Saturday, January 14, 2006

Greetings From Sunny Florida

The photo above was taken just outside our villa. I don't know if you can tell or not, but those trees are whipping in the wind. It is super windy here. Our flight in was almost turned around and not allowed to land because of the tropical storm strength winds. Thankfully, we weren't turned around and landed, bumpily, but fine.

The day started early. I didn't sleep very well because I was just so excited. I got up when my alarm went off at 5am and got dressed right away. Bob stayed in bed a little longer but we were ready to go by 6 when our Metro Mobility ride was supposed to arrive. 30 minutes later, the guy finally pulls up. We were a little frantic because our flight boarded at 7:30 and was supposed to leave at 8. We were even a little more frantic when we learned he had 2 more pick ups after us. Thankfully, he called another MM guy to get one of his pick ups and we found out that his second pick up was on her way to the airport as well. She was a cute little old lady on her way to Vegas. She said she goes a couple of times a year. This time she was going for 2 weeks and hoped to make some big money playing black jack. She said she brought home $2500 last year and didn't even cash one of her traveler's checks.

We were dropped off at the Sun Country curbside at 7am. Thankfully, I had printed boarding passes from online the day before. We checked in, checked our bags, and barreled through security. I don't know if it's because Bob's in a wheelchair or what, but they rarely hold us up in security. The guys behind us were not so lucky as one of the quartet of young men was detained because the security guys found a loose razor blade in his laptop carryon.

We got to the gate and requested to be seated in bulkhead seating. There was a very...aggressive isn't really the word, maybe bold...young woman there who was ready to wrestle anyone who might take seating away from her 8 year old daughter. Her daughter has cerebral palsy and needs a wheelchair and car seat and needs the bulkhead seating. We were fine with whatever we got, as long as it wasn't far back in the plane. As it is, it all worked out just fine. The family with the little girl with CP had to sit in the second row anyway since her car seat did not fit in the bulkhead seats. Bob got his seat by the window and I sat between him and an earnest young traveler who was from Orlando. He was a textbook techie. He said he had just been at Macworld and pulled out his ipod and apple laptop. He spoke of his travels and of his appointment tomorrow to sky dive if the winds die down.

Our flight was uneventful but was FULL and full of kids. Did you know that young kids like to scream just to scream? Well they do and it makes my ears bleed. But for the most part, the kids on the plane were good. There was one little 2 year old in the seats across the aisle from us who was a flirt. I told Bob he had competition because this kid was super flirty with me. He would look at me; see if I was looking at him, smile and wave. Then he would bat his lashes and smile some more. So cute!I read two of my trashy magazines; Bob mostly looked out the window. We were served beverages and a warm breakfast sandwich and then another beverage. All of that really broke up the flight nicely.

It's chilly here because of the winds and they are having cooler than normal temps. I think the high today barely got to 60. It was noon when we landed and the pilot said it was 57 at that time.Once we landed, we wheeled to baggage claim. One of our bags was out right away. The other, we had to wait for for quite a while. While we waited, we witnessed a family meltdown. It seems that a couple members of this family had visited the bathroom in the terminal where our plane landed. To get to the main terminal where our luggage was, you had to take a tram and navigate quite a circuitous route. At some point, the members of this family who had visited the bathroom had lost both their carryon duffle bag and their son's backpack. The dad was trying to stay calm and be cool. He went back to see if he could find the bags. He thought they might be on the tram or back in the bathroom. The mother was not holding it together quite so well. It was definitely an interesting look at some family dynamics.

Once we got our bags, we were off to the rental car place. Us, and everyone else, it seemed. There were at least a dozen rental car companies and it seemed like everyone was in our line. Right before I was called on to come forward for help, there was a couple ahead of me and there must have been an issue because the woman was just yelling at the poor soul behind the counter. My foray with the rental car company was much easier and not so fraught with issues. I rented a small SUV. When we got to the garage, the PT Cruisers were parked in the small SUV lot. So, we got in a cute blue PT Cruiser. It's a fun, zippy little car. It really has some pick up. We left the airport and got to our timeshare in about half an hour. We checked in, got the timeshare sales pre-sell, and dumped our bags. The timeshare is exactly the same as it was last year, even though the resort is supposedly going through major renovations. This place still looks like the 80s threw up, but at least it's nice, warm, and provides us the respite we need.

Once we dumped the bags, we took off to find some food. We found it at Chili's and it was tasty. After lunch/dinner, we went and got groceries at Publix. We did pretty well. Since we ate right before we shopped for groceries, we were able to curb allot of the "off the list" shopping we might otherwise do. We did get a Styrofoam cooler and some sun block, two things that came in very handy last year while we were here.

Once done with that, we were done. We came home, unpacked, and settled in. It was then that I discovered we get free WIFI so I thought I would update and write it all down so I don't forget. I read online that Kissimmee has wired their downtown with free WIFI, so I am probably picking that up, unless they have it here at the resort, but I am reluctant to believe that. Also, I didn't take a lot of photos yet today, but I will be updating my Flickr site as we go, so click the Flickr badge to see the new shots.

It is weird that we can have breakfast in Minnesota and lunch in Florida. Technology is amazing.

They are saying there are wind-chill and freeze warnings here for the next 2 nights. That's not so much fun. But it's supposed to be 77 by Tuesday. Rain still expected for Wednesday, but otherwise it looks like it will be somewhat nice here. We have tickets for Seaworld and we're not sure when we are going yet. Bob wants to go to Cypress Gardens and Tuesday we will drive to Cocoa Beach to see the rocket launch at the Cape. At this point, we aren't putting anything in stone and are content to sit back, relax, and just chill. Feels good. Posted by Picasa


Lut C. said...

Enjoy your holidays!

Anonymous said...

Glad you both made it in. I was thinking of you as the winds were whipping! PBI reported 55 MPH gusts. My tree fell AGAIN. If it wasn't January I'd swear we were experiencing a tropical storm. LOVE my electric blankie. It's FREEZING in WPB.
A good place for Mexican, try Chevy's Tex-Mex on route 535 just north of I-4, my fav when we are in the area. Lots of Outlet shops along International drive too. Have fun!


Natalie said...

So glad you guys had a safe flight!!! Enjoy the time off from work! What is Bob's ebay seller name? Let me know if he is still selling coins - my hubby is just starting to collect!!!
Have a fun trip!!