Day 30: Back To Reality / WDW-40, 2016

Day 30 of WDW-40, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! And the writing of it has come to an end; some 2 year and 4 days later! Ordinarily I would just lump in the travel home day with the final day of my trip report. However, I wanted this report to have a round number, so Day 30 it is!

If you haven’t read my pre-trip planning report yet, why not have a quick read now to bring you up to speed about who we are, and why this trip report is called WDW-40! You might also want to start reading from the beginning of the report!

Orlando Airport

Day 30: Flight Home

MCO to Gatwick to Home
October 3rd, 2016
My trip reports are generally photo heavy, images in tiled galleries can be clicked on to enlarge. All the photos from this day are included with day 29 here | Florida 2016 photo collection on Flickr here.
WDW-40, 2016: Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Planning Report | About Us
Some days are split into several parts; please use the page numbers at the bottom of the post to continue reading.

Not much in the way of words or pictures for today’s report, but it has its place in WDW-40, 2016’s story!

I left you in yesterday’s report with us boarding the plane and settling in for the flight home with British Airways. I had phoned my son, Liam, back at home to let him know we were boarding, and that we would see him soon. I was in tears, and so was he (sshh, don’t tell anyone!) as we had missed each other so much! It’s the longest I have ever been away from him, his whole life!

We more often than not sit at the very back of the cabin, for a few reasons – so that we can be one of the first onboard to get our cabin bags in the overhead bins; so that I don’t have to worry about squeezing down the aisle and brushing people with my backside(!); so that we are near to the loos and galley where there is space to walk about and stretch our legs.

It does mean we’re the last off the plane, but we are fine with that. It also means that turbulence is felt more at the tail end too. The flight home to the UK can be quite a bumpy one – at least in our experience – but if memory serves me correctly, this flight was smooth flying.

British Airways Flight

Drinks were served once we were at altitude, followed by dinner a short while later. I don’t remember exactly what we had, but will go by what I can see in the photos!

Starter was a salad with lettuce, tomato, and grated carrot with a balsamic vinaigrette, followed by some sort of pasta dish for me, and who knows what for Steve… maybe a curry? I really can’t tell!

Dessert was a slice of cheesecake – possibly raspberry. I believe there was also a roll and butter. However, there are cost cutting measures on BA flights these days (or them days!) with no cheese and crackers, or bottle of water. The former gone completely from the tray, and the bottled water replaced by one of those tiny aeroplane cups. I don’t think we even got a bag of pretzels with our first drink like we used to either.

Not that it’s a big deal, but it’s those little things!

British Airways Food - Salad

British Airways Food - Pasta

British Airways Food - Curry

British Airways Food - Cheesecake

After food trays are taken away, lights on the aircraft are dimmed. I always thought it was so that you could sleep since it is an overnight flight – but it’s actually so that should an evacuation be needed and the lights go out, your eyes are adjusted… I’ll keep thinking it’s to help sleep!

I do recall this flight going quickly. I remember waking up to check how long we had left and was so pleased to see it was just a couple of hours.

We were then served our breakfast, which was a box filled with a cream cheese filled pretzel and a honey and maple cereal bar. I think there was a juice cup, and tea and coffee was served too.

The cereal bar was really nice, but the pretzel was hilarious. Look at the filling amount – I know it’s mass food production, but come on! Mine wasn’t too bad – you can see where they’ve been frozen and starting to thaw out – but Steve’s cream cheese filling was stingy to say the least!

British Airways Food - Breakfast Box

British Airways Food - Breakfast Box

British Airways Food - Breakfast Box

Our uneventful flight landed, and we waited to depart. Because of the distance from the gate back to the entrance, I had arranged assistance. We waited for a member of airport staff to come and assist with a wheelchair. And we waited. And we waited. By this time the aeroplane had completely emptied – including the pilots and cabin crew! We were kinda stuck waiting. Luckily a cabin crew member phoned through for us and waited until assistance arrived.

I did have one member of staff – I can’t remember now if it was airport or aircraft – say to me “can you not just walk up to there” and pointed vaguely in the distance “it’s not that far”. This really wound me up because it might not have seemed far to them, but it might as well have been miles away to me. I clapped back with saying that I wouldn’t have booked assistance if I didn’t need it, and we continued to wait.

Eventually we were taken to customs and all that jazz, and picked up all of our suitcases. Now how we were going to manage this I really don’t know – I was being pushed in this wheelchair, and Steve had to manage with trying to haul two trolleys of cases! The staff member was of no help – couldn’t come up with a way that we might feasibly be able to manage everything – but somehow between the two of us we did – even if some suitcases fell off in the process!

Eventually we were outside – the staff member just dumped me off and ran. I did debate at calling Gatwick to complain about the service we had received, but I just didn’t bother in the end. Luckily, on our 2017 trip home we had a very helpful young man assist us so perhaps that 2016 bloke was just having a bad day.

We had arranged for a cab to drive us home, and he was already waiting for us as we exited the terminal building. We had warned the driver that we would be coming home with potentially six cases (and hand luggage) and after much cramming in of stuff, including it piled up against me in the back seat.

Coming home is always a funny old thing. You feel sad that you’ve left the magic behind, but also so happy to be back. I was just excited to see Liam after a month – and sleep in my own bed!

The usual things happened once home – unpack, remember the things you forgot you even bought, sort out gifts for everyone (I normally buy loads of candy and divvy them up into bags for the fam), do the laundry, try to stay awake…!

Not long after this trip ended I slunk into a deep depression. I don’t know what it was – whether it was being back to reality after a month in Florida, or the realisation that I was 40, or knowing how hard the holiday had been on me physically after gaining so much weight. Probably a combo of everything really. I literally spent a month in bed, binge watching Netflix, crying, and trying to work in between.

I did eventually get some help, and two years later I would say I’m a lot better than I was back then. I still have my moments, and I’m still battling with weight loss. Again, all things I’m trying to get help with.

But I don’t want to end on such a sad note! I’ve got our Christmas 2017 Disney Trip Report to write, and in 2019 we are booked to go in early spring, PLUS a US road trip in the autumn to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this trip report, and sorry it took me 2 years to write! I’ll try not to be as long with 2017’s report, but we’re nearly at a year for as it is!!!

See ya real soon!!

Read about the day after:
That’s it, it’s finished!

Read about the day before:
Day 29: Top Of The World
Sunday Brunch at California Grill / Travel Day – MCO to LGW

» Read ALL the days!