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Warnings of any graphic or contentious content will be placed before the chapter concerned

Never walk alone- Walk on - 3. Chapter 3

Chapter 30 - ................And South.
After takeoff, they got comfortable for the almost nine hour flight south to Orlando International. When they had made the reservations, the boys had to decide on a very early non stop departure or a late morning depar-ture with a stop in Toronto and had decided to go with the later departure, even though it meant losing three hours of the day due to the time difference and the stopover, and got them into Orlando just before 11pm. In light of the early morning problems with the twins, Andrew felt the decision had been a good one.

The flight proceeded as normal with a drinks service and then lunch was served. When Rascal got a whiff of the food, he was instantly awake and, even though not really permitted, Cameron took him out of hisbox and hid him under the blanket that he had over his legs. Andrew noticed him feeding the puppy every now and then from his meal, but otherwise, the puppy lay next to Cameron quietly and contentedly.

Andrew's biggest frustration came when Cameron discovered a new 'game'. The button that dimmed the win-dows, and he had great fun watching the windows darken and lighten before Andrew reprimanded him, and put on a movie for him to watch on his seat entertainment system. Andrew was also watching a movie and when he looked at Cameron again, he was fast asleep. He gently removed the ear buds from hisears and left him to sleep. He stood up to peer over the seat to the row behind and saw that Elizabeth was asleep as well. Glancing across the aisle, David and a Janice were napping too.

The stopover in Toronto was an hour long, and just after takeoff they were served a light snack and a giant choc chip cookie with a hot or cold beverage and ninety minutes before arrival in Orlando, they were given dinner.
Once dinner was over, they got the twins undressed and into their nightclothes in anticipation of the munchkins falling asleep on arrival.

On approach to Orlando, the aircraft flew quite close to Disneyworld, and they were able to point it out to the children, especially Cinderella's castle which was brightly spotlit and they began to get very excited for their latest adventure even though they were all quite travel weary.

As customs and immigration had already been conducted in Vancouver, they were treated as a domestic arrival, so it was not long before they collected their luggage and entered the arrivals concourse where a driver was wait-ing to convey them to their hotel, the Grand Floridian Resort.

Andrew had discussed with Ryan the possibility of hiring a vehicle for them to get around in but they decided that the week at Disneyworld was very much a chill week and really didn't want the hassle of driving themselves any-where, so a limousine had been reserved to get the family to the resort. Any excursions out of the resort would be in the form of organised tours, but the intention was to spend as much time in Disneyworld as possible. The driver escorted them to the limousine and while they got settled, Ryan assisted him to load all the luggage and in no time at all they were on the freeway heading for the world famous resort.

Cameron and Elizabeth did indeed fall asleep during the thirty minute drive to the hotel, and their dads had to carry them into the hotel to check in. David and Janice were allocated a room down the hall from their suite, and once in their suite, Andrew and Ryan put the twins straight to bed. Ryan took Rascal back downstairs to the gardens for a run, and after having quick showers, fell into bed themselves, leaving the unpacking for the next morning.

A plaintive call of "Dad!" and the sound of Elizabeth crying had Andrew jumping out of bed and hurrying to the twins room. He had no idea what the time was, but it was still dark, and the block out curtaining in the bedrooms eliminated most of the light from the outside. He passed through the lounge area of the suite and turned on the light to throw some illumination into the twins bedroom, aware that Ryan had turned a light on in the main bedroom as well.

His heart broke when he entered the children's bedroom to find his daughter distraught and her brother sitting next to her with his arm around her in a vain attempt to comfort her, looking not too happy himself.
Andrew moved to the bed and sat down, reaching out to take both his children into his arms.

"Hey, my little princess! What's the matter? Why are you crying?"

"Lisbeth thought you and dad were gone, daddy. She woke me up and wanted to know where we were and where you and dad were and then started crying", Cameron answered him, giving a sniff as well.
Andrew hugged them as Ryan joined them on the other side of the bed, followed by Rascal who leapt onto the bed.

"We're right here my babies", Andrew replied, "In the other bedroom, at the hotel"
Elizabeth had her face pressed close against Andrew's chest and her voice was muffled as she said,

"I woke up and it was all dark. I didn't know where we were and I didn't know where you and dad were and I got scared, so I woke Cam up"

Andrew pulled away from her slightly and took her face in his hands, looking down at her and kissed her fore-head.

"My darling girl, your dad and I will never leave you alone, I promise you", her told her gently.

"Daddy is right, my angel. We love you and Cam too much to do that", Ryan added.

She sniffed and looked at her dads, nestling in Andrew's arms, calm now. Andrew held her against him for a few minutes and then said,

"Go to your dad while I go to the bathroom for some tissues to blow your nose and a cloth to wipe your face", and she crawled over the bed to where Ryan sat next to Cameron who leaned against his dad. Ryan picked her up and sat her on his lap, one arm around each of the children. When Andrew came back, he let her blow her nose and gently cleaned her face with a warm cloth.

"There, that's much better. Now, we are in Disneyworld. When we arrived last night, you two were fast asleep. Let's go to our bedroom and I want to show you something very special".

Elizabeth clambered off Ryan's lap and Andrew helped Cameron off the bed and they walked to the main bed-room where Andrew stopped in front of the closed curtains covering the window.

"Okay, close your eyes and don't open them until I tell you to", Andrew instructed them. Ryan stood behind them with his hands resting gently on their heads while Andrew pulled the curtains back.

"Okay, open you eyes"

Sapphire blue and gold flecked brown eyes flicked open and Elizabeth drew her breath in sharply, followed almost simultaneously by a soft "Wow" from her brother.
The window framed the turrets and upper part of Cinderella's castle, illuminated against the dark sky.

"Is that Cinderellas castle, daddy", Elizabeth asked, her voice filled with awe.

"Yes my princess, that's Cinderellas castle. And later today, if you want to, we can go to see it, and maybe even meet Cinderella", Andrew said, kneeling next to her. With eyes as big as saucers she asked,

"Can we really?".
Ryan chuckled and bent to kiss the top of her head before adding,

"Yes, we will meet Cinderella in her castle and we have a special surprise for you and Cam as well".
Cameron turned to him eagerly.

"What's the surprise dad? Please tell us".

"Oh no, then it won't be a surprise, will it. You'll find out later this morning", Ryan said, grinning down at his son, who huffed.

"Aw gee. That's not fair".

Andrew and Ryan watched as the children moved slowly to the window and stared at the magical view silently.

"Okay, it's still too early to do anything. And your dad and I wouldn't mind some cuddles. So how about we go get back into bed for a while?", Andrew suggested.

Both the children turned, grinning and nodded as the dashed into the bedroom and clambered up onto the bed with Rascal hot on their heels. Andrew turned off the lights in the lounge and walked into the bedroom to find the twins already settled in the middle of the bed with Rascal, and Ryan reclining next to them. For once, it was Cameron who was cuddled against Ryan and Andrew lay down next to Elizabeth, who turned slightly, placing her little hand on Andrew's chest. Andrew moved his head close to hers and kissed her head. She sighed contentedly, snuggled closer to him and was asleep within seconds, sure in the knowledge that she was safe and loved. He glanced over at Ryan who smiled at him, knowing exactly how Andrew felt. Ryan turned off the bedside light and the family settled down to another couple of hoursof rest.

Andrew woke up when Elizabeth stirred next to him. He looked at her just as she opened her eyes and smiled at her, kissing the top of her head.

"Morning, princess".
"Hmmm, morning daddy", she replied sleepily, snuggling closer to him. She lay quietly for a minute or so and then sat up suddenly, wide awake, crawled off the end of the bed and ran to the window.

"It is there", she whispered, gazing at the fairytale castle in the distance. "I thought it was a dream. When can we go to see Cinderella, daddy?"

