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Florida 2018

The day has finally arrived - eight students: Ryan, Connor, Bobby, Jacob, Sonny, Beth, Annabelle and Shantelle together with Mrs. Kennedy, Mr. Hacker and Mrs. Gardiner will be travelling to Gatwick this afternoon to begin their once in a lifetime trip to Florida.

Bags are packed, butterflies are fluttering in tummies, imaginations are running riot and excitement is building. Keep an eye on the blog and find out what will be happening over the next ten days!

 

SATURDAY CONTINUED 

 

What a great start to the holiday.

 

We all met at school and loaded the suitcases into the car for Miss. Barkess to drive to the hotel. Mr. Kennedy had the job of driving the minibus so a very big thank you to those two for giving up their Saturday afternoon. 

 

The students said goodbye to their families and posed for a photo by the minibus. A few butterflies were felt as we pulled out of the school gates whilst families waved us away but they quickly disappeared as we all began chattering about what to expect.

 

It was great hearing all about Shantelle’s crested gecko!

Ryan was flicking through his Florida guide book whilst Bobby and Jacob chilled on the back seat.

Sonny was a little tired so had a snooze. Connor was nearly asleep at one point but managed to stay awake.

 

We arrived at the hotel and met with the charity people Gordon and Ann Paris, Pauline and Malcolm Way, Tom Broderick and his partner and Gavin Price and his partner. We then had the job of checking in the suitcases which required a trip on the monorail to the other terminal. It was quite exciting seeing the planes so close.

 

After check in it was time to eat. We had a tasty buffet in the hotel restaurant which consisted of cheesy chips, fish strips, pasta, hot dogs and salad - very yummy. Ryan tucked in to the hot dogs and really enjoyed the waffles with fruit, marshmallows and chocolate sauce for pudding.

Annabelle had made a thank you card for the charity members so after a very short speech by Mrs. Gardiner, she presented her card to Ann. It was appreciated by all.

After dinner it was time to go to our bedrooms. The students were all very excited about their rooms and enjoyed claiming their beds. 

 

And so the end of the first day has arrived and, to be honest, we as staff could not be prouder of these students. They have been fantastic - polite, followed instructions, joining in with laughs and really bonding as a group. This is going to be an amazing trip and we can't wait to share with you what we're getting up to.

 

Watch this space!

 

Sunday

 

All the students had a lovely night’s sleep and arose ready  for the day.

 

We headed down for breakfast and were overwhelmed by the choice. Full English, fruit, yoghurt and much more.

 

Afterwards, we headed to the terminal and have now boarded the plane.

 

Seat belts have been clipped in, head phones connected and sweets being handed around.

 

We will blog as soon as we can when we land to let you know we have arrived safely.

 

Bye for now!

 

We have landed safely and will be on our way to the house shortly. 

 

 

NOTES FROM THE FLIGHT 

 

 

Shantelle

When i  got on the plane I was excited. In the plane I have been playing on my iPad and watching a movie- Shantelle

 

Ryan

When I got on the plane I played games and watched a move and played a game on my iPad Ryan 😎 

 

Sonny

When I got on the plane I ask I how to got on the the tv mis k she said that menu show movies early man great best part I can keep the head phones by sonny🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡

 

Bobby

When I first got on the plane me and Jacob were talking then I watch A quiet place then I watch Deadpool 2 so far it has been fun Bobby.

 

 

Jacob

There were good movies and I watched Deadpool 2. I liked the dinner - I had pasta and chocolate pudding. Jacob.

 

Connor

I am having so much fun so far and I am so sorry to say I am not missing the family 😎🤡🤡🤡  Connor

 

 

Beth

I have been watching films. The lunch was really nice and I have enjoyed my time on the airplane so far can't wait to find out what else we are doing. Beth 

 

 

Annabelle

I'm enjoying my self so far so good looking to forward to what's coming our way it's been a smooth journey on the plane so far lovely stewardesses and great service 👌🏻😉😎 p.s Annabelle peace out 

 

 

Mr.Hacker

After having the luxury of being first on the plane, I settled down in my seat next to Shantelle and Ryan. After take off I found a film called ‘Games Night’ which was full of adventure and action! For lunch I had tomato and cheese pasta which was lovely! Another 4 and a half hours to go, onwards and upwards🛩🛩 Mr Hacker 

 

 

Mrs. Kennedy

Had great vibes before we boarded we were going to have a good flight - and I have been right. My travelling companions in my row where Sonny and Annabelle, so I was definitely right!! All the students have been true stars ✨ The staff and CWSNF have been quite good too!!!!!  This is going to be a brilliant trip - I can feel it in my bones!!!!!  Mrs K.

 

 

Mrs. Gardiner

I have had the pleasure of Bobby and Jacob in my row - what lovely company. 👍Bobby is by the window and Jacob is in the middle. I had a wander up to the rear of the plane with the boys, Shantelle and Ryan to stretch our legs 👣👣 and it was a good opportunity to see where the flight attendants keep all of their crates of things. 

