Aug 11, 2012

 

 

 

 
 

Letís get this show on the road ÖÖ.. or in the air

 

I woke up around 6.30am, took a shower and got ready to leave. After I had checked if everything was unplugged and the water turned off I got my bag and headed out the door. On the way to Tomís I stopped at a bakery and picked up some rolls, then headed to the butcher to get some fresh ham for breakfast. Shopping done I drove to Tomís, where he was already waiting with freshly brewed tea. We sat down, had breakfast, then unplugged everything that we were able to and at around 9am I looked out the window. We had ordered a taxi for 9.15 and it was already sitting outside our door. So I went down to the driver to let him know that we would still need a few more minutes, but would be down as soon as possible. A few minutes later we hauled our luggage down to the car, got in and after checking travel documents, money and passports one more time we were on our way to the airport.

Even though it was a Saturday morning, we didnít hit any traffic jams and within 20 minutes we arrived at the airport. I had done online check in, so all we needed to do was dropping off our luggage and we were really lucky, as the luggage drop off was the only counter where there was NO line. Our two bags started their way to Orlando on a conveyor belt and Tom and I went over to security and got in line. It didnít take long until it was our turn and we were through pretty quickly. We walked around the tiny duty free store and then headed over to our gate, when they started boarding. Since our airport is tiny we just walked over to our plane. We boarded, found our seats, settled in and waited for our departure.

And soon it was time for our small plane to roll out onto the runway and off we went. Once we were up in the air they quickly started handing out snacks, this time they were Chocolate Filled Cookie Sandwiches.

The other flight attendant started offering drinks right away too and soon we were sitting there, sipping Diet Coke and munching our snack and before we knew it, it was time again to put away the tray as we were descending onto Frankfurt. As always we were parked a long way away from the terminal and had to transfer to a bus to take us there. The bus filled quickly and then we went on what I call the ďunofficial airport tourĒ, as it usually takes more than 5 minutes to get you to terminal and you have a feeling they drive all around the airport before getting to the terminal. Finally we had made it there, we got off, went to look for our next departure gate and were pleased to see that it was just a few gates down the terminal.

We had about two hours, so we walked along all the gates, stopping at shops to have a look at things and just browse.

We bought a bottle of Brandy for Ron, to give to him when we would visit the California Grill and then got ourselves some drinks, some beer for Tom and a Diet Coke for me. We had used up the rest of the ham I had bought in the morning in rolls, which we had taken along and now was the perfect time to consume them. We found a nice quiet table and enjoyed our homemade snack before we headed back to our departure gate. We got there and it was empty! Nothing on the overhead signs either. So we rushed to the next departures screen and on the way there we found our gate. They had moved it down a few more gates and while we were still trying to find a seat to wait for departure they started boarding.

We were on the plane in just a few minutes, had found our seats and settled in. After about half an hour it would have been time to push back and get going, but we kept sitting at the gate. More than 20 minutes after we should have taken off we finally got moving. Another 15 minutes later we were finally airborne and on our way to Orlando.

We both played around with the on board entertainment for a while and soon we were greeted by the flight attendant handing out small bags of Pretzels. Tom had some beer to wash it down, while I had still water. We munched the Pretzels and sipped our drinks and soon we were handed hot/cold towels to freshen up a bit before lunch. Soon, the lunch trays arrived and drinks were served. Lunch consisted of a small portion of Mixed Leaves, topped with radish sticks and Buttermilk dressing. The salad was crisp and the dressing tasty and we both enjoyed it a lot, before moving on to entrees. Tom had chosen Grilled Turkey Breast with roasted peppers and potatoes, while I had gone for the Barganelli Arrabiata.

Both were tasty and nice and we enjoyed them a lot. Next was a nice fresh Whole Wheat Roll, with butter and some still too young Camembert, before we had dessert, Cherry Streusel cake, which was really yummy.

Once dinner was over and done with and Tom had enjoyed his Cognac digestive, we both took some sleeping aid and Tom prepped his pad, we plugged in our earphones and we watched some episodes of the Hotel Inspector, nibbling a bar of hand-made chocolate we had been given a few days before our vacation had started.But we didnít last too long, the sleeping aid kicked in and after about one episode we both fell asleep. We both woke up again when there was some commotion in the cabin and we realized they were starting dinner service. This meant that we were already close to our destination and we freshened up a bit before we were handed some more food.