Andrew and Cameron joined her at the window.

"Go wake your dad up and then go take a bath or a shower. When we're all dressed, we can go get some break-fast and then we can go to the castle", he said to them.
They both turned and ran to the bed, jumping on to it and then onto Ryan who groaned as they shook him. He growled, grabbed them both, and tickled them, eliciting squeals of surprise and happiness and then belly laughs from the children, joined by Rascal who yapped excitedly.

"Dad, wait! Stop!", Elizabeth shouted. "Daddy said we must wake you up and then go wash up so we can go to breakfast. And then we are going to the castle. Get up dad! Please! And behave yourself!"
Ryan grinned at them and then at Andrew,

"That was so you!", he said and got out of bed as his husband giggled.

Andrew ran a bath for Elizabeth and then picked out clothes with the two tots while Ryan was in the shower. Cameron scooped some doggie chunks into Rascal's bowl, put it down for the puppy to eat and filled his water feeder with fresh water.
When Ryan was done, he got Elizabeth into the bath while Andrew and Cameron shared the shower. Then they all went to the bedroom to get dressed. Just then the bedside telephone rang and Cameron ran to answer it.

"Lo, this is Cameron Devlin-Major speaking", getting grins from both his dads as they listened to his side of the conversation.

"Morning gran. Aunty Elaine at school teached us how to answer the phone", he said importantly.
"Yes gran. We are getting dressed to go have breakfast. Then we going to see Cinderella in her castle. Did you see the castle, gran? Daddy showed us this morning. It was all lighted up. And dad says we are going to get a surprise. But he won't tell us what the surprise is, 'cause then it won't be a surprise", he rattled off, hardly taking a breath.
"Yes gran, okay. Here he is. Love you lots", he said and handed the phone to Ryan.

"Hi mom. Good morning. How did you and dad sleep?"

"Morning Ry. We both slept well, thank you. And you?"

"Not too bad. Elizabeth woke us before dawn. I think she had a nightmare and then didn't know where we were, so she started crying. But we brought them to our bed after showing them the castle all lit up. We woke up about half an hour ago and we're getting ready for breakfast".

"Oh good, your father says he's starving. How long are you going to be?"

"Not long. A few minutes. We have to decide where we're going for breakfast. There are a couple of options. Can we stop off at your room on the way past?"

"Yes please darling. We are ready".

"Okay mom. See you in a few minutes", and he ended the call. He grinned at Andrew.

"Mom says dad is starving. But by the sounds of her voice, she is just as eager to see the Magic Kingdom as the kids are"

They left Rascal sleeping and exactly one minute later the twins were knocking on their grandparents door and heading for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare. There was a fairly long queue of people waiting for tables, but due to them being guests in the hotel, the Devlin-Majors were accommodated immediately and shown to a vacant table. The twins heads and eyes did not stop moving as they surveyed the restaurant and Ryan nudged Andrew, nod-ding at the children. Elizabeth slid into the booth next to Ryan and tapped his arm.

"Daddy, daddy, there's Mary Poppins", she said loudly. The cast member who was dressed as Mary Poppins heard her remark and turned to smile at them, while walking closer to the table.

"Hello there princess. You know my name. What is your name?"

Elizabeth suddenly became very shy and burrowed close to her daddy, who encouraged her.

"See, even Mary Poppins knows you are a princess. Go on, tell her your name!"
Elizabeth peeked warily at the girl and studied her, then as if deciding that she was okay, she sat up and said matter-of-factly,

"My name is Elizabeth Devlin-Major. And that is my twin brother, Cameron", pointing at him.

"Well hello Elizabeth. Hello Cameron. Welcome to Disney World. How long have you been here? "

"We got here last night", she said, and Andrew added.

"We arrived very late last night. We are here for a week"

"Well, welcome to you all. We hope you enjoy your stay", handing them each an invitation to view 'Aladdin', the featured Movie under the Stars that evening. "Now enjoy your Supercalifragilistic breakfast and we hope to see you all tonight".

Ryan thanked her.

"I'm quite sure our two munchkins will not let us forget" and she moved on to her next table.

The breakfast buffet had something for everyone and the four adults all had hearty meals. The twins both had Mickey Waffles with old fashioned syrup and bacon, and Andrew insisted they have some fresh fruit as well .
Elizabeth was very eager to get going, so when they all stood up to leave, she was already headed for the exit and was not impressed when Ryan called her back and scolded her.

"Elizabeth, do not go wandering off on your own. Please wait for us! Or we will go straight back to the room. Am I clear?"
Her bottom lip quivered and her eyes filled with tears. She nodded and said quietly,

"Yes dad" and went to Andrew to take his hand.

Andrew squatted down and hugged her.

"Dad is just worried about you, my angel. Look around at all the people. If you get lost, what are you going to do? How are we going to find you in all these people? Daddy and I know you are excited. But you have to be careful and stay close to us. Okay?"
She nodded again.

"Yes daddy. Sorry daddy".

"Good. Now go say sorry to dad as well"

She turned and walked to where her dad was standing at the cashier with Cameron, busy signing the bill and leaned against his leg. He looked down and picked her up.

"I'm sorry dad", she whispered, giving him a hug.

"Thank you, Princess. I just don't want you to run off on your own. Last night daddy and I said we would not leave you. But how can we do that if you run off without us? Do you understand what I am saying?"
She nodded with a serious expression on her face.

"Yes dad. I understand".
He looked at Cameron and said.,

"That means you too Cam. Did you understand?"

"Yes dad", the little boy replied quietly.

"Okay, good. Now let's forget what happened and enjoy ourselves. It's time for your surprise anyway. So let's go!", he said, taking her small hand in his. Ever the big brother, even if by only a few minutes, Cameron took her other hand and walked next to her. Janice just shook her head and smiled at the retreating trio.

"Parenting 101 in action. I'm really impressed with the way you boys handled that. They're growing up so quickly. You do sometimes have to reign in their attempts at independence. But they both know now why Elizabeth was scolded".
David grinned at his wife.

"I'm sure he won't remember it, but I had the exact same conversation with him at about the same age too. Must run in the family!"

"They don't like it when Ryan raises his voice and even less when I do. That's twice in three days that he's scolded them and they're a little in awe of him right now. I have a feeling they will both be on their best behaviour for a while. Not they're exactly naughty. But like most kids, they will try to push the boundaries on occasion".

They followed Ryan and the twins into the cavernous lobby of the hotel and once again the twins necks were swivelling and craning as they took in everything around them. They stopped at the guest services desk where they were each fitted with a Magic Band. Ryan squatted down and explained the bands to them.

"These bands let you pay for things you buy or want to ride on here in Disney and it will be added onto our room account. It even opens the bedroom door. That doesn't mean you can just buy everything you see. Ask me or daddy first, okay?".
Two small heads nodded sagely.

"Yes dad, okay".
Elizabeth stood in front of her dad and asked,

"Dad, was that our surprise?"
He smiled at her and replied,

"No my princess, your surprise is much bigger. How would you like to be a real princess?"
Elizabeth positively beamed.

"I would love it, daddy. How do we do that?"

"Come with me and I will show you. And Cameron can be a knight if he wants to".

They walked to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique situated above the lobby and Elizabeth's eyes were on stalks when the entered the store.

"Good morning, we have 10am reservations, Devlin-Major", Andrew told the young lady at the reception desk. She wore a name badge which revealed her name as Victoria, and under her name was printed 'Fairy Godmother in Training'.
She had a look at the reservations system and nodded,

"Ah yes, Elizabeth and Cameron. Welcome! Have you decided which package you want?"

"Yes, the Deluxe Castle and the Deluxe Knight", he advised her.

"Perfect!" She bent down in front of the twins.

