A Road Trip Engagement...The End...Updated 1/31!
I bought my car in April 2008, new. It made sense for us to drive to Florida during the high gas price days. You remember those. Up to $4.00/gal in some places? Insanity. So we estimated driving down and compared it to flying. It was a no brainer. $200+ weíd save and again, thatís using the estimate of $4.00/gal. When we actually took the drive, prices had dropped to under $2.00/gal.
I forgot to mention where weíd be driving from. Massachusetts. 1300 miles. And I hate car rides. I donít know how I made it alive.
2778.0 miles I put on my new car. I got an oil change right before we left and Iíll have to get another one soon.
Now for the introductions:
Jennifer48-Jennifer-Jen-Jenny, me! I'm 28 yrs old. First trip to WDW was 2000 for Spring Break. Most college students to go Cancun for Spring Break, not me! I wanted to go to Disney so bad and convinced one of my friends to go too. It was then that the obsession started.
Squall55-Daniel-Dan, DBF. He's 35 yrs old. His first WDW trip was when he was 1 yr old but of course he doesnít remember it so we consider his first trip a family trip for his high school graduation back in 1991. They drove as well. He likes to drive and doesnít mind it so heíll be the main driver of this trip.
Our plan of attack was to leave early Sunday November 31st and drive as far as possible, hoping to be in Savannah, GA that night and find a spot to sleep. When I say early, I mean early. 2am early. We wanted to be past NYC/NJ before morning rush hour and we knew there would be returning Thanksgiving traffic.
So make sure your seats and tray tables are in the upright position and your seat belt is safely fastened. Itís going to be an exciting ride from the start. BIG SURPRISE Monday for those that stick around!
Sunday November 31, 2008
My alarm went off at the obscene hour of 1am. I donít know why I even bothered going to bed. I actually prepared myself though and Friday night went to bed late and got up at 5am so Iíd be tired enough to go to bed early Saturday night. Which I did. I think I was in bed by 8pm.
I didnít crawl out of bed until about 1:30a. I showered the night before and had my comfy clothes out and ready to go. All I had to do was pack my toiletries bag and pick up Dan. He only lives about ľ mi down the road.
After dressing, I ran outside to start my car and pack it up. It was 30įF out and my car had frost. Gross. I couldnít wait to get to Florida. It wouldnít be hot but it would be warmer than home!
My brave parents got up to see me out, kissed me good-bye and off I went! Dan was ready when I got there. We double checked his house to make sure everything was unplugged, loaded the car and began our journey 5 minutes off schedule. It was 2:05am when we left!
We packed lots of food, drinks and things to keep us occupied. Dan was the primary driver so I just had to be his waitress and get him things as needed. I didnít mind. Like I said, I hate driving. Iíd much rather do that and keep him occupied and awake!
To keep myself occupied, I watched the 2004 ALCS Game 4. Red Sox vs. Yankees. I watched this for 2 reasons. 1) I didnít watch it back in 2004 because the Sox were down 3 games and if the Yankees won, Sox were out of the playoffs and I couldnít bear to watch. And 2) it was over 4 hours long because it went into extra innings. I figured that would help kill time.
We made it through NYC by 5:30a and traffic was light, which we were banking on. But once we hit NJ for our first pit stop, it was snowing! The first snowfall of the year and it was on our trek to FL. Not just snow though, sleet and freezing rain as well. Yucky. It eventually turned to rain once we hit DE and rained pretty much straight through to GA. The only snag we hit was in VA. Lots and lots of traffic. Holiday travelers making their way home, Redskins fans trying to get to the game, rain slowing everyone down, and the reason, a tree down on 95 that blocked 2 lanes of the highway. Once we past that, we were good to go.
Scary moment of the drive was in NJ. We were travelling in the center lane when 2 cars on either side of us were racing down the highway. Iím talking 90+MPH. They went by so fast, the wake jiggled our car. I have a Ford Edge, thatís not a small vehicle so you can imagine how fast they were going, in the sleet! I said a quick prayer for them and the other drivers that they wouldnít crash and kill someone, including them.
I counted 45 South of the Border signs. I know there were more because a lot of the billboards didnít have lights so I couldnít make them out. No we didnít stop. I would like to go one day though, as well to the Carolinas. Maybe one summer vacation.
