LOOK BACK 2006: ORLANDO

This was a free trip as we had converted clubcard vouchers to pay for this. It was a good deal with Virgin Holidays. Getting to Gatwick was a nightmare, this was the trip that if I ever fly in the am, I would be staying at the hotel. We were very close to missing our flight due to problems on the M25. And after arriving in Orlando, it took nearly three hours to get through. It was not looking to be a good week. Our first day, we spent at Animal Kingdom. I enjoyed the rides, but was expecting it  to be a larger park. The next day, we spent at Magical Kingdom, it is massive. We did manage to get round everywhere. The next day, we choose to do some shopping. We went to the Prime and Premium Outlets. And we did spend some money on clothes and trainers. Next day, we went to Typhoon Lagoon. Again that was a smaller park than I thought it would be. Next day, we went to Epcot, this did not feel like a theme park more like an exhibition.  So we went back and spend the evening at the Magic Kingdom. The last park we visited was the MGM Studios and I liked most things here except the Tower Of Terror – got talked into that one. Glad I came and did the Disney Parks.

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LOOK BACK 2006: SHARM EL SHEIKH

This was a package booked through First Choice. But getting to the hotel, I didn’t think this a five star hotel. The food was not bad, but we did have a lot of building work going on next door. I managed to sprain my ankle the second day in. So the most, I could do, was spend time around the pool, beach and eat. Coming to the end of the week, we tried to see how we got on trying scuba diving.  I was not a fan, going to stick to the snorkelling that we both enjoy. Egypt in August was too hot. It was over forty degrees each day. 

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LOOK BACK 2006 : PARIS

We had seen some really cheap Eurostar tickets on offer. So we choose to spend a long weekend in Paris. My first impression of Ashford, was that it smaller than I thought it would be. The cheap tickets made it feel like a cattle market, next time I will go from St Pancras Station and pay for premium economy. We had brought out French metro tickets in Ashford. This was much easier for us. We were able to get all our connection from the Gard Du Nord very easily. We found out hotel very well, using the metro. In our first day there, we visited The Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, Place De La Concorde and La Louve. The city is very tourist ready. We found it very easy to get around. The next morning, we did a city tour and then spend the afternoon in the Louve museum. Our last night, we went to the Opera and Les Invalides. I would recommend this city for anyone.

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LOOK BACK 2010: SINGAPORE AND SYDNEY

My best memory from Singapore was how clean this city was. I was only there for 2 nights before flying onto to Sydney. I visited the National Orchid Garden which was beautiful.

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We flew to Sydney to spend Christmas with relatives. I did find it very strange having a hot Christmas instead of being at home with family. And this trip to Sydney was interesting as I was seeing it through a residents eyes rather than a tourist. We went to do a tour of the Opera House. This building is beautiful, and I would now like to experience an event. That is my goal next time, I visit this city.

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LOOK BACK 2013: CANCUN

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My friend recommend Cancun to me,  she had gone on honeymoon there and raved about it. Researching, I found lots of hotels that would suit us, but they were very family orientated. I came across Isla Mujeres Palace through Travel Bag. I had used this company to travel around Australia in 2005. This taken from their website – was why I booked for us to go there;

‘Designed for an intimate island experience, Isla Mujeres Palace offers 62 beautifully appointed accommodations offering island, pool or ocean views and balconies, double Jacuzzis, mini bars, 24 hour room service, wireless internet and more. Rejuvenate, revitalize and reconnect while each request you make is fulfilled with an incomparable degree of thoughtfulness by our friendly staff. Enjoy a late brunch or beach level spa services, catch a seaside nap in a hammock by the pool or just stroll on the undisturbed beach.’

We flew with British Airways, and arrived in Cancun. It was hot, sticky and we were then transferred to the ferry to make our way to the ferry. We were not impressed with this. We had paid over £50 each for our transport, that did not take us to our hotel. That was from the airport to the ferry. We had to make our own way to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel, and shown our room. It was really nice – we had a double Jacuzzi in our room. Not something we had seen in hotel rooms. But this is common with the Palace brand.

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That afternoon, we went to visit the Turtle Farm which was next door.  And the next morning, we went to Dolphin Discovery – which was at the other end of the island. And that afternoon, I came out in spots. I had caught chicken pox. So that was all I managed to do. I was confined to my hotel room, for the rest of the trip. But I did have a nice view.

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LOOK BACK 2008: FLORIDA KEYS AND ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE

I had wanted to drive down the Florida Keyes for some time. It did not disappoint although my husband did think it was too much of a driving holiday. We stayed at Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo. This was picked as we knew that we would be driving all the way down to Key West and in addition stopping off at the various things to see on the way down. Image

We visited Dolphin Rescue at Grassy Key. This was an amazing place. We visited Theater  Of The Sea, where we saw turtles, sea lions, nurse sharks and parrots. I really liked Key West, the buildings were all a colonial design. I liked this.  We also went snorkelling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.   We also spent some time at South Beach in Miami. 

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We then joined The Freedom Of The Seas – its was huge – one of the biggest cruise ships that I had even seen. I could not fault this cruise. The food is amazing, the entertainment was really good. We saw an ice show, a broadway production, and motown show. 

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Our first stop was Haiti. Our day there it was very warm. We went snorkeling but only saw coral, no fish at all. I didn’t like Jamaica, the people that I experienced were very pushy and rude. In Grand Caymen, we went snorkeling with stingrays. And in Cozumel  we did an island tour. I wish we had snorkeled. One of my favourite things we did was being in the hot tubs that hanged over the side of the boats. This ship has so much to offer. That I would do another cruise in a heartbeat.

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LOOK BACK 2005: HONG KONG, AUSTRALIA AND BANGKOK

This was the trip that made me fall in love with travelling. I had wanted to go to Australia for such a long time.  I had arranged a month of work and had booked with Travelbag. Our first stop was Hong Kong. I can not remember much about the hotel, except that if we visited in the future, we would want to be more central. We were on the island. We did the city tour and tram ride. We saw the Victoria Park View

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We had an eight hours flight to Sydney and my first thought leaving the airport was that it was hot. I had even been warned to get sun cream from one of the immigration staff at the airport. We booked a private apartment for the time we were in Sydney,  I remember that it was close to the Central Station. After dropping our bags off, we head down to the harbour; it was our first sighting of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. We then walked to Circular Quay did some shopping and went back to the apartment. We had dinner at the Sydney Tower – which I would recommend. The views are amazing, especially at night. The dinner included emu, kangaroo and crocodile which I did not try.  

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The next day involved a city tour, saw everything I had wanted to see; Macquarie’s Chair, Bondi Beach. We visited the Zoo, China Town, Haymarket, Paddy’s Market and, Manly Beach. Really enjoyed this city.  

Off to Ayers Rock. The flight was only 3hrs. Our resort was really nice, well planned out. It a shame, that it has since closed.  It was very hot there, over forty degrees. We spent most of our time, at the pool. We had the sounds of the silence dinner, which we did not enjoy much but the view was good. Image

Now off to Cairns. We booked a beach bungalow which had no air con. As it was very hot and sticky, this was a mistake. We visited Green Island, Sky Rail, Port Douglas, Daintree, Cape Tribulatron and Mossman Gorge. We then flew to Hamilton Island. Which was pretty but we had bad weather. These photos were taken the morning that we were leaving. I did not get to Reefworld or Whitehaven Beach. Next time !

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We had a eight flight to Bangkok. We managed a tour of the Temples and then shopped at The EmporiumDSCF1746