"When were are done, you are going to look amazing. I see you are going to the castle. So we are going to have to make you look very special to meet Cinderella. Please step this way and we can get started. Just one more thing! We won't let you see what you look like until you are dressed and ready to go"

She led them to a booth and sat the children down in two chairs and sat on a stool in front of them.

"Right, I need to know how you want your hair Elizabeth. I have here some styles that would be suitable for the length of your hair. Look at them and choose which one you want".

Elizabeth looked uncertainly at her dads and they both knelt down on either side of her chair. David was moving around them with the video camera.

"It's okay princess", Ryan said gently. "Daddy and I will help you. Just have a look at the pictures and tell us how you want your hair done"
She chewed on her bottom lip and nodded.

"Okay dad".
She looked at all the pictures and Andrew noticed that she hesitated on two of the styles. When she was done, she looked to Andrew, still uncertain. He pulled up the two that he thought she preferred.

"I think you like these two, don't you?"
She nodded and answered softly,

"Yes daddy"

"So which one would you like"
She studied the two photographs for a few moments and then pointed to one.

"This one, I think"

"Okay, good". He glanced at Victoria. "We'll go with this one. Will it be possible?"
She smiled and nodded.

"It's perfect. No problem at all"

She clapped her hands and another 'Fairy Godmother in Training', Heather, appeared.

"While I do your hair and make-up, Heather is going to look after Cameron"

The two ladies got busy while Andrew took over from David with the camera. Ryan and his parents made them-selves comfortable on two nearby couches.
Elizabeth had chosen a style that suited her perfectly, accentuating her cheekbones and long neck. Her blonde hair was pulled back off her face and curled into a chignon on the top of her head. It unfortunately also revealed the slight discolouration of what remained of the bruise on the side of her head. Andrew stepped forward and spoke to Victoria.

"Would it be possible to cover up the bruise on the side of the head. Make it less noticeable", he asked.

"Yes sure, no problem. I can either give her some curls to cover it or we can disguise it with make-up. What happened?"

"She slipped down on embankment at Lake Louise just over a week ago and hit her head on a rock. Scared us half to death!"

"I'm sure. I think covering it with make-up will be a better solution. The bangs hanging down the side of her face will spoil the look", Victoria replied.

The hairstyle was done quickly and expertly and she got started on Elizabeth's face. Meanwhile, Cameron's short hair had been gelled and made spiky with a slight Mohican on top and he was ready to choose the costume he wanted to wear.

Two clothes racks were wheeled in with soft pull-on trousers in dozens of colours and shades, as well as
tunic style tops and cloaks.
Once again, a desperate glance had his dads moving to his side.

"Will you help me to choose, please", he asked softly.

"Why don't you choose what you like and dad and I will tell you if it will be okay. How does that sound?", Andrew encouraged him.

He nodded and stood up to have a closer look at the offerings. After a while he selected a baby blue tunic with a dark blue design on the bottom and neckline. Then he browsed through the cloaks and chose a plain dark blue knee - length cloak. Andrew was amazed that he had instinctively chosen colours that wouldcompliment his eyes and hair. The trousers proved a little more difficult, but he eventually chose a pair in a fawn colour.
His dads had not said anything until he was done and turned to them. Andrew took the clothes and laid them out against the couch so that Cameron could see what the entire ensemble looked like. And his dad was very im-pressed. It all worked together perfectly.

"Well, what do you think Cam? Are you happy with your choices", he asked his son.
Cameron gazed at the clothing for a while and then nodded.

"Yes daddy, I like it", he said with certainty.
Andrew bent down and hugged him.

"Well done! It suits you perfectly"
The little boy beamed.

"Really?"
Ryan let next to him and grinned at him.

"Really. You chose very well".
He hugged both his dads.

"Thank you", he told them softly.
The last things he had to choose were his mighty sword and shield and once again his dads approved of his choice, a dark blue with a black rim and baby blue designs on the front.
Victoria had finished with Elizabeth's make-up and Andrew gasped when he saw her and his eyes filled with tears.
His little girl looked absolutely stunning. The make-up had not been over applied and merely enhanced her features. What made him catch his breath was just how much she looked like his mother in photographs he had seen of her at the same age. Elizabeth saw his reaction and ran to his side.

"Daddy! Daddy! What's wrong? Don't you like it?".

Glancing at him, Ryan noticed his reaction as well and put his arm around Andrew's shoulders, knowing imme-diately what had caused the reaction. Andrew picked Elizabeth up.

"I do like it baby girl. Very much. You just look so much like your grandmother, my mother. I so wish she was alive to see you now".
Victoria approached them.

"We need to choose her dress. There's too many of them to bring in here, so if you can follow me, we can go have a look".
Ryan turned to his parents.

"Dad, mom. Will you stay here with Cam? We'll be as quick as we can".
"Yes sure Ry, we'll keep an eye on him"

They followed Victoria through the store to a huge room containing hundreds of Princess dresses. Andrew was worried Elizabeth's eyes would never go back to their normal size. In the end it took almost twenty minutes for their daughter to make her choice.
A beautiful emerald green ballroom style dress, overlaid with soft filmy white tulle, and silver and white em-broidered leaf shapes embellished with crystals cascading over the bodice and one side of the skirt. It cost a little extra, but they both reasoned it was for their princess and so the extra cost was justified. Ryan had also noticed her staring wistfully at a crystal tiara so he surreptitiously bought that for her as well.
Elizabeth changed into her dress and they returned to their booth where the others waited and while they all fussed over her, Andrew sat down next to Cameron who was just quietly observing his twin. He bent down to look his son in the eyes.

"I know what you are thinking, little man. And you are quite right. Elizabeth's outfit cost a lot more than yours did. Unfortunately, girls clothing costs a lot more than boys clothing. But, your boots we bought in Calgary cost almost as much as Elizabeth's dress. So you can't be too unhappy. Do you understand?
Cameron nodded, looking a lot happier.

"Yes daddy. Thank you", he replied quietly.
Andrew hugged him and held his fist out for a fistbump. Cameron grinned, bumped his little fist against Andrew's, and giggled. Victoria called out,

"Cameron, it time for you to see what you look like. Come stand here next to Elizabeth"

Andrew took his hand and they walked to where everyone was standing. They were facing two curtains which hid a large mirror. Ryan raised a querying eyebrow and Andrew shook his head, mouthing "Later"
.
"Right, are we ready! Three, two one!", Victoria counted down and opened the curtains. Both children broke out in huge smiles. They both looked amazing. Elizabeth spun round and ran to her dads.

"Thank you. I look sooo pretty. Just like a princess".
Ryan knelt down and said,

"But there's one thing a princess needs that you haven't got"
Elizabeth looked puzzled.

"What's that dad?"

"One of these!", he said revealing the tiara.
Her eyes widened and she flung herself into Ryan's arms.

"Oh it's beautiful. Thank you dad". She hugged Andrew as well. "Thank you daddy. I love you both so much".

"It's a pleasure my angel. But I need to tell you something ", Andrew said, and he pulled Cameron closer.
"To make you a princess cost a lot more than what it cost to make Cam a knight. A lot more! So dad and I are going to buy Cam something so that we have spent the same on both of you. Understand?"
Elizabeth nodded.

"Yes daddy, I understand".

"Good! Right, let's get out of here before we spend even more money".
The family all headed for the desk to pay the bill and when they got there Andrew looked at his son.

"Cam, hold up your Magic Band so that Victoria can scan it", which he quickly did.

"Good boy, now the charge for your makeovers are on our room account. See how easy it is. That's why you must check with daddy or myself first before you use the Magic Bands, okay".
They both nodded.

"Yes dad", they said in unison.

Andrew slipped Victoria and Heather each a gratuity and they headed for the monorail to get to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.