 

As I look around, peering over seats and heads👥👥👥, I see the students with earphones 🎧🎧 in either listening to music 🎶🎶, watching a film 🎬🎬 or snoozing 💤💤. They have been so brilliant considering this has been their first flight. They have been all smiles and politeness as they chose their meal option and drinks. There was a couscous starter and a bread roll 🥖 followed by a choice between chicken curry 🥘or vegetarian pasta. The chocolate 🍫 pudding was delicious - a millionaire’s shortbread with caramel crispy bits topped with a thick chocolate mousse. If we were still peckish after that we could nibble on the cheese 🧀 and biscuits!

 

We have had the journey planner playing so we can keep an eye on the progress so far - we have been flying at 11,582m (or 37,000 feet) ✈️✈️ and a ground speed of 561mph 💨💨. We all decided that we wouldn't want to be outside as the air temperature is a chilly -55°C! ❄️❄️

 

I'm going to settle down with my book and music too now. 

 

I'm going to say it again though - these children are lovely and have been great ambassadors for their families and for the school - I am very much looking forward to sharing this adventure with them - I feel very fortunate indeed. 

😎😎⭐️⭐️😀😀✈️✈️🎢🎢🎡🎡🎠🎠🐬🐬🐟🐠🌞🌞☀️☀️

 

 

Arrival at the house

 

After a very smooth flight across the pond, we landed slightly ahead of schedule to gorgeous blue skies. We passed through security and collected our cases - slight mishap with Mrs. Gardiner’s case but otherwise all ok.

 

Everyone waited patiently whilst we collected the minibus but we all began to feel the difference in temperature - a sweaty 32°!

 

Everyone was looking out of the window spotting different things - especially the road signs to different parks such as Disney and Epcot.

 

We arrived at the house and each student had a gift waiting for them - a lovely Mickey Mouse bag with gifts inside plus a named photo frame - all of the students were lost for words! After a few minutes we showed the students to their rooms and they quickly unpacked and put their suitcases away.

 

Whilst Mrs. Kennedy popped to the supermarket with Gordon, all of the students have jumped in the pool and are now enjoying a well deserved splash around.

 

Pizzas will be delivered later and then off to bed.

 

Monday

 

All of the students slept well - in fact when I went to say goodnight and double check they were all ok every single one was asleep, except Beth who raised her head and sleepily said goodnight and settled again onto her pillow.

 

 

What a way to wake up! Bright sunshine, yummy breakfast and lots of friends around!

Everyone was able to sleep as much as they needed and made their way downstairs when they were ready. We had breakfast and then headed out to the pool for a splash around session. It was great seeing Ryan, Jacob, Bobby and Shantelle jumping in and splashing each other. Sonny and Connor hit the beach balls to each other whilst Beth and Annabelle chilled in the small pool area chatting. 

 

After about an hour we headed in for showers and lunch so that we could be ready for the airboat ride.

 

After a short trip in the minibus, we arrived at Boggy Creek. There were baby alligators to look at however we were glad there was a fence between us!

 

The airboat was very loud so we all wore ear defenders. After climbing aboard, the driver of the boat warned us to hold on or our hats as they may blow off during the ride. We whizzed around the creek looking at the different birds and plants. There were lots of lilies and rushes and plenty of mud flats where the alligators might be hiding. After zooming around we slowed at a possible hiding area but sadly we couldn't see anything. There were lots of floating logs which made us look twice but no real alligators. Our driver said that as it was so warm, the alligators usually take a big breath and go to the bottom of the creek where it is cooler - which can be around 12 feet deep. They can hold their breath for up to four hours and as it is so hot they may all be cooling off in the deeps.

 

Annabelle, Beth and Connor nearly lost their hats!

 

Here are some quotes from the students:

 

Bobby: “I really enjoyed it and how much water there was. There's so much stuff to look at.”

 

Jacob: “It was cooler as went around and there was a lot of water, more than I thought there would be.”

 

Shantelle: “ I liked seeing the different insects like dragon flies and I liked the air bubbles coming up - that might have been the alligators breathing under water.”

 

Annabelle: ”I thought it was really cool. I liked seeing all the birds - there were so many. I think they were herons and some were white and some were brown.”

 

Connor: “ I liked going on the airboat and trying to look for alligators. I liked how fast we were going.”

 

Beth: “ I liked the scenery I didn't really like the noise - it was very loud. I liked looking for the nature.”

 

Ryan: “I liked everything, I liked to noise and I loved the speed.” Ryan sat in the front of the minibus on the way back and spotted so many things. One thing he mentioned was how he was sitting on the right which is the usual place for the steering wheel in the UK and it felt weird sitting on that side!

 

Sonny: “I’m here to photograph it all. I want to find the best locations.” As he is taking lots of photos and video with his camera on the journey to and from Boggy Creek and on the airboat ride!

