long-winded explanation.
When we got off the plane I remember how hot it was, I didn’t know it could get that hot. It felt a great achievement to actually step off the plane on to American soil. We then had to follow some kind of rep. There was a huge sign stating ‘United States Of America Customs’ with a huge man sitting behind a bit of glass and not really looking at your passport just kind of waiting for his shift to finish.
It was now time for the most boring part of going on holiday, the luggage belt. We stood there for fifteen minutes and eventually I was relieved to see a bag emerge through the rubber flap, but then having to wait another ten minutes to see the next one. I can remember how intrigued I was about what was on the other side of the curtain. I poked my head through only to be disappointed by a big man on a walky-talky.
We then hired a huge white six-seated car that could actually fit eight people with comfort. The first memory outside of the airport was driving up a ramp and then having to stop at traffic lights and then watching these huge cars pass in front of us. We followed instructions to our bungalow apartment but having to stop and ask for directions. My dad was useless at following instructions although he was not helped by my granddad reading out the instructions. But we did get there in the end. We all ran into the house (except my Grandparents who walked in) to check out where we would be staying for the next seven days.
It was a really nice bungalow with everything you could ever possibly need, even satellite television and a lawn mower. The best part of the house for me was the pool, which was a peculiar Dolphin shape covered with a big net structure.
The first day consisted of sitting around the pool and exploring the neighbourhood. On the second day we visited Universal Studios that I had heard so much about from my friends back at school. When I got there it was so huge we only had chance to explore a little bit of the place. I can also remember massive queues for every ride. You would wait for thirty minutes then be on the ride for about thirty seconds. On the third day my mum insisted that we visit sea world that you can see back in the U.K. but we went anyway and saw a huge whale in a really small tank. But we were assured ‘he loves it here’. I was not convinced.
The rest of the holiday we spent in Miami. When we arrived in Miami the first place we went to was Palm Beach, which was slightly better than the littered beaches at home. The sand was bright yellow and the water was really blue. Miami, despite its much-hyped reputation is a very strange place.
Before I knew it, the holiday was over and we were travelling back to Britain. The eleven-hour journey flew past. When we arrived back in Britain, I didn’t know what day it was. So we all slept continuously for three days.