The week at Walt Disney World sped by and revolved almost exclusively around the children. The adults fun was just watching the utter thrill the twins got from seeing and inter-acting with their favourite storytime characters. They met Cinderella, and had dinner in her castle, they attended the parade twice, on that first day and the last. They were captivated by the fireworks at night, at both the Castle and at Epcot and squealed in delight on the rides at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon where they rented a Beachcomer Shack for the morning to be as close to the water as possible.
They rode Splash Mountain where they all got thoroughly soaked, which none of them really were bothered with as the day was swelteringly hot.
Elizabeth's favourite attraction was the 'Frozen ever after' boat ride at Epcot while Cameron's was the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and the 'Space Mountain' ride and all too soon the week was over and they were preparing to depart to Miami for the few days with Dan and Joan Kinley.

A limo picked them up at the resort and transported them to Orlando Executive Airport, an almost thirty minute journey through light midmorning traffic. The limo dropped them at the Atlantic Aviation FBO, where they per-formed the check in procedure like seasoned professionals.

"Good morning, Devlin-Major party departing on N901KL to Opa Locka", Ryan advised the CSR who was behind the reception desk.

"Ah yes, good morning Mr Devlin-Major. Four adults , two children and a daschund, I believe. Your aircraft is all ready for you. Please relax and have a snack and something to drink while the porters attend to your luggage. As soon as it is all loaded, we can board you".

"Thank you. It's the luggage on the trolleys. We'll take the rest in the cabin with us".

She nodded and indicated for the porters and then ushered them into the plush lounge/restaurant where they all ordered sodas, and sipped at them while waiting for their boarding call. David and Janice were bug-eyed as they surveyed their surroundings.

"So this is how the other half live, is it?", Janice asked the boys.

"I guess so, mom, Andrew replied. "Just remember, you are the other half now. But yeah, I must admit, it's an amazing way to travel. No crowds, no schedules. Great service. And, of course, you have an entire jet all to yourself. Very luxurious! You'll see for yourself when we get to the plane".

"Mom and I would never of had this experience if it wasn't for you two", David added. "It's been an amazing trip so far. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought I would be travelling as luxuriously as we have. Let alone flying on a private jet. It's simply mind boggling! You have spoilt us!"
Ryan laughed.

"It's been our pleasure, dad. As I told you before, it goes with the circles we move in. If it wasn't for Blue Bay and 'Belle Catherine', I doubt we would be here either. We could travel like this all the time if we wanted to. But it isn't Drew and I. Even business class still feels like an extravagance, as much as we enjoy it, and we're both really pleased that we have been able to share the experience with you and mom".

"The only problem", added Andrew, "is that it totally ruins commercial travel for you. You'll see when we fly back home".

Cameron and Elizabeth had wandered to the windows overlooking the tarmac and were watching the luggage being loaded into the plane. Cameron had still not completely accepted that the luggage was not going to get lost. Their dad's looked up when Cameron called them and beaconed them to come closer.
The adults all walked to where the twins were. Cameron was holding Rascal in his arms, although the puppy's leash was attached to his collar.

"Dad, is that the plane we are going to fly in?, he asked excitedly.
Ryan squatted down next his son.

"Yes my boy. That's the plane we are going in".
"But daddy, where are all the other people? It is only us here!", he questioned.

"That's because that plane is only for us. No one else will fly with us!"
Elizabeth was wide eyed.

"Really daddy! Why are we the only ones who are going to fly on that plane. Do the other people not want to fly on it?", she asked with a concerned look on her face.

"My darling, let me tell you, they would love to fly on that plane. But that plane belongs to Uncle Dan and Aunty Joan, and they sent it here to pick us up especially to fly us to where they stay. I don't think you will remember them. You were still small when we were here last time. You have flown in that plane before. When you were still babies we went to sail on their yacht in the Mediterranean and they sent that same plane to Cape Town to fly us there and back", Andrew explained.

"Wow, they must be very rich then", Cameron said with awe.

"Well, I guess they are, my boy. But they are also very generous and very good friends of dad and I. They have stayed at the lodge many times and sailed with us, and you, on 'Belle Catherine' as well", Andrew told him. "We are going to stay in their home in Miami for the next few days, before we go home".

Just then, the CSR approached them.

"Mr Devlin-Major, we're ready to board you now. Please follow me!"

The jet was parked side on to the FBO terminal, literally almost at the door out to the tarmac. The wingtip was only a few metres away from the building, so they did not have far to walk. Peter Emerson and Michelle broke into wide smiles when the family exited the terminal and approached the boarding door. Peter stepped forward and extended his hand in greeting.

"Andrew, Ryan, it's great to see you again Welcome back. It's been a while".
Andrew and Ryan returned his greeting and Ryan replied,

"Hi Peter. Hello Michelle. It's good to see you too. Alow me to introduce my parents, David and Janice Major. Dad, mom, Peter Emerson, our captain and Michelle, our flight attendant."
Once the greetings were done with, Michelle grinned down at the twins.

"And you two. I cannot believe the last time we saw you was when you were still tiny babies. Look at you now! All grown up! It is Cameron and Elizabeth if I remember correctly? Come on, let's get you into the cabin and out of this humidity. It's far more comfortable in there"

She held out her hands to the twins who, after giving their dad's a quick glance and getting nods of approval, each took a hand and walked with her to the stairs and then followed her into the interior of the jet. Their grand-and dad's followed them and Peter brought up the rear, raising the boarding stairs behind him.

David and Janice took the second row of seats, leaving the two sets of club seating for the boys and the twins, one on either side of the aisle with one of the twins opposite them and Cameron keeping Rascal with him. Michelle made sure they were all buckled in, then stepped away to secure the door and the cabinwhile Peter ran through the safety briefing. Before returning to the cockpit, he told them,

"Colin is flying the takeoff today, so he will come back a bit later to say hi. Our flying time is just over ninety minutes, so sit back and relax. Michelle will be serving refreshments once we level out. Enjoy the flight".

He disappeared into the cockpit, closing the door behind him and Michelle came back with cool cloths for their faces and glasses of refreshing, mint spiked, fresh lemonade. First one engine and then the other whined behind them as Colin fired them up and shortly after they were trundling to the end of the runway.
With it being a short flight, and lightly loaded, the takeoff run was short and powerful, and then they were rocketi-ng into the clear blue sky, heading in a southerly direction and they reached their cruising altitude very quickly.
There was initially a bit of turbulence due to the hot temperatures, but once they levelled off, it was perfectly smooth flying.
Michelle took drinks orders and offered a basket with snacks. Then she approached them and said,

"Mrs Kinley arranged for some light refreshments. She is organising a lunch meal once you arrive at the house. If you press the third button on the side of your armrest, your seat will rotate towards the aisle. I
have table inserts that slide into the seats to form a table"

In very short order, they were sitting at a white cloth covered table, much to everyone's facination, especially the twins. Cameron's big eyes and "Wow dad, that's so cool", told the whole story.

Colin came to say hello and have a quick chat, but all too soon it was back to business and he had to return to the cockpit to prepare for their arrival.
They landed at Opa Locka Executive Airport in the midst of a downpour and were very surprised and impressed when the jet came to a stop under a massive portico extending from the front of the FBO, and were able to dis-embark without getting wet.
A limo arrived just as they left the plane and came to a stop a short distance away, also under the portico. The Miami CSR approached them from the terminal.

"Good afternoon folks, welcome to Miami. Mrs Kinley has arranged the limousine to drive you to their home . If you would care to step this way, we can get you settled while the porters put your luggage into the trunk". She indicated to the limo driver to move the vehicle closer and he drove around the nose of the jet to come to a stop close to the stairs. The CSR opened the limo door and stepped aside to allow them to get in, after thanking the crew and slipping them each a gratuity, and then shut the door with a solid 'thunk'. The luggage was quickly loaded and with a wave to the crew, they drove away.