 

This next piece is by Beth:

 

“When I woke up this morning I felt a bit tired. My bed was very comfortable. I laid there for a bit and then we turned on the TV in our bedroom and watched it for a bit.

Then I went down for breakfast. I had a pancake with some fruit and a drink of water.

I then went upstairs and I think I got into my swimsuit and then I got in the pool. I really enjoyed being in the pool. I was chilling and playing in the pool.

Then I got out to go and get in the shower. Then I got dressed then it was lunch.

I had a ham roll and a cookie and an orange juice.

I went on the airboat ride. The airboat ride was really noisy and fun.

The food has been really nice so far. We had our tea in an Italian restaurant.”

 

The quote of the day from Beth:

“This holiday has been good because I get to know some of the students that I don't normally get to hang around with at school.”

 

 

We have got home and the students have all gone to bed with very full tummies. We have chatted a lot about tomorrow - Universal Studios - and the different rides they are looking forward to.

 

Tuesday

 

This morning was a day to get up and get going. We had a busy day ahead at Universal Studios and so we needed to have breakfast and complete our chores as quickly as possible. Sonny collected the red t.shirts from yesterday and put them into the washing machine and set it going. Bobby and Jacob cleared the breakfast table and loaded the dishwasher. Ryan and Connor had the job of sweeping around the kitchen and dining area. Beth and Annabelle had the job of unloading the dishwasher when we return to the house tonight and Shantelle made sure the sofa cushions were tidy and the lounge area was left tidy.

 

We jumped into the minibus and headed off to Universal - excited to see what the day ahead was going to be like.

 

When we arrived, we were met by the VIP guides Bryan and Demi who gave us our lanyards. We headed through the special entrance to a VIP restaurant where there was a selection of breakfasts to choose from. It was amazing. Sausages, scrambled egg, bacon, fruit and yoghurts and so much more.

 

After we had had enough, we headed to our first rides - going through the VIP entrances to jump the queues and get on the rides quickly. On our way through the park we bumped into The Blues Brothers. We were able to get photos with them and then watch them as they sang a few songs. Some of us even had a little dance! Connor has got rhythm and definitely bopped to the beat!

 

We're sat having lunch just now so here is Annabelle with some thoughts of the day so far:

 

Today I woke up and then we went downstairs and had breakfast.  We didn't all sit at the same time because some weren't awake. After breakfast we signed all the cards for the thank yous then it was Operation Suncream! I got it in my mouth again because I was rubbing it all over my face! Then we waited for Gordon to come and we made sure we had everything and that included our frozen bottles of water.

We got to the park and went on some rides. I went on the Transformers ride - it was terrifying. I had my eyes closed a lot (just like Mrs. Gardiner). I went on the Jimmy Fallon ride which I enjoyed because it was epic.

I'm looking forward to going on the Despicable Me ride later.”

 

The rest of the afternoon was filled with rides such as The Rocket, The Simpsons, E.T, Harry Potter Gringots Bank and a visit to the wand shop. The students chose whether to go on the rides or not and some spent a little time chilling for a while while others went on rides. 

 

We met some characters today - The Simpsons, Penguins of Madagascar, The Minions doing a show and we saw Shaggy and Scoobie too. Or should that be Scoobie Doo!?!

 

We had a privileged visit to the park’s radio station studio and got to meet the radio presenters. They had not long had a visit from Melanie Sykes and Alan Carr. The students found it fascinating seeing a real studio with microphones and mixing desks.

 

Here are some quotes from the students:

 

Beth: “I like being in Orlando. I quite liked the 3D rides like The Minion ride. It was really nice being a VIP because we got to skip the queues.”

 

Bobby: “My favourite day today was The Fast and the Furious ride. I saw the cars and I liked the ride. I liked being a VIP because you get to see more exclusive stuff like how the rides work.”

 

Shantelle: “I liked everything today. I liked being a VIP because you get to cut the queues. I liked seeing the characters today - my favourites were The Simpsons. I got their autographs.”

 

Connor: “My favourite things today were going on the rides and getting my wand. I got to do some magic in Harry Potter World and I got a wand at the end of it.”

 

Jacob: “I liked the rides today. My favourite one was The Rocket ride because it was fast. I liked being a VIP because you got to go underneath a rollercoaster where other people are not allowed to go.”

 

Ryan: “I liked today. I liked seeing all the characters - my favourites were The Penguins of Madagascar. I liked going behind the scenes as a VIP.”

 

Sonny: “My favourite thing today was the Jimmy Fallon ride. I also got a score of 120,000 on the Men In Black ride and I beat Gordon and Tom and Mrs Gardiner!”

 

Mrs. Kennedy explained that her favourite time today was lunch time because she sat and chatted with Bobby, Shantelle Beth and Jacob and they were able to chat about lots of different things.

 

Mr. Hacker said that meeting The Simpsons was his favourite thing because Marge gave him a kiss!

 

Mrs. Gardiner’s favourite time was when we got back to the house at the end of a long, exciting and tiring day and we all flopped on the sofas chatting. The students talked about what they wanted to do when they are adults. It was a lovely time where the students were able to talk about some of the ideas they had. 

