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Old 05-19-2010, 10:04 AM   #16
mommytothreeboys
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Originally Posted by DisMomAmy View Post
Great start Missy!! Thanks for the heads up or I might have missed this. It's been a really crazy busy couple of weeks so my DIS time has been limited. But thanks to a sick kiddo I'm forced to have some down time today and hope to do some catching up. Can't wait to read more!!
Hi Amy! I'm so glad you made it over! Sorry to hear about the sick boy though. I hope he feels better!
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:16 AM   #17
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You know what they say about Hindsight.....

Monday May 3rd, 2010

After 3 months of planning, all the packing was done, all the instructions and medical releases had been written and printed, all the checklists had been checked, my mom arrived from Pennsylvania, and Jeff and I were READY TO GO!!

Our flight was scheduled to leave Rochester at 5:55 am....the first flight out. Unfortunately, it was not a direct flight as Airtran changed their direct to Orlando to an afternoon flight. We had a connection to make in Atlanta, but we were still scheduled to arrive in Orlando at 10:35 am. Plenty of time to make the one hour drive to Port Canaveral in order to be on the ship by 3 pm. Well....you know what they say about the best laid plans.......

Jeff's dad had kindly agreed to drive us to the airport (only about a 10 minute drive) at the crack of dawn on Monday morning. He was scheduled to pick us up at 4:30 am. After a restless night of “too excited to sleep” sleep, the alarm went off and Jeff and I jumped out of bed to get ready to head to the airport. My mom was sleeping on our couch in the living room so, poor thing, she was awake to hear our last minute preparations. We brushed our teeth, put on our traveling clothes, gathered the last minute items for our toiletry bags and carry-ons and headed out the door to Dad's waiting car just before 4:30 am. WE ARE ON OUR WAY!!

Arriving at the Rochester International Airport just after 4:45, it was fairly quiet. We had checked in online for our flight and also paid our $30 baggage fee in advance, so all we had to do was check our luggage and head through security. That all went very quickly and before we knew it we were in line to get some much needed COFFEE!! I am a coffee addict, I admit it! And there's no better coffee than the coffee you get in the airport as you are getting ready to leave on vacation! It just tastes better, don't you think??

After getting out coffee fix, we headed to our gate to wait for our flight.

See...it really WAS early!



Let me do a little explaining about this next picture. Jeff's boss had given him this little “green cat” to take on the trip. She told him to take pics of Green Cat (as we so unimaginatively called him) on our vacation....kind of odd, but we were game! (For a while anyway....stay tuned!) So, this is Green Cat waiting at the airport!





Here's one of those “stretch your arm out as far as you can so we can get a pic of both of us” pictures. When it's just the two of you, together pictures are hard! We came to rely on the kindness of strangers!



Before long, our flight was being called to board. YAY! Fortunately, even though we did not pay extra to select our seats ahead of time, Jeff and I were sitting together on this flight. We got on the plane and settled in.

Before I get too far, I need to tell you a little background. I had been reading and researching cruise vacations like a good little vacation planner. The one rule I chose to disregard was “Don't travel the same day the ship departs.” The overwhelming recommendation was to travel the day before and stay overnight in the port city to ensure that you made the ship in a timely fashion. A cruise ship WILL NOT wait for you, so if you miss it, you're out of luck. My thinking was that we were on the first flight out in the AM, we were scheduled to arrive in PLENTY of time to make the drive to the port, it was spring so weather should be a non-issue, and last but not least....we were already spending a little extra money to spend the weekend AFTER the cruise in Orlando. I didn't want to spend any extra for a hotel the night before. This decision proved to be a real point of concern in the weeks leading up to the trip. I was really worried that we would have problems. I did the math and we really only had a short window of time to play with if there were delays, etc. We needed to be on the ship by 3 pm. It was an hour drive from MCO to the port, so we needed to leave MCO no later than 2. We had to get off the plane, get to baggage claim, get our luggage and find the shuttle we had arranged through the cruise line. It was all beginning to really freak me out. What did NOT help my worrying was all the travel issues friends had been having recently. First, a friend went to Florida in March and was 24 hours behind schedule due to flight delays...she had to stay overnight in Atlanta and get a flight the next day. Another friend took a Disney cruise in March and ended up having to take the train from JFK back to Rochester due to flight delays and missed connections in Orlando. Yet another friend had to rent a car and drive from Baltimore back to Rochester due to flight delays in Tampa. But what was done was done and all I could do was hope and pray for no delays. All the worrying in the world was not going to change our situation, so I tried to be calm.