The early lunchtime traffic was fairly light so the trip only took about twenty five minutes, driving down the I-95, then taking the I-95 off ramp to cross Biscayne Bay on the Julia Tuttle Causeway to Miami Beach where their hosts home was located.
The limo turned into the vast, paved circular driveway, and Andrew was, once again, struck by just how imposing the mansion looked, even from their present perspective.

The only visible parts of the home were the three car garage with its huge dark wood doors, the sheltered loggia leading to a lovely columned portico and the terracotta coloured roof supported by brilliant white walls. A tall palm tree soared into the blue, cloud flecked sky and foliage of more palms and other trees peeked out above the roofline on the far side of the house. Even though Dan and Joan were the sole occupants, apart from their staff, it was clear that the house was still very much a home geared towards the younger family members, as a basketball ring and net hung from the facade of the garage. The doors to the residence opened as they emerged from the limo and Dan and Joan stepped out from under the shade of the portico, beaming.

"Andrew, Ryan, welcome. It's so good to see you. We have missed our times together", Joan said in welcome, enveloping first Andrew in her arms and pecking both cheeks, before repeating the gesture with Ryan. Dan extended this hand to both of them as well.

"Welcome back boys. It's been too long. Really good to see you"
Ryan turned to his David and Janice.

"Dan, Joan, you remember my parents. And Cameron and Elizabeth".

"Yes, of course we do", replied Joan, "Welcome!" She looked down at the twins. "And you two, just look how you've got all grown up", taking their faces in her hands and kissing them on the forehead. "You're both so beautiful. Come in, come in. Let's get out of this humidity".She ushered them into the blessed coolness of the house while a maid and a house boy unloaded the luggage.

The entrance foyer opened into a vast, T-shaped, double volume, Italian marble floored, open plan room housing a white leather, U-shape seating area on a black and white zebra striped rug. A pair of lifesize, red painted, metal flamingoes stood guard over the seating. A dining area, up one step, with a twelve seater table was off to one side, backed by the open plan kitchen, while another snug seating area was located in the far left corner and a plush bar area was on the right. Black decorative wrought iron balustrades encircled the sides and rear of the room on the upper bedroom area.

The entire front of the room had full length windows and doors which accessed a paved, columned patio and pool deck, with the water of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline visible through them. Beyond the pool, a large con-crete dock was also visible in the water at the bottom of the garden. Janice touched Joan's arm.

"Oh, your home is beautiful Joan. And the views are just amazing!"

"Thank you, Janice. To be quite honest the place it far too big for just Dan and myself. But this is where our children grew up. We built the place in 1991 and made some changes in 2001. This room was three small enclosed rooms, but we knocked out walls and made it the way it is now. It works much better for our lifestyle, especially when our grandchildren are here. If you would follow me, I'll show you to your bedrooms".

She led them through a door in the snug into a small vestibule with a staircase rising to the floor above and a door down a short corridor.

"Right, David and Janice, this bedroom here is yours. It opens directly onto the patio. Boys, you and the
children are up the stairs. Follow me"

She stood aside as the house boy arrived with the Majors luggage and then led them up the stairs into a suite of rooms on the upper floor with two bedrooms and it's own sitting area. A balcony wrapped around the sides facing the bay and the pool.

"I'll leave you all to get settled. We're having a light lunch on the pool patio. Get comfortable and come down when you are ready. I'll tell David and Janice on my way back downstairs", Joan told them.Andrew hugged her again and said,

"This is gorgeous. Thank you for inviting us to stay".

"It's our pleasure, boys. The kids are coming for the weekend as well. They'll all be here tomorrow after lunch. So we will have a full house for the weekend"

After she left them, Andrew and Ryan got the twins and Rascal organised in the second bedroom and then unpacked a few things themselves for the three days before splashing some cool water on their faces, changed into boardshorts, t-shirts and loafers and went downstairs, stopping off for David and Janice on the way.

They found their hosts on the covered patio, Dan grilling marinated chicken breasts on a gas-fired BBQ grill while Joan assisted their cook with laying out a selection of cold salads. A tray with large, moisture beaded glasses stood on the wet bar off to one side.

"Ah, there you are", Joan said, smiling when they appeared. "All settled, I hope. Grab yourselves a glass and come sit down at the table. Unless you want to join Dan at the grill"

While Janice joined Joan at the table, Andrew, Ryan and David joined Dan, and the twins took Rascal for some play in the garden and to explore.

"Cam, Elizabeth. Don't go too close to the water", Ryan called after them.
Joan grinned when Cameron rolled his eyes.

"Yes dad, okay"

"I cannot believe how they've grown up since you were here last. They were still babies then". She turned to Janice. "You must be very proud of how the boys have cared for Cameron and Elizabeth. I think they were very
brave taking on the responsibility of twin babies".
Janice nodded.

"I am! I wasn't worried about Andrew as much as I was about Ryan. Andrew has the far more nurturing personality", Jan replied, grinning when Ryan said sarcastically,

"Thanks a lot mom! I heard that!"

"I'm just saying how I felt. Especially after your assault. But I'm the first to admit that you both exceeded my expectations. You've been fantastic with them".

Lunch was a relaxed, happy affair with old friends catching up on news and afterwards, while they watched the twins and Rascal cavorting in the pool, Andrew enquired as to the situation regarding Dan's health.

"I'm a lot better than I was Andrew, thank you. I was completely paralysed down the left side after the stroke. Battled to speak as well. It was hard on Joan. But as you see, with intensive therapy, I'm a lot betternow. Just a bit of residue weakness on the left. Other than that, I'm just peachy", he told them.

"Dan's obviously not nearly as involved in the company as what he was. He's still chairman of the board", Joan added, "but the children are running the company completely now. And the board meetings alternate between Dallas and here. That's actually the other reason the kids are coming this weekend. There's a board meeting on Tuesday morning".

"Do you hold the board meetings here at home?", Ryan enquired.

"No, we normally move 'Texas Lass' from the marina for the day and moor her here at the dock. The beach club area gets converted into a boardroom. We try to keep things fairly informal, but businesslike at the same time, so the yacht is ideal".

The remainder of the afternoon was just spent relaxing and swimming with the twins and Rascal. Joan wanted to hit the supermarket and Janice and Elizabeth went with her while the guys stayed home and chilled.
When the ladies returned home, Andrew noticed a lot of consultation between Joan and her cook, who cast surreptitious glances in his direction and he wondered what was going on.

In the late afternoon, clouds began building up, but it remained very hot and humid, which eventually drove them all indoors seeking relief from the air-conditioning. They all retired to their bedrooms to freshen up and change for dinner and when Andrew descended the stairs into the living area, very familiar aromas greeted him.

He grinned at the look of trepidation on the cooks face when she saw him approaching her domain.

"Permission to enter?", he asked, peering around the doorframe.

"Yes, of course, Mr Andrew", she replied and then hesitated. "Is it fine if I call you Mr Andrew? Miss Joan said you wouldn't mind".

"No problem at all. I'm Mr Andrew to all my staff back home. May I ask your name?"

"Oh surely, yes. Loretta", taking Andrew's hand as he held it out in greeting.

"The aromas coming from here are amazing. At a guess, I would say we are having Bobotie for dinner, followed by Malva Pudding".
Loretta grinned.

"You're right! Miss Joan asked me to make you something from South Africa because you've been away for so long. Mr Dan and Miss Joan often ask me to make it after you gave her the recipes during their first trip to your yacht. I'm just a bit nervous making it for you. It is your recipe after all".

"Loretta, believe me when I say it's got to be really bad before I refuse to eat anything. But if it tastes as good as it smells, I don't think you have anything to be concerned about. It smells absolutely amazing!", he told her.