 

After our chill out on the sofa, the students jumped into the pool and had a lovely splash around. As the night drew in and it got darker, they came out to have a little bit of a snack before bed time.

 

Tomorrow will be a day of swimming as it's Discovery Cove and the dolphin experience.

 

 

 

Wednesday

 

It was an early start today as we were heading to Discovery Cove for our dolphin experience. We were up and dressed and in the minibus before 8am and had our breakfast at the resort. 

 

We all put on our wetsuit vest and went into the lazy river. It was so relaxing drifting along in the current, chatting and having fun. The weather was hot, hot hot and we kept topped up with the dolphin friendly sun cream but we all had a slight shade of red on out noses and cheeks by the time we went home.

Here are some thoughts by the students:

 

Annabelle: Hi     …… I have really enjoyed today it's what I've most looked forward to I'm sad it is over but grateful for the amazing day I've been given thanks to CWSNF I mostly enjoyed the lazy river which you could say has my name in it ! I even got to know everyone else better and had a laugh . I'm looking forward for tomorrow to get some more autographs .😎🐠🐟😁😇 p.s peace out 

 

Beth:  Today was really fun because we went to Discovery Cove. I really enjoyed swimming with the dolphins and going in the lazy river . We take photos with the dolphins. We also swim next to a dolphin.Tonight for dinner we went to the Hard Rock Cafe . For my dinner I had  a bacon burger for my drink was  a milkshake which was Oreo 

 

 

 

Jacob: Today I went to Discovery Cove and swum with dolphins. My favourite bit was swimming with dolphins. It was awesome. I saw the dolphins jump in the air and they made funny noises. I also swum with fish and manta rays. It was good. I swam in the lazy river and I talked to Mr. Hacker, Bobby, Shantelle and Ryan as I floated down the river.”

 

Connor: Today, I kissed a dolphin! I also swam with a dolphin and I saw a dolphin do flips.  I fed the dolphin fish and I stroked it on its back. I went on the lazy river which was fun. We had breakfast there and I had bacon and sausage, chips and a chocolate milk!

 

Shantelle: (This is Mrs. Gardiner first - Shantelle has the biggest plate of ribs which she is ploughing through! She has stunned us all as she has polished off the lot! There were 10 in total. Well done Shantelle!) Today I went to Discovery Cove and first we went through the lazy river. I liked the lazy river. It was sometimes deep and sometimes shallow - it was not even. We moved along because the water moved you. Oh, by the way we had breakfast first- I had mostly a fry up - bacon, chips, fish, French toast, fruit and chocolate milk. With the bacon I had some scrambled egg. I swam with a dolphin. I had to put my hands on the dorsal fin and the other fin -  we went pretty quickly.

 

Bobby: I liked the dolphins today. Were laughing because Gordon laid on his sun bed all day! My favourite bit was seeing the baby dolphin - she was  2 years old. I liked the sharks in the tank and the manta rays. I also liked when we went around the lazy river and I liked seeing the bright coloured parrots in the aviary. They were quite close to me. We had had tea at The Hard Rock Cafe and I had a burger and chips.

 

Sonny: Sonny is very tired tonight - he's almost falling asleep as we sit in the Hard Rock Cafe but he says: My favourite bit was being with the dolphins. I liked that they swam fast and they did a back flip. I also went along the lazy river with Mrs. Gardiner. 

 

Ryan: The dolphins were great. The fish were good - the different colours. I saw swimming manta rays and other fish. The colours of the water and the tricks I saw the dolphins do. I loved how to train the dolphin. The lazy river was relaxing. I liked the big breakfast. I swam next to the glass and saw sharks!

 

And so the end of yet another day has come. Some photos are posted below but not of the dolphin experience. We were not allowed to take our phones/cameras so we will get the official pictures when they are available.

 

Tomorrow is Disney and the Magical Kingdom.

 

Thursday

 

A quick post this morning before we set off for Disney.

 

Everyone slept well again last night. It had been a very long day so we all went to bed as quickly as possible.

 

This morning was slightly more relaxed as we are not leaving the house until 10.30am. We had breakfast all together - pancakes and cereals. It was lovely sitting together chatting about the yesterday and what we had to look forward to today. 

 

It has been great seeing the students take on their chores without complaint! They have all tidied their rooms ready for room inspection where they are scored on tidiness, quality of bed making and smell!

 

They are now busy completing their jobs: Jacob and Beth are unloading the dishwasher and putting it all away and Annabelle is waiting in the wings ready to load it again.

Shantelle will be relaying the breakfast table for tomorrow and Sonny is sweeping the floors. Bobby collected the red t.shirts and put them into the washing machine and Connor will be putting them into the tumble dryer later on.  Ryan is making sure the sofa cushions are tidy. It is a hive of activity this morning!

 

We are heading off shortly - watch this space!