There were a lot of RVs that were travelling south from Quebec. Maybe they were getting away for the winter as well.
By the time we hit the GA border, we were finished. The traffic in VA took 2 hours of our time that we couldnít get back and we were bushed. We knew we wanted to stay in Savannah so to keep ourselves occupied, we played the Alphabet Game. We tried to name as many animals that began with each letter. Then we started with food chains. Told you it was a long ride.
18 hours later and 1040 miles, we stopped for gas and found a Hampton Inn in GA. We made it there right around 9pm. I couldnít wait to sleep in a bed. A real bed. At a real hotel. Thatís why we stayed there and not Joeís Motel even though it would have been $50 cheaper. And let me tell you, it was the 2nd best bed Iíve ever slept in. Number 1 being the bed on the DCL. Those are like little clouds.
Sorry for the lack of photos this day but Iíll make up for it the rest of the report, believe me!
Yippee!! It's finally started!
I am not a fan of road trips either. I would prefer to fly if at all possible. I can do them. But I have to prepare myself to be in the right frame of mind.
Good thinking with the Sox game. That must have helped kill quite a few hours.
I am suprised you don't have any pictures. I would have been taking pictures of the driving, the scenery, the fallen tree that blocked two lanes of traffic. But I guess I am just dorky that way! (Wait, scratch that. I may have taken the pictures, but I don't know that I would want to post them for all to see. Well, at least not the ones with me in them- I am certainly not pretty after sitting in the car for a million hours!)
I'm surprised I didn't either but the majority of our trip was in the dark so maybe that's my reason....ya that's it, it was too dark :rotfl2:
Looking forward to more, Jen!
Did you post your ages correctly.
You have Dan as 55 and graduated h.s. in 1991.
I'm just checkin, LOL.
If it makes you feel any better, I hate long car rides too.
AKL Check-in and Polynesian Resort
Monday December 1, 2008
We wanted to get on the road by 8am so we could be at Animal Kingdom Lodge for check-in around noon. We woke at 6:30 and headed down to the free continental breakfast. Neither of us eats breakfast that early so we grabbed a few small things and were back on the road at 8am.
We were super excited to get to WDW to see all the decorations so when we hit the FL border, it felt like FOREVER before we saw the first signage! I could barely sit still!
Proof of my car on Disney property
We made it to AKL around 1pm and our room was ready! When I was checking in and they were showing us our room on the map I realized that we had been upgraded to Savannah view! How wonderful!
We were in the Zebra Trail room 4532. It was a looooooooooooooooong walk from the lobby let me tell you. It was the very, last, door.
The room was small. I felt a tad bit claustrophobic. I was also deceived. We had a Savannah view and I was expecting a view. I was disappointed.
Our "savannah" view
The animals on said savannah
Enough being sad, we are at WDW and I want to get to the Magic Kingdom!
Plans were to drive to the Poly because we had dinner later that evening at O’hana, and take the monorail to the MK from there. So we parked the car in the visitor’s lot and walked around the lobby enjoying the Christmas decorations.
Decorations over main Poly doors
So we headed to the monorail for our next stop...the Magic Kingdom!!:woohoo:
Oh the title has sucked me in :goodvibes, can't wait to see how this trip goes. And I hear ya about the Spring break thing...when I graduated college my husband and I (he was my boyfriend at the time) went on our first trip to WDW. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate!
Hooray! You made it (and in one peice)!
I agree. You definitely didn't get the best Savannah view, but what did you origionally book? Standard or Pool?
The gingerbread houses at the Poly are too cute. I wish I could make one even half as adorable!
The gingerbread houses were great. We were hoping they'd make the Great Ceremonial House like they did on the Travel Channel special but no, only these. They were cute tho!
We're driving down from PA in May. I can't wait!
Even though that view was not the best view of the savanna and walking to the room was about a 1 mile walk. Right now, I would much rather be there than here, that's for sure. :sad2:
Made it over from LL's report! Great start. Oh now I want to go to AKL at Christmas!!!
Ohhhh I'm so glad u started a TR!!!! Sounds like you had a nice drive down. I would like to try to drive down someday! Can't wait to read more ohhhh and AKL looks beautiful!
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