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Old 08-15-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
bubba's mom
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Exeter (Reading), PA
Posts: 13,831

Thumbs up Pictorial review how SAILING the BVI has changed our future vacation plans....

This year's trip was quite relaxing. No Universal (again) this year, but our traditional week at Dad's first, then a week living on a catamaran, sailing around the British Virgin Islands with Randy's brother and his family. Let the adventure begin....

It began on Friday, June 29th...at 4 freaking AM!

Our area had a super nasty thunderstorm come rolling in around 4am. It was loud, there was lots of lightening and the house rumbled a bit. How do I know this? Because it woke us up. I happen to love to sleep during thunderstorms, so I fell back asleep during the storm. I was in and out of sleep, my husband, however, had heard a noise and decided to get up to investigate. He found it was the dog's tail hitting the wall (he sleeps in our son's room) and he had heard Dad up. Now, Max hates storms and always runs into our bathroom during them. Poor thing shakes like a leaf he's so scared, so you can imagine how happy he was someone was up! My husband sat on the bathroom floor with him just petting him and sitting with him. Randy said he was in and out of drifting off back to sleep during this 30 minute time. About 5:30am, he got into the shower to get ready for work. I then got up and the dog was happy to see me. The storm was about over by now, so he was relieved!

After Randy was ready for work, we left the house just before 6am so he could meet his carpool buddy who was taking him to work. I dropped him off, stopped for gas in the car (gas light was on ), stopped for donuts and milk for Ryan and & I for breakfast (resources at home were running out because of going away) and I picked up some Amoroso rolls to take with us for Dad. (We always seem to bring some sort of goodie from home for him.)

Back home, it was time to wake the boy and have him get Max out for a walk. I knew he wouldn't be doing much walking while we were away because my Mom won't walk him. So, I rallied the troops and got them on their way. Meantime, I ate my breakfast (in peace) and finished getting ready and packing the last of our stuff. I checked my email and had gotten an email around 5am that our 4:55pm flight had been pushed back to 5:35pm. I was thinking weather/storm related, and nice to know, but you still need to be at your gate original time in case they "un-delay" your flight. (Unbeknownst to me, I got a second email later that morning that the flight had been changed back to 5:15pm.)

In the meantime, they were back from their walk. They had a nice walk, and the two of them had their breakfast when they got back. After I finished packing our stuff, the dog's stuff and unplugging tvs, the modem, locking windows and securing the house , we were on our way to Camp Mom-Mom's. It was just around 9am and Max was on HIS way to his vacation....her house.

We visited with Mom-Mom for about an hour or so and settled Max in there. We left about 10:15am to pick Randy up from work. It was an uneventful drive to his work and we were even early by about 10 minutes! You never want to keep Randy waiting when he's finished work...especially early and especially day 1 of his vacation! 11:15am he came out and we were on our way to PHL airport.

We arrived to check in our car just after noon and they took us to the airport. We weren't checking any luggage (more on that later), so we went straight to security. We were flying Southwest and had checked in 24 hrs before and printed our boarding passes. We were actually A49-51. We weren't even expecting "A"s, but were happy to get them. We had no problems clearing security and we were in no hurry. We arrived at our gate at 1pm. Our departure time at the gate stated 5:35pm. Yippee....lots of time. We were sitting at the gate with the flight that departed TWO ahead of ours!

I decided to sit and close my eyes and just rest for a bit, Ryan did something on my laptop and Randy read the paper and did the Sudoku puzzle. We sat here till about 2:30 when we decided to hit Chickie & Pete's for a big late lunch/early dinner.

It was crowded when we got there, but there were a few spots open. We sat all the way in the back where we have sat the past two years. Guess it's becoming "our" regular spot If you can't find a spot to sit, there is always a to-go window here too!

Ryan is excited, I'm just tired! Randy was hoping a couple beers would give him a second wind! We ordered crab fries and drinks. Ryan had a cheesesteak, my husband a chicken cheesesteak and I had the chicken parm sandwich. All were very good and extremely filling! There is never room for dessert when we eat there!
Not sure how long we were there, but eventually made our way back to our gate.