 

What a hot, hot, hot day!

 

We headed out for lunch before going to Disney and had a little surprise for Sonny - he really wanted to go to an American MacDonalds before he went home and so the charity changed the plans a little and organised our lunch in a local Maccie Ds! Sonny was absolutely speechless - well, maybe not speechless and he was so excited about trying the American burgers and comparing them. We all ordered what we wanted and Sonny had a photo taken outside of the restaurant.

 

After our lunch, we headed to Disney. It was so exciting seeing the welcome sign along with our first sightings of Cinderella’s castle as we travelled on the monorail. 

 

When we got into the park we headed to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and then the Buzz Lightyear ride. We all went onto Splash mountain and got absolutely soaked. Beth was particularly brave as she was a little unsure but wanted to give it a go - Mrs. Gardiner sat with her and Beth helped Mrs. Gardiner cope with the ride! We got absolutely soaked.

 

 

As I type this, we are sat in a cafe in Disney having a rest and a drink while there is a little bit of thunder and lightening. When there is a bit of a storm - which is very common during this time of year, the rides are closed and everyone is asked to be patient until the rides are able to open again. This may be ten minutes or an hour. The students are enjoying a bit of a sit down and a drink.

 

After our rest, we went on the Runaway Train ride. It was really good fun. There was a little bit of screaming and that was just Mr. Hacker whilst Mrs. Kennedy just laughed all the way around. Jacob slid all over the seat whilst having his hands in the air and Shantelle was sure she could hear other people scream because it was pitch black at times. Shantelle kept sliding into Bobby who was expecting the ride to be a bit different - he loved it anyway!

 

This next bit was dictated by Sonny:

“Today was a lovely day for it. I had fun on the Buzz Lightyear ride and the thingmajig! My worst part was when  I was on a fast ride which got me wet. I got mad. I blamed Mrs. Kennedy! (Mrs. Kennedy told us all later that Sonny had told that she was responsible if he died or was physically injured!) I did a lot of walking today and my worst part was going outside because the sun nearly killed me. We kept going into the shade and I had the fan which sprayed water and then we had ice cream.”

 

Annabelle has added this:

Hiay there I have had lots of mixed emotions about the day and I have more or less enjoyed it I really enjoyed the loft loom “splash mountain “ which is a similar idea to “tiger rock” from chesssington .it was epic you had to sit in twos and I sat on my own because there was an odd number and because I was on my own all the water that would of gone on the other person drenched me instead so I got socked and I'm still sat trying even in the heat .i also went on a rollercoaster with mrs Gardiner it was so fun we had are arms in the air like we didn't care but I did care really so don't worry 🤗😎😀😇p.s peace out 

 

 

Connor:

I had really good fun today and I am just going to have my dinner and I am still sorry to say that I'm still not missing the family but now and then I am thinking of messi and I love you so much messi witch is my pet mase and I went on water ride with Gordon and we went on the piroots of the carbon ride from Connor 

 

Ryan:

Today we what to Disney land and we went to my 2 favourite ride was Buzz Lightyear and the roller coaster which went through the hills - the runaway train. I also liked splash mountain. Gavin was the best partner on that ride. I wish I could stay here even longer. We had private seats for the parade and I saw different floats and different characters.

 

Jacob:

When we woke up today we all started off with breakfast. I ate some cookie crisp and a pancake. We then had a room inspection, where myself and Bobby tidied everything Mr Hacker and Mrs Kennedy told us too. We then left to go to Disney but we stopped at McDonald's before where I had a cheeseburger. We went to Disney on the monorail and then went on some rides. My favourite rides were Splash Mountain and The a Runaway Train. The Buzz Lightyear ride wasn't very good because it kept on breaking, but it was funny when it stopped moving. We are now in Tony’s where I tried caviar and calamari for the first time! The calamari was alright but I wouldn't eat it again, the caviar was disgusting because it melted in my mouth!

 

Bobby:

Today we went to Disney land me and Shantelle went on the rides to gever we sat in the front on splash mountain we got soak it was fun Disney land has been fun it also rained a little bit also Mr Hacker screamed like a little girl.

 

Shantelle:

Today we went to Disney land I went on all of the rides with Bobby and my favourite ride was the splash mountain and me and Bobby was at the front and we got drenched and we went on the runway train was pretty rusted and mr hacker screamed like a girl … also we went on the Buzz Lightyear ride and it broke down.

 

Beth:

Today we went to Disney land . I enjoyed going on the rides . I like going on the 

 Buzz Lightyear ride. For dinner I had pizza for my pudding I had cheesecake. I'm really enjoying the train to Florida so before I can't wait to see what happening tomorrow. Thank you to CWSNF 

 

 

We left the park on the Disney ferry and then watched the evening 💥 fireworks before heading back to the house for a late night swim - well a 9.15pm swim! We all needed a little splash around to freshen up after an exceptionally hot day.

 

Tomorrow we are back to Universal as VIPs. 