"Why thank you Mr Andrew. I hope you enjoy the taste of home", she replied, looking happier as she glanced over his shoulder.

"Why am I not surprised you're in the kitchen, Andrew?", Joan asked as she stopped next to him.

"I hope you don't mind? Just smelled all these fabulous aromas and my curiosity got the better of me. I'm really looking forward to dinner".

When everyone has emerged from their bedrooms, Dan took up station behind the bar and dispensed pre-
dinner drinks. While they were busy, Ryan asked Cameron to get Rascals food ready so that he could eat while they were dining.

The patio table had once again been set for dinner, looking suitably elegant. The humidity had diminished somewhat while they were freshening up and it was quite dark already due to the heavy, threatening cloud. Lightning flashes and the distant rumble of thunder heralded an approaching thunderstorm which did not come as a surprise considering the hot day they had experienced.

Dinner was delicious!
A fresh garden salad with poached prawns and avocado (Joan had not forgotten Andrew's love of the creamy textured fruit), Bobotie with yellow rice, raisins and flaked almonds, sambals and chutney. Ryan went into raptures over the Malva Pudding, much to Loretta's delight. She visibly preened when he complimented her and asked for seconds.

The storm broke while they were dining, but the meal was unaffected due to the covered patio they were dining on. The lightning show was spectacular over the bay and Miami was lit up numerous times by theflashes.
After dinner, the twins disappeared with Rascal into the snug to watch TV, and the adults remained on the patio, chatting, drinking coffee and liqueurs.

Just before 10pm, Andrew went to check on Cameron and Elizabeth and found them fast asleep on the couches in the snug, and Rascal cuddled with Elizabeth. His chest tightened as he gazed at his two children, his love for them very evident in his expression. He walked back to the patio, feeling incredibly blessed and smiled when Ryan looked at him enquiringly.

"They're both asleep. Can we take them upstairs?", he asked his husband.

The two older couples indicated that they were heading off to bed as well, so the boys did the same, carrying their sleeping offspring upstairs as they went, followed by Rascal who hopped up onto Cameron's bed.
With a bit of fuss, they got the twins into pyjamas and into bed and then sat on the balcony of their room, just enjoying one anothers quiet company and closeness. Before getting into bed, they had their final bi-weekly Skype session with Claude and Richard, the next meeting taking place once they were home.
They refrained from an bedtime athletics due to David and Janice sleeping directly below them, but spooned together as usual before falling asleep.

Friday morning dawned with clear blue skies and the air smelled fresh and clean after the storm. The tempera-ture down, thanks to a welcome cooling breeze and the humidity was lower as well. After a hearty breakfast, they all piled into Dan's imposing Humvee, and he and Joan drove them to the South Beach area to explore and spend some time on the beach. Andrew took dozens of photographs of the stunning Art Deco style hotels and apart-ment blocks, all beautifully restored and decorated. When the exploring was done, they went to the beach for a while to have a quick swim, then had a delicious lunch at one of the beachside venues and were back at the house just after 3pm, as the first of the Kinley offspring were due to arrive about that time.

That turned out to be the case, as they had only just closed the front door, when Tanner, Julia and Tanner Jnr. arrived, followed shortly after by Robert and Amanda, and Tessa, Brandon and Cassandra who all travelled together. The new arrivals all disappeared into their bedrooms and before long Tanner Jnr. or TK, as the family referred to him, and Cassie came running down the stairs heading for the swimming pool, yelling for Cameron and Elizabeth to join them.
Andrew and Ryan pulled on swimshorts and joined the children, followed by Tanner and Brandon as well. They all ended up playing tag in the pool and great fun was had by all judging by the screams, squeals and laughter from those in the pool, and the amused observers on the patio.

As dinnertime neared, Andrew and Ryan called the twins out of the pool to change for dinner, and Joan told them not to bother and they were welcome to stay in swimming gear if they wished. None of the Kinleys seemed to be in a hurry to dress for dinner, so the boys stayed as they were, just pulling on a golf shirt each.

Tanner and Brandon fired up the BBQ grill to cook steaks and lobster tails that Loretta had carried out, along with a platter of Hasselback potatoes with bacon and cheese, a green salad and corn on the cob. She also pre-pared a key lime pie and a deep dish apple pie with cream and ice cream. Needless to say, dinner went down a treat with everyone. The adults remained on the patio chatting and enjoying the balmy evening, while the kids all disappeared into the snug to play video games.

As a result of all the sun, frenetic activity and good food, the twins became sleepy quite early and came to cuddle with their dads and then fell asleep on their laps. When they took the twins upstairs, Andrew and Ryan thanked their hosts for a wonderful day and said their good nights as well. The rest of the household followed soon after.

At breakfast on the Saturday morning, they had a surprise. Joan announced that she and Dan had made reser-vations for all of them to visit the Miami Seaquarium, and for the children to have a Dolphin Encounter.

The encounter meant that the children would have a short classroom session, followed by an opportunity to have dolphins swimming up to them in shallow water and then for 30 minutes, touch the friendly mammals, kiss them and 'shake hands', as well as try out some of the training signals.

Andrew, Ryan, Amanda, Tanner, Julia, Tessa and Brandon had reservations for the Dolphin Odyssey where they would be able to do the same and swim with the dolphins by holding onto their fins. Robert did not go on the excursion as he was playing golf with some business associates. Their reservations also gave then access to all the other shows and exhibitions for that day.

The outing proved to be one of the most enjoyable things the boys had ever done, when they discussed it after-wards. Andrew had been able to film the twins meeting with the dolphins and the look of absolute joy and amazement on their faces touched them both deeply. The twins were no strangers to dolphins, having encountered them may times while sailing on board 'Belle Catherine', but that had always been with them on the yacht and inquisitive mammals in the water, albeit only a few feet away. So the opportunity to actually be in close physical contact with the creatures was very special indeed and yet another memory to be treasured.

David took charge of the camera when Andrew and Ryan had their encounter, and adults they may be, but the expressions on their faces as the sped around the pool holding onto the fin told their own story. Nomatter how old you get, part of the child always stays with you.

They arrived home in the late afternoon, having watched both the dolphin and orca shows, seen their first manatees, watched the stingrays being fed and had photographs taken with the stunning pink Caribbean
flamingos.

The Kinley grandchildren asked the grandmother if they could have pizza for dinner, which Joan agreed to as Loretta had not yet begun any preparations for dinner. As she did not have to worry about dinner, Loretta prepared a sublime tricolour cheesecake, chocolate, classic and butterscotch which endeared her to Ryan for life and who threatened to smuggle her back to South Africa, much to her delight.

While having breakfast on the Sunday morning, 'Texas Lass' announced her arrival with a blast of her horn. She sailed serenely into view before coming to a stop some way offshore. A tender was lowered and came shore, tying up at the base of the stairs of the dock. Jason, and another deckhand came and greeted the family and greeted Andrew and Ryan by name. He, too, was amazed at how the twins had grown up.

He, Dan and Robert then walked down to the dock and everyone watched as the huge yacht pivoted until
she was stern on to the dock and then very slowly came astern, looming bigger and bigger as the distance between her and the dock narrowed. Andrew, Ryan and David finished breakfast and joined the three men on the dock, staying back out of the way, but interested observers nevertheless. They could see Nigel, the captain clearly, standing at the starboard bridge wing station, controlling the yacht from the instruments there.

