Sunday, 30 October 2011

I'm here!

Okay, so to sum up the last 24 hours:

The Flight: Was nearly 10 hours long because of bad weather in the New York area it had to take a different route... other than that it was very smooth, hardly any turbulence and the food was awesome! I had cheesy pasta, bread roll and chocolate mousse for lunch, an ice cream, then an egg sandwich and a cookie for "tea" and they were constantly bringing drinks. Well done Virgin Atlantic. The people who sat next to me were an older couple but I figured they weren't married or anything - in fact they didn't even seem to know each other too well. He was quite pleasant, sitting on the aisle but she was a grumpy old cowbag! She barely spoke to him for the whole flight and just moaned all the time. Unfortunately she was sitting next to me as I had the window seat. In other news, I watched Super 8 (it was okay, I lost track in the middle because I was eating), Cars 2 (I fell asleep for an hour in the middle of it), Glee (Nationals in New York!! One of the best episodes!) and then listened to a bit of Will Young's new album and the Glee 3D Concert Soundtrack on the audio channels. So yes, thumbs up for the flight. The landing was amazing too.

Arrival at MCO: The customs queue was an hour long which sucked. But the customs lady was nice and processed my Q1 visa without much hassle. I picked up my cases straight off the carosel next to customs and then went to arrivals. Cue massive confusion for about 30 minutes. I had no phone and I was an hour late arriving so Nick couldn't find me.. and I couldn't find him! I had no coins for a payphone and the annoying man at the information desk refused to call him for me as it wasn't a "local" number. Anyway, then I remembered the fact there is free wifi in Orlando Airport so after a quick bit of Facebooking we finally located each other. It took a while to find the car because we got lost but then we were on our way... I finally let the airport at about 7.30pm.

Orlando: We drove to Nick's apartment via Panera Bread (have never actually been there before, it was pretty cool) and then we crashed out at about 10pm because we were both tired and sleep deprived.

Now it's bright and early (curse you jet lag) and we have some fun stuff to do today. I just skyped with my mum, dad and sister which was cool because they'd not really used it before... I think they just need to get a better webcam than the £5 one I nabbed from amazon ;)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

AHHH! 48 hours to go!!!

I hate packing! It's just too many decisions to make! I sat down and did a good lot of packing and sorting last week... but today is my last day with "nothing" do so I have to sort my case once and for all. I'm ashamed to say that I will be taking two cases... :( I really wanted to only take one, as I vlogged recently, it's a lot easier just taking one case and of course, your allowance is really only one 23kg case as well. However... I have gifts, a halloween costume and my whole life to pack into that 23kg and it's just not happening! SO, I'm taking a bag on wheels as well as a proper case... I am still trying to be really good and not take anything unnecessary though. I am thinking I will probably end up sending this bag back with my mum in February full of the stuff I'll not want by the 4th month of my program. That's the plan anyway! Ultimately, I realised that if I'm over 23kg when it gets weighed at the airport then I'll have to pay excess baggage which is £30. But I could plan ahead and pay £32 to get another whole 23kg to myself... so the latter was chosen!

I'm feeling quite nervous now... the "cold feet" feeling has set in! I've said goodbye to my grandparents, friends and neighbours... my last shift at the Disney Store is tomorrow and then we drive up to Gatwick in the evening. My flight is in 47 hours time - 1pm on Saturday. The other exciting thing is that (probably) the last Hurricane of the 2011 season is active in the south of the Gulf of Mexico.. it's called Hurricane Rina. Having said that, it looks to be severely weakening now and will probably be nothing more than a tropical depression by Saturday. At one point it was heading straight towards Florida and was forecast to be a Category 3 which would have been quite major! But looks like it's gonna just have to be hot and sunny for me instead ;)

Right... better get back to this packing and get it done! See you in Florida!!

Friday, 21 October 2011

8 days to go!

Just a quick post to link to a You Tube video which has been posted by the official Disney International Programs YouTube Channel... they've been focusing on all the roles within the world showcase at EPCOT recently and they've now got to the UK! And more specifically, it's all about food & beverage!

So basically, this sums up a little bit of what I'll be doing whilst I'm in Florida. Enjoy!

Click above! And watch out for James who I know from my ICP 2010! *small world*

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

17 days to go!

Time is going so fast! I can't believe it's been almost 4 months since I found out I was going to Florida... and now, I'm frantically trying to organise my life before I leave! I've said goodbye to people, I've organised my Disney Store leaving do, I've been saving money like never before (I hit my target WOOOO!) and I've even got two drawers assigned to "Florida Stuff".

So, whilst trying to organise everything I thought I'd make a couple of notes about things which I didn't realise needed so much thinking about when moving away, and you might need to think about as well if you're going on the CRP!

1) Phones. The never-ending nightmare of phones. Basically, whilst this is the cheating method of writing a blog post, I thoroughly recommend you check out Dan@Disney's blog post about phones because it's the single best advice I've ever seen about buying phones for the ICP and CRP programs... you can check out the post by clicking here. Personally, I've opted to get my blackberry handset unlocked (cost me £15 from a dodgy man who couldn't speak English outside Tescos) and I'm going to buy a SIMple Mobile simcard when I arrive ($13) which will give me a rolling month contract at $50/month and provide me with unlimited calling, texting, international texting, BBM, blackberry email and web access. Then international calls are $0.02/minute to landlines and $0.10/minute to mobiles in the UK. I'm also going to get a webcam for the computer at home so my family can skype with me.

2) Contact Lenses. This is my latest kerfuffle I've had to sort out... now, I've been with Vision Express for about 10 years now on a direct debit scheme and I've had monthly lenses that whole time aside from my two ICP programs when I just bought 3 months worth of daily lenses from them, no questions asked. But that's because I didn't realise there WERE questions to ask! Now, I was under the impression that if I just got a copy of my contact lense prescription, I could take it over to the USA and buy lenses in Walmart or wherever with no problems.... WRONG. It transpires that when they give you a prescription in this country, it details what type of lenses you have, and another optician cannot give you different ones - for example, in my case my prescription is for monthies and therefore they couldn't give me dailies. Lucky for me, I realised this before leaving and so have opted to go and get a new prescription from Specsavers for daily contact lenses. I will probably buy 3 months worth in this country and then get the rest from Walmart... but make sure that the brand you use in the UK is actually sold in the US. You can go to the Walmart website to search for your brand and see if they're sold which I found was the easiest method. They're also cheaper over there, just sayin'.

If you are willing to just risk it without a proper prescription, there are websites like where you can order online and get them delivered without a prescription (it goes through their Dutch website as the rules are different there) and you can even get international postage although it's quite expensive. And whilst we're talking about prescriptions - make sure you have stock of any medications that you take or find out where you can get them from whilst in the US.

So yeah, that's what my last couple of days have been spent sorting out. Oh, and I went to see The Lion King 3D at the cinema which was pretty awesome... I definitely want the DVD for Christmas! So... I have 10 more shifts at work, 4 meals out, my leaving party and quite a bit of shopping and packing to do and then it's time to go! I probably won't post until a couple of days before I leave so goodbye for now!

 This is my favourite thing about seeing a Disney film at the cinema!