 

Friday

 

 

This morning was another day as VIPs at Universal Studios. The students were up and out early again and had breakfast in the VIP lounge area. We had two guides who took us around the park and onto rides - skipping the queues.

 

It was another hot day and the students coped amazingly well. We had all put on suncream in the morning at the house so we just made sure we all kept our fluids up too. We walked miles around the park but as VIPs, we were able to sneak along the back ways that only the employees get to see. 

 

During the day we went on many rides, some students went on all of the rides and some on a few - Cat in the Hat rides, The Hulk (fast roller coaster), Jurassic Park, water rides where we all got very wet, Dr. Death’s Fear Fall (where you go up very quickly and then come back down) and the Harry Potter ride.

 

One of the highlights of the day was when the students met some characters - Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Storm and Cyclops. The students were very excited to get their autographs and have their photos taken with them.

 

Here are the students thoughts:

 

 

 

Shantelle: Today  we went to universal studios island of adventure and I went on the hulk rollercoaster also I went on the 3 water rides, pop eye water ride was slow one to start of, Dudley’s water ride was medium height Jurassic world water ride was the best and the highest.

 

Annabelle:

Hello today it is Universal take two ! it's been great fun we went on lots of water rides it was quite  an experience of wetness and fun I was sat at the front for most of them and got absolutely 

drenched yippee (sarcasm) although it did feel good as it's so hot here 😀😂😎🌊 p.s peace out

 

Bobby: 

Today we went back to Universal studios we went on the hulk ride and we went on three water rides and I am soaked and I knocked over water on Mr Hacker.

 

Ryan  I what on the Hulk and the water rides 😎😎😎

 

Jacob

I went on the Hulk which was a fast rollercoaster. I really liked it. We then we went on on 3 water rides. The log flume was the best we all got really wet. I liked the water rides but the HUlk was best.

 

Sonny

(Mrs k is typing for Sonny)

 

Sonny wanted to go on the Jurassic park water ride ….but as I had been told that I was responsible for any damage to Sonny on waters rides I was a little worried!!! My fears were unfounded. Sonny loved it…..he even had his arms in the air when we went down the water slide.

Phew….a sigh of relief!!!!

 

Connor: I had a really awesome day because I go to hold Captain America’s shield. I really liked The Hulk because it was fun, quick and easy. At the beginning you go through a dark tunnel and then you come out the other side and you went round in a loop.

 

Beth:

I had a good day today. I was very brave on a ride which I didn't like but I'm glad I tried it. I got really wet again today. It was really fun. I think it's my mum's birthday tomorrow so happy birthday mum!

 

After we left the park, we headed home to pick up our spending money to spend in Walmart. We split into three groups and hunted down the perfect gifts. It was lovely seeing the students thinking about family members at home and choosing the perfect gifts for them.

 

When we got back to the house, the students jumped into the pool for a splash around before having a light tea and bedtime. We were all surprised to to find a baby frog had joined in the fun. Luckily, Mr. Hacker was able to rescue it and place it away in a safe place.

 

Tomorrow is a quieter day - we will have a lie in, go shopping and have pool time and we will finish the day out at Splitsville, which is a bowling alley, and then have dinner out.

 

Saturday 

 

Today, we had a really lovely lazy wake up time. It was nice to have he chance to wake up when we were ready. After breakfast, chores and sorting a few things out we headed off to Madam Tussaud’s and  the Sea Life Centre. 

 

Once we had walked around those attraction we headed to a shopping mall to spend some of our holiday money. We split into three groups and wandered around looking at trainers, t.shirts and other bargains.

 

Once our shopping was done, we headed over to Splitsville at Disney Springs to play bowling and then have dinner.

 

Here are the students’ thoughts:

 

Jacob:

I have had a good day today  but I haven't bought anything yet. I'm looking to buy some trainers but I haven't found any yet. I'm going to look at the local shopping place. I liked the statue place - I liked the boxer the best (Mohammed Ali). I like bowling, I'm alright at it. In my team there is Ryan, Connor, Bobby, Sonny, Mr Hacker and Gordon. I want to beat the other team.

 

Beth:

We went bowling today. It was really fun and went shopping . Happy birthday mum !!! I hope your having a great birthday . I wish i could be there to say happy birthday to you but i  hope your having a amazing birthday.🎂 That's all from me so bye .

 

Sonny:

First I did shopping and I bought a surprise for my brother and my family. And also teachers, tell Jono I have a surprise for him. 

 

Ryan:

I was the last one up today. We got ready to go out to the shops. I like Madam Tussauds and seeing the fish. I like posing for the camera and my favourite statue was Barack Obama.

I did some shopping and I bought some Nike trainers - they are orange/red/white.

After shopping we went bowling. I like bowling and I want to do it for a living.

 

Connor:

I enjoyed my day because I have got my family presents and I am doing bowling.

I saw some statues and my favourite was Michael Jackson. I also saw a statue of Elvis Presley 🕺 

I walked in a fish area and I saw fish and sharks. I liked when the fish swam over my head.