As 'Texas Lass' got close to the dock, Jason and his colleague caught two lines that were tossed to them from the stern and they hurried to two bollards sunk into the corners of the seawall of the property and began pulling in the lines to which the mooring cables were attached. Andrew and Ryan ran across to help them, and then looped the mooring cables over the bollards. A rattle from the yacht told them that the bow anchors were being dropped, then winches slowly tightened the stern cables, and the yacht came inching astern. The stern beach club door was partly lowered, and when she was just off the dock, the door was opened completely so that it was resting just below the dock. Nigel, had carried out the manouvre expertly and professionally with a minimum of fuss, leaving Andrew and Ryan very impressed. The bow anchor chains rattled again as they were tightened and the anchors dug into the bottom of the bay, preventing the bows front swinging around her stern and a few minutes later she was secure and plugged into theshore power and water supply on the dock.
Dan nodded in satisfaction, and turned to Andrew and Ryan as they came back. They noticed the twins and the Kinley youngsters were close by as well.

"Thanks for the assistance there boys. Appreciated. Davey, would you and Janice care to step aboard for a looksee?"

"I'll go ask mom, dad", Ryan offered, highly amused at his dad being called Davey. He ran back to the patio and Janice immediately stood up and returned with him.
"Dan, I would love to have a look around her. Thank you. She's beautiful"
Dan offered her his arm and turning to the children he said,

"TK, Cass, why don't you bring Cameron and Elizabeth aboard as well we can show them around as well".
Cameron and Elizabeth were wide-eyed as they came closer, looking at their dad's and then at the huge yacht.

"It's okay, guys, go ahead. We'll be right behind you"

TK and Cassie jumped down onto the deck of the beach club door, with Cameron and Elizabeth stepping down more tentatively, aware of the small gap through which the water was visible.
While Dan gave David and Janice their tour, TK and Cassie showed the twins around, with Andrew and Ryan close by, but trying their best not to hover. It was only when they got to the Owners Deck that theystepped closer.

"This is the cabin we stayed in when you were still babies", Ryan told them opening the cabin door, surprising Kirsty, who was putting pillows into fresh pillowcases.

"Oh my word. Ryan, Andrew. What a pleasant surprise! How are you?", her eyes widening as two curious faces peered around Ryan's legs. "Is that the twins?"
Ryan grinned at her.

"Hello Kirsty! Good to see you're also still around. Yes, these are our two munchkins"
She knelt down in to the twins, who now stood in front of Ryan.

"My, haven't you grown up. The last time I saw you, you were still tiny babies. Come let me show you where you slept", she said, standing up and holding out her hands. The twins instinctively glanced at their dad's and getting a nod of approval, took her hands and went with her through the cabin to the smaller one next door. She showed them around, telling them about the room and the bathroom and then sharing that the cabin was where TK and Cassie normally slept when they were on board. They were both very quiet, slightly overawed by the surroun-dings.
They left the cabin with Kirsty, moving down to the main deck.

"Wow dad", Cameron said,"It even has a swimming pool".

"Yeah Cam, it has. And you've had a swim in that pool too. Both of you".

"Have we really dad?", Elizabeth asked finally finding her voice.

"Yes, also when you were still babies. And you slept on that bed there, and played on that carpet there"

They both looked a bit confused, battling to get their heads around being told they had previously been here, but remembering nothing. Dan, David and Janice appeared from the crew galley door, followed by Mark, who smiled when he saw them.

"Andrew, Ryan. Kirsty just told be you were on board. How are you both?, he enquired, shaking their hands.

"Hello Mark. We're very well thank you. Pleased to see you are still on board as well"
He grinned again.

"This is a first home to most of the crew, I think. We love being on board her. And working for Mr and Mrs Kinley is no hardship either. And I'm not saying that because the boss is here. Anyone who doesn't want to work for them, don't know what they are missing"
Dan harrumphed and they all laughed as he said,

"He's just angling for another raise, that's all".

"Your children are both gorgeous as well. Got so big", Mark added.

"Yeah", Andrew replied, "They grow up far too quickly".

Ryan excused himself, wanting to go to the bridge and greet Nigel who was still busy with all the post arrival items. He didn't disturb Nigel for too long and was back a few minutes later as the party started heading for the beach club, where David, Janice and the twins were gobsmacked when Dan asked Jason, who was working nearby getting the room ready for the board meeting, to open the hull beach club doors. They disembarked shortly after, going back to the house as it was almost time for lunch already.
After lunch, Andrew and Ryan packed in readiness for their departure the next day.As a farewell treat, they had dinner on board 'Texas Lass' that night and the Devlin-Majors were all in bed fairly early ahead of their long journey home.

After breakfast on the day of departure, they chilled on the patio, while the twins had a last swim, before
getting ready to leave.

A limo arrived at 12.30 to take them to Opa-Locka Executive airport and there were a lot of tears and hugs. Dan and Joan had refused to accept anything in return for their hospitality, so Andrew and Ryan had slipped gratuities to Loretta , the maid and the house boy which had been grarefully accepted. They knew the Kinleys would not be happy when and if they found out, but felt they would deal with that later.

Joan clung to both of them, her eyes swimming with tears. Dan had said his farewells earlier as he had the board meeting to chair.

"You know you are always welcome here. All you have to do is let us know when you are arriving. All of you. Have a good trip back and let's us know you arrived safely!, she told them, cupping their faces.

"We will Joan", Ryan replied.

"And thank you, once again for everything", Andrew added. "You and and Dan have gone above and beyond as usual, what with private jets and putting us up. Please pass on our thanks to him again too".

"Look after yourselves and these two angels. You're all very special to us. If Dan continues to stay as healthy as he is now, we might see you over Christmas and New Year. We miss your South African hospitality and sun".

"We look forward to it. And you should think about staying at the house with us instead of at the lodge. We would love to have you.", Andrew told her.

"Thank you, darling. We'll think about it and let you know"

They got into the limo, and with a final wave to Joan and the staff standing behind her, started for home.

The drive to Opa-Locka was hassle free and they were driven directly to the plane instead of being dropped at the doors to the FBO. The crew had obviously been advised that they were on their way, as they were all standing at the foot of the boarding stairs waiting for them. Michelle ushered them into the cool cabin immediately to get settled while Colin supervised the loading of the luggage and signed off the paperwork.
Michelle organised drinks while they were waiting and Peter came to chat before going to the cockpit.

"Hi, Devlin-Majors! Good to have you on board again. Our flight to New York is about two hours and fifteen minutes and the weather is good. Shelley will serve a light lunch just after take off and we should get you to New York in good time for your departure from JFK. Mrs Kinley has arranged a transfer from Teterboro to JFK and it will be waiting when you arrive. We won't be able to come back and chat today, the air traffic between here and New York is horrendous so Colin and I will be very busy at the pointy end. Enjoy the flight"

Minutes later, the engines whined as the started up and they were soon airborne heading slightly northwest according to the inflight display on the entertainment system

They chose to dine in their seats as they were instead of moving around, and even before reaching their cruising altitude, Michelle was busy laying the tables for lunch which was a delicious Salad Nicoise featuring seared fresh tuna and a citrus spiked vinaigrette dressing served with warm ciabbata. Dessert was ice cream with a hot fudge sauce.All the adults had coffee and then they just sat back and relaxed, watched movies or gazed down at the landscape passing far below.

Exactly two hours and fifteen minutes after starting their take off run in Miami, the undercarriage tyres kissed the runway at Teterboro Airport. The limousine was waiting, the luggage was swiftly transferred to the vehicle and after thanking the crew and handing them their customary gratuity, they headed for JFK.

The drive took almost an hour , but they were not too concerned as their flight to Frankfurt only departed at 21h55 so they had plenty of time on hand. The one pressing need was to find somewhere for Rascal to have a run before checking in for the flight and going to the departure lounge.

The route crossed the Hudson River on the George Washington Bridge and skirting through the Bronx, then passing though Throgs Neck and crossing into Flushing on the Bronx - Whitestone Bridge and finally passing through Jamaica before arriving at JF Kennedy International.

