It has been a couple of weeks since the last update. And our first official mini-retirement is coming to a close.
In the last update we had just arrived in Orlando, Florida. This signaled the beginning of my official 1 month mini-retirement. The 2 weeks in Orlando were simple amazing. Both weeks consisted of lots park trekking. My family and I are particularly in love with Universal Studios. We much prefer it to DisneyWorld!! This was our second time to Orlando. The last time we came, even our oldest boys were not yet tall enough to ride many of the rides at Universal. It was a great surprise for them to be there this time and be able to go on all of the rides. It was a blast to ride the Dueling Dragons and Hulk with them!!
Our days for the first week in Orlando were long and action packed. Most evenings we would roll back into our hotel at 12:00AM or later!! The kids were loving being able to be awake with us until all hours!!
Our days for the second week were just as fun filled, we tried to dial down the pace a bit and spent much more time relaxing at the hotel pool and revisiting Universal Studios a lot!!
While at Orlando we managed to see the following parks:
- -Seaworld Aquatica – An Amazing Waterpark
- -Universal Studios – Both the Islands of Adventure and the Universal Parks
- -Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- -Disney’s Magic Kingdom
- -Disney’s Epcot
- -Disney Quest (the longest 6 hours of my life!!)
My wife, my son Joshua, and I were also able to take in the amazing Cirque Du Soleil show called La Nouba. It was a truly amazing experience. We have made it our goal to now see a Cirque Du Soleil show in every city that it is offered.
For the first week of Orlando we had one set of good friends join us, and for the second week we had a different set of friends join us. It was great to be able to share that time with them.
We finished off the second week by taking in the show The Dark Knight. I was sure the movie could not live upto it’s hype, but I was very wrong. The movie was simply amazing!!
We left Orlando on the 26th Of July and flew to the Dominican Republic. What a beautiful place. The first week of this visit was a working week for me as I was delivering a private training course to a local company. The second week in the Dominican consisted of putting in lots of Beach time, pool time, buffet time …. We definitely lost all sense of time!! It was truly a magical experience.
We flew back into Orlando last Saturday night and and were there until this past Tuesday. Our flight to the UK (gatwick) was scheduled to leave at 7:25PM, but it got delayed until 12:15AM!! Thankfully this gave us the opportunity to get our seating rearranged as originally they had the 6 of us split up all over the plane. We flew Virgin Atlantic and it was an absolutely amazing flight. Every person had their own TV in front of them with a wide range of free games and movies to choose from. The movies were awesome:
Kung Fu Panda
Gone Baby Gone
Lots of others (all free)
I had an opportunity to play a game of networked battleships with my oldest son!! It was a blast. All of the units on the plane were wired to talk to one another. It was truly an amazing flight and has reset the bar on what plane travel should be like!!
We arrived in London at 1:25PM on Wednesday where we headed straight for the Hilton Gatwick to crash for the rest of the day (neither my wife or I slept during the flight). We called it a night at 9:00PM. I woke up feeling like I had had the most amazing sleep, only to look at the clock and realize that it was only 12:00AM. The jet lag set in!!
The next morning we managed to find a rental vehicle that was big enough for our family of 6 along with all of our luggage. The vehicle is an amazing Volkswagen Caddy . It has room enough for 7 people including lots of luggage space. On Thursday we drove to Warwick and spent the evening at the Hilton Warwick. The hotel was great and the staff were extremely welcoming of our family.
After another night of jet lag waring off, I woke up early to organize for us to rent a home for a couple of weeks. And that is where we currently are right now!! Renting a house in the beautiful county of Warwickshire. We have tranquil views, I have an internet connection!! We have some time to enjoy a bit of downtime, and I get to show off England to my family!! It is wonderful. We are also purposefully not doing the tourist thing. My wife really wants to see what it would be like to live here. Having lived here for 14 years I am well aware of what it is like. My wife and kids, on the other hand, are getting a first time exposure to living in England!!
Of course, I am back at work now working remotely for an amazing client. So I will be heads down working hard until the course comes up in London. As of right now we are only 2 months away from home, 10 to go!!
As mini-retirements go, this being our true first, as well as the places that we have visited, make it a truly unforgettable experience that will be forever burned into our memories!!
Retire With Passion!!