 

 

Bobby:

Today we were allowed to stay in bed I stayed in bed for a few minutes After that we went to Madam tusauds I got to take a picture with namer jr but just a sculpture then we went shopping in groups I was with Mr Hacker Jacob and Shantelle I got a nike vest top and I addidas jacket at the moment we are playing bowling.

 

Annabelle:

Hello today was shopping express and I got some addidas and two Levi's tops there so cool well I think they are ! and at the moment I'm bowling and then we're going out for dinner early  we had subway it was a first experience for me it was delish I had a meatball and cheese wrap. p.s peace out 😎😀😇🙃

 

Shantelle:

Today I went shopping and I went to Nike, addidas tonight we went bowing and eating out for lunch I had subway 🙂

 

Mr Hacker:

After a nice lie in and a bite to eat,  we went over to the Sea Life Centre and Madame Tussaud's where we all posed for photos with different celebrities. Then, one of my favourite things to do- shopping! I went round with Bobby, Jacob and Shantelle where we went to Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Disney. Our next adventure was a drive to Splitsville bowling- where all the students have impressed me very much with their bowling skills. Tomorrow we are off to Legoland. Hope everyone back home is enjoying the lovely weather! 

 

Mrs K

The lie in was indeed much appreciated…….and I was looking forward to Sealife and Madame Tussaud's……but not so much the shopping as I am well known for not liking shopping so I was well paired with Sonny who thought it was too hot - too much sweat. We did 2 shops and then had an ice cream. Sonnys consisted of 3 scoops!!!! He ate and enjoyed it all.

Bowling followed and brought out the competitive streak in an adult or 2……but will just put out there I did have the highest score in the first game on our team!!!!

 

And so you can see that we have all had a very good day.

As Mrs. K has mentioned, there was a little competitiveness during the bowling - but it was such good fun - the students did well and managed to score well - even when the ball went in the wrong direction!

Tonight we are eating at Disney Springs at a lovely restaurant which serves a lot of southern food. Yum!

We have all had a lovely evening which included a lady from an adjacent table introducing herself as a teacher and commenting on how well behaved our students have been this evening. She said it had been a delight to watch them interact with each other and enjoy conversations together. What a credit these students are - to their families, to The Abbey School and to the Children With Special Needs Foundation.

 

We might have a little wander around after the meal to take in the evening lights and fun.

 

Tomorrow is  Legoland and the water park there - we are all looking forward to the splash around and seeing the different LEGO creations and rides.

 

Sunday

What an exhausting day!

 

We woke up and had breakfast at home. We were ready to go out early to Legoland and the water park.

 

We headed off and drove an hour to the park. After we arrived, we were introduced to one of the park directors who was our VIP guide for the morning. We had a special treat of going behind the scenes and looking around the workshop where they make the models for the park. It was amazing. We had a look at the storage boxes where all the bricks a kept and the benches where the models are made. We were then taken through to a room where we all made a tractor together. It was great see the model maker showing each step on the over head screen. Once we finished we were told we were able to keep the tractor we had made - it was awesome.

 

After that we headed around the park and rode on many rides including the Dragon ride, an old wooden rollercoaster and a laser shooting ride.

 

After a burger lunch, we headed to the water park. What a blast that turned out to be. 

We all started off floating down the lazy river on rubber rings. Annabelle tried to pick up Lego blocks on the way round.

 

We then headed off to the slides. Mr. Hacker took Bobby, Jacob, Shantelle, Connor, Ryan and Annabelle to the slides and they all had a go at one or more of the different slides.

Sonny and Mrs. Gardiner had great fun in the pool with the wave machine and his goggle mask. Beth had another go around the lazy river with Mrs. Kennedy.

 

It was great fun all afternoon and we all caught a little bit of sun.

 

After the park we headed back to the house to spend the evening chilling out.

 

Monday

 

So today is our last full day of fun. We had to get up early and have breakfast at the house. We had a bit of time to sort out a bit of packing so that we had more time to do a little bit of shopping. It was a military operation getting all of the suitcases back out of he wardrobes and onto the landing, sorting through clothes and shoes and making sure we had what we needed for the evening and following day. These students have been very organised and have got their things ready. They have got quite a few gifts which need to be packed too and they have all I'd how much they are looking forward to showing their families and friends what they have.

 

We headed out of the house at 9.15am and headed to SeaWorld. It was another scorcher and so before we left we filled lots of water bottles for the day, sprayed sun ram like we had never sprayed before and made sure hats were at the ready.

 

We had a great time watching the dolphin show, the Shamu show and learning about how sea turtles make their way down the beach after hatching and what they do in the seas.

 

After the excitement of the morning  lunch called,  and we all enjoyed pizzas, burger or chicken.  We were able to relax by the lake whilst eating our food with ducks and birds on hand to eat up any scraps. A simulator helicopter ride followed for all, where we ‘flew over’ the Arctic…...a welcome look at the snow from the hot weather outside. 