At the gate, the sign doesn't say our flight departure is 5:35, it just says "delayed". Ugh...that can't be good! So I asked the lady at the desk and she checked and told me it was still 5:35pm. I thanked her, although I was still suspicious. We were the next flight to leave from that gate, so we grabbed our seats. We decided since we had quite a bit of time to kill, we'd all watch one of the movies we brought. I voted for Cars 2, but it wouldn't play for some reason? (even after we tested it at home) So, next we decided on was the Social Network. I thought this was a good movie, although I was surprised it didn't paint a flattering picture of Zuckerberg. But...it passed the time....

We were almost finished Social Network when it was time to board our plane. Always lots of kids in summer flying the Orlando flight. Boarding went pretty well. Even with A boarding passes, we still took the first empty row of 3...which was row 13. No matter, plane was 100% full. They made an announcement that all lap children need to be in a lap, we are flying full! I'm unsure of exactly when we took off, but it was closer to 6pm than 5:35pm.

Uneventful flight. Finished watching Social Network and started watching Puss In Boots. I thought it was a funny movie and we liked it. (pretty much the only time I watch movies are when we fly) Before I knew it, it was time to shut down and prepare for landing. Here is where I'll offer some advice. We were landing and when we hit the ground, the 'brakes' went on and all of a sudden everyone started noticing a smart phone cruising down the aisle of the plane. Apparently the guy sitting (on the aisle) behind Randy had his phone on his lap and gravity took it straight down the aisle toward the front of the plane. Someone had caught it and started passing it back...but not without a funny comment from the flight attendants sitting up front....something about being a 'troublemaker'...the passengers in the front part of the plane got a chuckle outta that! He was happy to get his phone back and learned two things: a smart phone will slide straight down the aisle and to put his phone away during landing!

Since we had not checked luggage, we headed straight for car rental desk. At the last minute, we switched our rental to Budget and headed toward that line. The ONLY rental desk with a line. I noticed the time when we got in line...8pm. Ugh. Our original arrival was supposed to be 7:30 and with Southwest, even that was considered late for an original 4:55 departure time. Whatever, stand in line. Going to have to look into FastBreak with them...see if that eliminates the line thing?

So, we are next in line. An agent finishes up with customer and starts messing with printer under desk. Our mistake, we assumed he would take us and walked up to his spot. When we did that, he walked away! No greeting, no "I'll be right with you", no NOTHING!!! Wow. How ignorant...and with about a dozen people waiting in line! So, we stood there in case he came back, but I was watching other agents and ready to run to the next available one. Then 2 more agents disappeared and there was 1 lady left. She finished working with her customer and looked up toward the beginning of the line as to help the 'next' person. I didn't even wait, I went right over to her (since I wasn't waited on yet, I was technically 'next'). We told her what happened and then proceeded to fly through the check-in process. I'm not sure why it takes SO long to rent a car, but whatever it is, that's what holds up the line!

We rented an ecomony, as always, and ended up with a Kia Rio. I wouldn't buy this tiny little car, but it was the right price for what we needed it for. Our 3 carry-on bags barely fit in the trunk, but we managed to make it work. We had to put the backpacks and my carry-on in the back seat with the boy though. Maybe we're outgrowing the economy size car? Maybe I need to start paying attention to the price of the next car size larger?

We started on our drive to Dad's...it was around 9pm. He's just over an hour from MCO. Turnpike traffic was light and we quickly discovered tolls went up! They used to be 75 cents, now $1. Plus a new one for $3! A grand total of $6!! Good grief! (I later found out, they had JUST raised these tolls like a week or so before...just in time for the July 4th holiday traffic.)

We rolled into Dad's just after 10pm. Ryan stayed up for about an hour before calling it a night...we were up till around midnight.
This was one looooong day. Started 4am, ended midnight-ish. Ugh....night, night. Time for BED! We'd sleep really well tonite
(some Universal) Trip reports:
'12 - '11 - HHN '10 - '10 - '09 - '08/DCL - '07(Jan.) - '07(July) - Mickey Mouse @ Universal!
- '04
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