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View Full Version : Janice's Crew Celebrate at The World - Day 1


Janice
02-28-2002, 05:41 AM
‘We’re all going on a Winter’s Holiday’


Me – (46) and planner of this holiday of a lifetime.
Chris – (45) my dear husband who puts up with me.
James – (22) our son who has never been to Florida.
Emma – (21) James' Girlfriend and known lovingly as Emmylou.
Katie – (19) our daughter, also lovingly known as Starlett.
Ian – (23) Katie’s Fiancé – been before when much younger.


We left home at 5-30 am – on time. The driver and our mini bus were both nice. We picked up an over-excited Emma but once we were on our way, she calmed down – till we got to the airport. We were dropped off at South Terminal as usual but could not find the Air 2000 check in desk. Checked tickets and would you believe it – we were at the wrong terminal. It was then that it hit me that we were not travelling with Virgin this time. No Problem. A brisk walk and quick shuttle to North Terminal and we found the desk and checked in without any further ado – except that we had not been allocated the 3 extra legroom seats that we had paid £60 each for! 30 minutes later – problem sorted. We had been double booked. Next breakfast. Full English breakfast x 5 and beans on toast for me, 6 Tea’s and 4 fruit juice came to £35.00. Not over nice, but edible.

Now it is time to go over that big divide into the departure lounge. The queues were horrendous! Where have all these people come from at 8 am in the morning? No Problem – I CAN HANDLE THIS. We go through and – I get ‘Diana Rossed’ – yep, I got body searched, and NO, it was not by a strapping 6’, dark haired, good looking guy – it was a woman of about 50 and the only thing she had going for her was that she complimented me on my choice of loose fitting clothes for travelling in. (It’s the weight loss, you see). We have a quick trip round duty free and I treat myself to some Beverley Hills – well, it was the free teddy that swung it really! And I also invested in one of those little currency converters. I have had one before and found it so incredibly useful. The battery in the last one lasted about 6 years so at £5.00, not bad value for money.

Once we were on board and found our seats, which were about half way down at an exit, rows 31 and 32, we settled down for our 10 ½ hour flight. Yes, the pilot announced that due to severe head winds and bad weather ahead, our projected flight time had been extended by 1 ½ hours. Never mind I can handle this, I AM on my holidays. Our journey took us north from London, over Scotland, upto Iceland, then on to Greenland, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, into Canada and down the coast of the USA right down to Florida. (I may have the wrong order, but then Geography is not a strong point of mine) This was due to some very hefty headwinds that were heading this way and I believe that they hit the UK the next day and caused some havoc in Kent and France?

The flight overall was much better than I had anticipated. As this was our first time with Air 2000 I was apprehensive. Three times with Virgin and hearing some horror stories about other operators had worried me, and this had been one of my main concerns of this holiday planning.

Well, the outwards journey although longer than it should have been was not unpleasant - ! James and Ian kept those around us entertained with their laughter and antics – they sat on the floor in front of their seat playing Cards, Chess or Trivial Pursuits. The food was less enjoyable than expected, but then I am particularly fussy. One other difference between this flight and those with Virgin is that you had to pay for your drinks whereas they are all free on Virgin. This fact did not bother us as we are not big drinkers, but I have wondered in the past about it as some people do seem to get greedy and go over the top when drinks are free and you have to wonder if they are ‘Over the Limit’ when they jump in their hire cars to drive away? The only time you could purchase drinks on this flight was when the stewards were doing their rounds. One last thought about the flight was it would have been nice if there had been a standby tape of entertainment – as the flight was extended, the films and two tv shows did not cover the whole of the flight and the last 1 ½ hours seemed to drag unbearably.

Getting out at Sanford Airport was a synch. Straight through Immigration and Customs and out in the fresh air to Alamo to pick up the vehicle. No problem here either – 10 minutes top whack!! We landed at about 5-30 US time (we left UK at 10-30 GMT) and by 6-15 – yes, ¾ of an hour later, we were standing in front of a lovely Maroon Chevrolet 8 person carrier. In with the luggage and we are off. Chris enjoys driving stateside and we make our way to the villa. We are all hungry so we stop at a Perkins on the 192 and James gets his teeth into his first steak. This was a really nice intro for James and Emma into the way meals are in the USA. They were staggered at the portion sizes and at less than $70 for 6 of us which was for 6 starters, 5 steak meals and 1 omelette meal, drinks and a muffin (Emma could not resist!) – they were also amazed at the cost.

Right, now to find the villa. The directions from the owners were very precise and we found it with no trouble at all. The Christmas decorations that the Americans put around their houses were amazing and this was a lovely sight to see. We entered the villa at about 9pm and it was perfect. Even nicer that the video they had sent me and it had been newly decorated. The owners had also put up a Christmas Wreath, put twinkle lights on a huge houseplant, left us a card and 2 large bottles of wine. How nice! We did not take much in the way of clothes as we all intend to buy new whilst here, so unpacking took about 30 minutes, and then it was all back in the car to go and get provisions at the local Publix. If I can give anyone a tip here it would be to make a list. You are tired from the journey, excited because you have finally got here after all the planning. The last thing you want is to get back to the villa and realise you have forgotten tea bags or milk. Also, we do not take any toiletries with us – why carry all that weight when you can get shampoo, deodorant and all that so much cheaper in the US anyway. We spent about $180 and yes, we even bought a tiny, real Christmas Tree in a pot, already decorated for $9.99. Well, it is Christmas after all!

Back home, put the shopping away, quick cup of tea and fall into bed at about 11-30. No trouble sleeping at all!!

BevS97
02-28-2002, 11:06 AM
Hi Janice,

I missed these the first time around, so it's like a whole new set of trip reports to me. I'm glad to hear you bought a tree - christmas without a tree just wouldn't be right!

Sounds like a fun trip

Bev

Janice
03-02-2002, 05:57 AM
Thanks Bev - yes it was a great trip and we all talk about it so much, even now :)

I have my reports all printed off with pictures and clipart in a book but have been lurking around some of the Scrapbooking sites and am beginning to become inspired to do something more with it :)

caroley
03-02-2002, 08:36 AM
Sounds like you had a nice journey, even if it was a bit longer than expected.
We also like to buy most of our toiletries out there now, instead of lugging them all the way there.

Minniespal
05-20-2003, 05:48 AM
Thanks Janice,

I'm really enjoying these reports.

ali5on
05-20-2003, 08:27 AM
I can't wait to read all about your holiday. Such an exciting time to visit.

Ali