I thought I would do a little throwback series for the next few weeks re-capping our holiday to Disney World in Florida. At the time of going I kept a daily blog which was only ever used for that holiday and i’m so pleased I did. Every night I would sit down and document what we had done each day even down to what kind of weather we had. I love reading it back every so often reliving the memories. Day two was all about airport fun & flying to Orlando. Lauren was 8 at the time and we flew with Aer Lingus from Dublin – Orlando.
Day Two – It’s Today – We’re Going To Florida Today! – (Tuesday 8th November 2011):
So the day had arrived – we set the alarm for 6.30 and set about getting ready & packing up the stuff we had used for the night in the Travelodge, check we had passports, tickets, driving licence for the hire car, park tickets …. you get the picture.
We had the car booked into the airport carpark so we headed over there around 9ish – parked up and collected the transfer bus to the terminal.
So we checked in (as they opened .. get us, for once we’re on time) and they told us we had to be at immigration for 10.45 which didn’t give us long bearing in mine it was now 9.45 and once we had passed immigration I knew there wasn’t anything to do but sit at the gate.
So we went straight to security and did the whole HooHaa of taking everything out of pockets, putting loose things in the tray, laptops, phones ……. then collecting it all again in a mass hurry so the trays can keep moving and people can get their stuff … by this point I had wondered why we were still carrying scarfs & heavy coats and why we didn’t leave them in the car as we definitely wouldn’t be needing them for 2 weeks *rolls eyes*
With security done we had half an hour to get something to eat so we grabbed some breakfast, bought some water for the plane (no less than 4 bottles I might add which were added to the stupid amount of hand luggage we already had … and the coats … and the scarfs – we were breaking out into a bit of a sweat lol) then remembered we had to fill out the form we were handed at check in …
We arrived at immigration at the right time – hardly any queues. When it came to our turn I said to Steve lets not make small talk – I had heard these people can be pretty miserable so we go to our stand and he was alright to be fair – Steve and I had our fingerprints scanned and we all got out passports stamped – job done in under 5 minutes. We then had to do another round of security – everything back into the trays & shoes had to come off this time!
We then arrived at the gate at around 11.30 – flight was due to take off at 12.30.
By this point Lauren was getting bored and I thought to myself bored now … we’ve got an 8hr flight ahead of us lol.
Boarding was on time and we got to board first because we had a child result!!!! which meant we had plenty of time to faff about and get sorted. We were in a row of 4 seats with the 4thseat free so we had plenty of space. The family in the row in front asked one of the cabin crew how long the flight was expected to take and she said it all depends on the flight route the captain gets but it can be anything from 8.5hrs – 10!!!! TEN OMG was my reaction 10???? I was finding 8 bad enough. Take off was on time I think and it was fine, so much nicer than any Ryanair flight we’ve done with the steep take off they tend to do. Captain came over with an announcement once we were airborne and told us with the flightpath they had the journey should be ahead of schedule and would take around 8hr 45 mins – PHEW!
The flight was fine (long but fine) – inflight entertainment was ok there wasn’t much movie wise I fancied watching but watched a few programmes – played a few games as well. Lauren found it hard getting into anything – she messed around playing games for a few minutes – found a programme she wanted to watch but after a few minutes she got bored – I could see this being a loooooong flight!!!! Trust me to get a woman in front who from the word go lay her seat right back so my TV screen was right in my face – I was beginning to go square eyed so after a few hours we all shifted up a seat – I was so grateful for that spare seat in our row I can tell you.
The maps were really handy and we used them a lot to find out how far we had travelled and how long we had left. I remember watching a few programmes and looked at how long we had been in the air (felt a long time by this point) and realised we had only been going for 4 hours :-0 we had been going for less time than we had left lol. But funnily enough they didn’t seem as long as the first 4.
I did find it quite funny though when we still had 3 hours left Lauren asked with desperation how much longer we had .. when I told her 3 more hours, she rolled her eyes and replied “oh you’re joking … kill me now” lol.
The flight was pretty smooth, the seat belt signs came on a few times but you wouldn’t have noticed anything was up until we flew over Canada – they went on and the captain said we had hit a pocket of turbulence and it should last no longer than 20 minutes. Jeepers for a while it was awful, and 20 minutes is a long time when you’re experiencing something like that and what was worrying me was how bad was it going to get. But sure enough it did stop after about 10-15 minutes.
We landed in Florida at 16.15 (local time) – we did it!!!! It was over and we were here YAY.
It was So nice just getting off and going straight to collect our bags and car hire without having to queue for immigration.
Got to the car hire desk and as expected they tried to get us to upgrade and take out extra roadside insurance & tried to flog us a satnav but we didn’t take anything – what we had was enough. We went outside to pick the car we wanted and off we went …. driving in a new country on the different side of the road …
We found driving ok but it soon started to get dark so getting to the hotel & complex took a little longer than maybe it should have done but at least we were thrown in at the deep end … new car, automatic, right side of the road and now it was dark! Still we did it.
We checked in and found our apartment – in building 3 (there are 5 in total) and on the 11th floor!!!! Thank goodness for lifts is all I can say – I very quickly got over my fear of lifts I can tell you!
We have a two bedroom apartment, fully equipped kitchen with oven, microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, two bathrooms, lounge/dining area, balcony with a very very a*se twitchy ariel view of the ground from the 11th floor. I won’t let Lauren go out there on her own :-0 or stand near the railings. To top off the luxury we have a Jacuzzi bath in our bedroom. So apart from grabbing something to eat and having a go in the Jacuzzi bath (like you do when you’ve had a long journey and trying to get used to the 5 hour time difference) then we fell into bed exhausted!