As on the outward leg, they checked in but delayed going through security in order to sort Rascal out. Ryan had spotted a grassy area close to the construction site of the refurbished old TWA terminal, so just before they they finally prepared to go through security, he took Rascal there, although it took him a while to get there. When they returned, they did security and went to the airline lounge to await boarding.

The twins were complaining that they were hungry, so they all had something to eat from the buffet area and fed Rascal at the same time, crumbling a calming tablet into his food so that he would become sleepy. Andrew also put a few drops of Rescue into the water feeder in his travelling box. At boarding time they walked to the gate and it was there that they discovered that they were seated on the upper deck of the Boeing748i jumbo jet, with seats towards the rear of the small 32-seat cabin. So they were thrilled to be walking up the stairs to their seats for the next almost eight hours inside the huge jet.
They got comfortable, Cameron slipped Rascal out of his box and put him on the seat next to him to sleep, covering himself and the puppy with his blanket.

JFK was busy, with the usual evening push of flights, and after a lengthy taxi, they had quite a long wait before they could actually take off.

The flight proceeded uneventfully with an excellent late dinner and a good breakfast before landing at Frankfurt-am-Main at 11h35. They had a 10h40 minute layover, and as their Schengen visas were still valid, they opted to pass though immigration, leaving most of the luggage in lockers, and checked into the Hilton Garden Inn at the airport until their departure at 22h15 that night.

The afternoon was spent resting, eating and watching movies and they all had showers before checking out and returning to the airport to check in for the final leg home.

Cameron was disappointed that the plane to Cape Town did not have an upper deck, and although the Airbus A343 was a lot older than the Boeing on the previous flight, it was nevertheless still a very comfortable and relaxing flight.
Once again, the main meals were dinner and breakfast and they touched down on home soil at 10h00 after an 11h45 minute flight.
After being away for almost a month, it felt good to be home!

Copyright © 2021 Andre Delport; All Rights Reserved.
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A huge thank you to all go you who read, reacted and commented on 'Never walk alone'. I still cannot believe the reaction it got. I hope 'Walk On' gives similar enjoyment.

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Andre, Walk On has been such a treat to read, far beyond simple "enjoyment". Like Never walk alone,  you do more than just tell a story, you welcome us into the settings like we are there. Your own personal travels are clearly reflected in how you describe events taking place.

Drew and Ryan have a wonderful time introducing Lisbeth and Cam (and Rascal) as well as David and Janice to western Canada. Then their trip to Disney World made my heart soar. 

Meeting again with Joan, Dan and families, it was great to see how welcome Ryan, Drew and family are; almost extended relatives and not just friends. 

I eagerly look forward to what's to come.

Tony B (aka Anton).

Ps. You have me desperately looking for Bobotie. Have to check with my local Boerewors supplier. Having the South African Embassy here in Ottawa encourages availability. 

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Loving the story. I know they are happy to be home. To me one of the best parts of a trip is coming home. Looking forward to next weeks installment, Thanks.

 

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7 hours ago, Anton_Cloche said:

Andre, Walk On has been such a treat to read, far beyond simple "enjoyment". Like Never walk alone,  you do more than just tell a story, you welcome us into the settings like we are there. Your own personal travels are clearly reflected in how you describe events taking place.

Drew and Ryan have a wonderful time introducing Lisbeth and Cam (and Rascal) as well as David and Janice to western Canada. Then their trip to Disney World made my heart soar. 

Meeting again with Joan, Dan and families, it was great to see how welcome Ryan, Drew and family are; almost extended relatives and not just friends. 

I eagerly look forward to what's to come.

Tony B (aka Anton).

Ps. You have me desperately looking for Bobotie. Have to check with my local Boerewors supplier. Having the South African Embassy here in Ottawa encourages availability. 

Hi Anton, thanks for the great comment.

Have you researched a recipe for bobotie. It's basically lamb mince (I think you guys refer to it as ground lamb) although you can use ground beef as well with just as a good a result. Then spices and topped with beaten egg and baked. if you want a recipe, send me a PM and I will send one to you.

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What a fantastic chapter, very entertaining and as @Anton_Clochetells us, it is like being there!! I was able to hold out on the food till the Hasselback potatoes made their appearance...not to mention the king of pies...Key Lime...my diet wants words with you!!!😉

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5 hours ago, drsawzall said:

What a fantastic chapter, very entertaining and as @Anton_Clochetells us, it is like being there!! I was able to hold out on the food till the Hasselback potatoes made their appearance...not to mention the king of pies...Key Lime...my diet wants words with you!!!😉

@drsawzall, thanks for the comment. My apologies for making your life harder than it should be, but hopefully reading the book gives some relief as well. I'm not sure if it was a other one of your comments I replied to in an earlier chapter in Book1, but I was once where you are now and managed to lose almost 45 pounds on Weight watchers.  And have never regretted it. It takes work to keep the weight down, but just keeping to the principles of the diet works just great.

Disney is not called The Magic Kingdom for nothing. Even as an adult, When I was there, it was an amazing experience. The place just brings out the child in all of us and if it doesn't affect you, you either have serious problems, are comatose or already dead!!

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This was a great chapter to read as well as the first 2 chapters. The vacation that they had was special for the twins since they’re older now and they’ll remember the trip more than any others they’ve been on before. I’m glad they enjoyed their time at Disney World along with Ryan’s parents who I’m sure wouldn’t have missed it if they didn’t need to. Now it’s back home to Cape Town and back to work for Andrew and Ryan and back to school for Cameron and Elizabeth.

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Another thoroughly enjoyable chapter @Andre Delport with two standouts, key lime pie and Cameron's obvious love of Rascal.

I have only recently discovered the culinary delight of key lime pie, although I had read of it in a number of American stories. On a number of occasions in the past 12 months I have enjoyed a vegan version of the pie. I am not sure how it compares to the "original", but I will happily stick to the vegan version.

On two occasions during flights Cameron snuck Rascal out of his carry box under his blanket. Cameron's motive may have been primarily selfish, but whatever the motive, I am certain little Rascal would have enjoyed the closeness of his human companion and the freedom of being out of the carry box. I think Cameron may be the kinder of the twins, not to say Elizabeth is unkind, but she appears to be more self-absorbed than Cameron at this stage of their life. I have wracked my brain trying to remember who is the biological father of each of the twins, but cannot remember (and I am too lazy to revisit book 1 to try and find it). 

I hope to see Claude feature in the current book soon (hint hint Andre). 

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37 minutes ago, Summerabbacat said:

Another thoroughly enjoyable chapter @Andre Delport with two standouts, key lime pie and Cameron's obvious love of Rascal.

I have only recently discovered the culinary delight of key lime pie, although I had read of it in a number of American stories. On a number of occasions in the past 12 months I have enjoyed a vegan version of the pie. I am not sure how it compares to the "original", but I will happily stick to the vegan version.

On two occasions during flights Cameron snuck Rascal out of his carry box under his blanket. Cameron's motive may have been primarily selfish, but whatever the motive, I am certain little Rascal would have enjoyed the closeness of his human companion and the freedom of being out of the carry box. I think Cameron may be the kinder of the twins, not to say Elizabeth is unkind, but she appears to be more self-absorbed than Cameron at this stage of their life. I have wracked my brain trying to remember who is the biological father of each of the twins, but cannot remember (and I am too lazy to revisit book 1 to try and find it). 

I hope to see Claude feature in the current book soon (hint hint Andre). 

Hi @Summerabbacat, thank you for your comment. Again!  Ryan is Cameron's dad, so obviously Andrew is Elizabeth's.  In my mind they both love Rascal equally. In one of the previous chapters, he was sleeping on the bed with her. It all just comes down to how I felt on the day that I wrote that portion of the narrative. 

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