This time there was no choice of main course, but who would care about that when you are close to your vacation destination. We both had Spinach Tortellini, filled with Ricotta and topped with a chunkey tomato sauce. While they were a bit too soft for my liking, they were still tasty. There was also a Fresh roll, which we enjoyed with butter and some really delicious Chocolate pudding. We gobbled it all down and when they removed the tray we crossed onto Florida and could even see Nasaís Assembly building. We knew it would not take much longer and that made even the rest of our nearly 10 hour flight bearable.Soon we descended onto Orlando International Airport and rolled up to our arrival gate.

One more hurdle, Immigration, to get behind us and then our vacation was truly on. We had been seated towards the front of Economy class, which allowed us to be at the head of the crowds heading to immigration and we didnít stop and made good progress until we entered the immigrations hall and were stunned. It was practically empty! Usually it takes us about an hour to an hour and a half to get through the process, but this time we had totally lucked out. We quickly got in line and there were only about 15 other parties ahead of us, which were quickly led to the immigration officers. When we were told where to go we turned around and the room had filled up. There were NO words to explain how happy we were to be at the head of this line. Then it was our time to walk up to the officer, have our fingerprints and photos taken and were welcomed to the US. We headed over to the luggage carousel and were stunned to find our luggage still ON it. It usually takes so long to get through immigration that luggage is already taken off the belt and put in one roped off corner of the room. We got our bags and made our way over towards customs, who just waved us through. It felt funny to be at our final destination for the day, as usually we hurry to the rental car desk and get in line again, but this time we had decided to spend the night right there at the airport.

So we hopped onto the fake monorail and into the main airport building where we then rolled our luggage over to the Hyatt, got into the elevator and went up to check in, which was quick and easy and we were on the way to our room in no time. We opened the door and were stunned again. The room was huge, clean and inviting and had a huge patio with a view of a lot of international planes. We got settled, rested a little, then remembered that we had ordered our Ownerís Locker box to the hotel and went down to the front desk to inquire about it. All the front desk employees were busy, but we were lucky that the one who had checked us in became available within a few minutes.

We told her that we were looking for our box and she called luggage services and was told that it was not there. We knew it had to be there, as, as soon as we had arrived Tom had gotten a text letting us know that it had arrived at the hotel in the morning. Again, we explained that it HAD TO be there and another phone call later it still had not been found. She again asked for a mail tracking number and we repeatedly told her that there was no such thing, that it had not been delivered by mail, but by van. After a few minutes she asked if she could see the message, which meant that we had to go back to the room to fetch Tomís phone.

Once we returned to the front desk, the receptionist was busy again and there was only one other still working. Then finally we showed her the message and she called down to luggage services for a third time. Nope, not there. We both were getting pretty nervous by then, as we had packed having in mind that we had lots of things in the US, including shorts, toiletries and other things. Since we still didnít give up the receptionist called over her supervisor, who, after explaining it to her seemed to perfectly know what we were talking about, got on the phone and within a minute assured us that our purple box would be delivered to our room within the next 15 minutes. Yippie!

We finally headed back to our room, picked up some drinks from the machines on the way back to our room and settled to wait for our purple box. It didnít even take 10 minutes and there was a knock at the door and our Ownerís Locker was delivered. We opened it up and found a few more surprises we had completely forgotten about. By then we had started to become hungry and thirsty again, so we decided to head down to the food court. Needless to say, when you leave the Hyatt you have to walk past the Disney Store there and we could not get past it without checking it out. We spent quite a bit of time in there, even picked up some Coconut Patties and then continued our way over to the food court.

We were shocked to see that they were already closing shop when we arrived and we couldnít bring ourselves to buy some Nathanís hot dogs which were already piled into containers to the side. After we had gotten over the initial shock of everything closing, we had a look around and Sbarroís seemed to be the one with still lots of things on offer, so we picked up some pizza. We got four different pieces and decided to share them all, so we could sample them all. Our choices were a slice of Tomato pizza, one slice of the Cheese pizza, one with Italian Sausage and one slice of Pepperoni pizza. Well, while they still looked good in the case, once they were microwaved to heat them up again and taken to the room they were not all that tasty at all. Donít get me wrong, I am sure this is pretty tasty pizza, but at the end of the day and after being microwaved it wasnít all that yummy. In the end it was our mistake for not completely binning the idea of eating in the food court and just heading for the hotel restaurant instead or ordering room service. Well, live and learn and we will not repeat that mistake next summer as we have already decided to stay at the Hyatt again next year. Once we had eaten our dinner, we enjoyed some more time out on the patio, watching cars and planes coming and going in the dark and by 10pm after a really long day (keeping in mind that Europe is 6 hours ahead of Florida and it was already 4am for our inner clocks) we fell into bed and tried to watch a little TV, but without much success, as we both fell asleep pretty soon.

 

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