We then separated into the ‘mad dogs’ who wanted to do the big rides - and the more ‘sedate group’ who went and feed sea lions and went on an expedition ride finding out about penguins.

 

We returned to the house for a very welcome swim for all,  after Sonny had opened a new business giving staff a massage of their arms and legs in the house lounge. The Apprentice in the making!!!!

 

Planning of outfits to be worn for our trip to Planet Hollywood tonight were discussed -the boys putting as much thought into it as the girls over this. We gave Mr Hacker an extra half hour prep time for this. As he says ‘this hair doesn't sort itself’. Mrs Gardener and Mrs Kennedy felt best not to comment!!!!

 

We are now at Planet Hollywood and we are having a super delicious meal. We have sung along to different songs that have come up on the big screen and have even seen ourselves on the big screen with the message,”Welcome to the Abbey School.”

 

Here are the students’ comments:

 

Annabelle:

Hola today has been a day full of adventure and hotness to shiver in the artic with the penguins it was so cool I really enjoyed the sensory side I found it relaxing .i also in enjoyed the killer whale show I liked the atmosphere to it but i preferred the dolphins it's been a amazingly speechless week fall of fun and laughter thanks to all those who have helped this week to come together 😀😇🤗🐳🐬p.s peace out 

 

Beth:

Today we went to sea world. My favourite bit was seeing the penguins and seeing the dolphins show and the  whale show . I have really enjoyed coming to Florida. I would like to say a big thank you to the CWSNF. I can't wait to see my family and friends so bye for now.

 

Shantelle:

Today I went to sea world and we saw some whales and they did some tricks also I saw some killer whales they did some tricks.

 

We were at the Plant Hollywood for tea tonight and we were supposed to each have time to blog - instead, we were up dancing and singing and eating! Jacob, Ryan, Shantelle and Bobby showed us all how to floss and Bobby also showed us a dance from Fortnite. Sonny joined in with the dancing after he took his sandals off! Beth thought we were all really embarrassing when YMCA came on the screen and we all did the moves - what we have learnt is that Connor likes to do the YMCA! Annabelle sang along to Happy but put her fingers in her ears when Mr. Hacker sang along to Frozen’s Let It Go. 

 

And so the students are all tucked up in bed for the last time at the house. This time tomorrow night, we will be in the Adair on our way home. We were all wondering how the holiday has passed so quickly.

 

Tomorrow will begin with breakfast at the house and then possibly one last swim. We will hit the shops before lunch and buy our last few gifts or treats. 

 

The students are exhausted but have had a wonderful time. Their behaviour has been brilliant and has been commented on positively by the charity members and the public - we have been so proud of them. Each day we have made the students walk miles and the heat has made this even more of a challenge. Well done to them all - the ice creams, chilled drinks and fans have helped but their determination and resilience has enabled them to persevere and get the most out of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

 

We will try to blog tomorrow before our flight but if not - see you back in Blighty.

 

Tuesday

 

 

Bobby:

Today is are last day it has been fun getting to know everyone really well and today was are last shopping day I got a Jordan t-shirt I really like seeing the cars from fast and furious but I really enjoyed the rides at see world yesterday.

 

Connor:

I really enjoyed the holiday because I got to swim and kiss the dolphins and I got a kiss of lisa and I went on the holk ride and I really enjoyed it and it was really fun and I am so anode to come back home but I really enjoyed it and the week was so much fun.

 

Ryan:

To get to know people more🐿👍😎

 

Annabelle:

Hi today has been a plast from the past as it was swimming and shopping and now we're sat enjoying time together in and Irish pub for the last meal together before 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 blast of !!!!! It's been fabulous  P.s peace out 😀😃😇😎👍👌🏻✈️

 

Beth:

I enjoyed the hole holiday . One of my favourite bits was spading time with the students and stuff. Bye for now see you  went  I get to school .

 

Shantelle:

I enjoyed the holiday but I don't wanted to go home because the weather is so good out there really cool 😎😍I loved everything it's so good 😀it's time to say goodbye to Florida .

 

Sonny 

I loved the 3D rides ……they were the best rides.   I loved swimming with the dolphins too.  The food is good - I think I may have had 8 burgers!!!!  I liked the house with its own pool. I didn't like shopping- it was too hot and too sweaty……….but Mrs K says she would have never known!!!!!!!

 

Jacob:

I have enjoyed all of the holiday. I loved swimming with the dolphins and swimming at the house, at Legoland and at Discovery Cove. I have eaten a lot of food and my favourite was the burgers.

 

 

We are now at the airport having checked in our luggage and having a little snack.

We are all ready to board the flight and hopefully settle for a good sleep - who knows!? We might be able to get a few minutes of sleep between films, food and drinks!

 

It has been amazing. The students are exhausted but full of new memories from what they have experienced.

 

I will not be able to blog tomorrow morning so goodbye for now.

 

Mrs. Gardiner and the Florida Crew. Xx

 

 

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