All that to say that I was very relieved when we boarded the plane on time! I had been watching the weather in Atlanta. There were thunderstorms in the forecast, but if all went well, we would be in and out of that airport before they hit.

Once we settled into our seats, I began to relax and really feel like we were on vacation! Jeff and I joked about the complimentary magazine with Megan Fox on the cover...lucky guy! We listened to a grandmother in front of us try to help her grand-daughters get settled in, it was obviously their first time flying. Before long, the pilot came on and gave us the pre-flight info---how long we would be in the air, weather conditions, etc. He did say that the weather in Atlanta was not great, but didn't seem too concerned. Within a few minutes we were pulling away from the gate and headed toward the runway.

As we waited our turn to take-off, the pilot came on again and said that we were not cleared to take off for Atlanta because there was a ton of air traffic over Atlanta that could not land due to weather. He assured us that he would update us soon and that we would not be kept out on the tarmac long due to the newly passed regulations. Uh-Oh. All that worry came crashing back in. I struggled to fight back tears as Jeff squeezed my hand and tried to assure me that everything would be fine. Within a few minutes, we heard the pilot again.

“Well folks, I told you I would update you. I didn't tell you it would be a good update...”
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:57 AM   #18
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Hooray for getting off to the airport on time. I like the idea of Green Cat and can't wait to see where all he ends up.

You are scaring me with this delayed takeoff. Please don't hold us in suspense too terribly long.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:05 AM   #19
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Hey! Missy
I can see why you are so nervous about the flight...I would have been in tears along with you!....waiting for more!
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:09 AM   #20
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Great start!
I feel like I'm sitting on that plane stressing out with you... hurry up and get to Florida so I can relax
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:16 AM   #21
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Oh no! I would definitely be stressing out too! Okay...now I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens!!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Hooray for getting off to the airport on time. I like the idea of Green Cat and can't wait to see where all he ends up.

You are scaring me with this delayed takeoff. Please don't hold us in suspense too terribly long.
I was trying so hard to keep it together...I'll let you all off the hook soon, I promise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by longing2Batdisney View Post
Hey! Missy
I can see why you are so nervous about the flight...I would have been in tears along with you!....waiting for more!
Connie
Poor Jeff was trying to keep me positive...what a good guy!

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Great start!
I feel like I'm sitting on that plane stressing out with you... hurry up and get to Florida so I can relax
Hi and Welcome! I know...that's exactly how I was feeling!

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Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Oh no! I would definitely be stressing out too! Okay...now I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens!!
Not the best way to start what was supposed to be a stress-free vacation! Stay tuned!
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:54 PM   #23
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Oh no - this does not look good!!
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:24 PM   #24
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Don't leave us hangin'!!!!
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:41 AM   #25
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Oh no - this does not look good!!
Agreed.

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Don't leave us hangin'!!!!
I'll try to get an update posted today.....
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:33 PM   #27
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Missy...great start but may I remind you your name is Missy not Kathy RN...no cliffhangers allowed now I know all is good right...

and I LOVE, LOVE the picture of you in the brown dress w/ your man on your side. You look AWESOME!

can't wait for more fun...(i hope)

J~
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by mousescrapper View Post
Missy...great start but may I remind you your name is Missy not Kathy RN...no cliffhangers allowed now I know all is good right...

and I LOVE, LOVE the picture of you in the brown dress w/ your man on your side. You look AWESOME!

can't wait for more fun...(i hope)

J~
LOL! I rarely get a good set-up for a cliffhanger so I just HAD to take advantage of this one....forgive me!

Thanks for the sweet compliment! I love that picture too....it's not often we get a nice picture of just the two of us.
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:39 AM   #29
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A Change of Plans!

I was sitting in my seat, trying hard to fight back tears, when the pilot came on with this announcement. “I promised you an update, but I didn't promise it would be a good update.”

And it wasn't.

He said that the Atlanta airport had now been CLOSED and that he would be taking us back to the airport. The weather in Atlanta was bad and they had NO idea when or IF the airport would re-open. The businessman next to me was checking the weather on his Blackberry and turned to me to show me the radar for the Atlanta area. “It doesn't look good” he says....then he looks up at me to see those tears I had been trying to hold back running down my face! The poor guy....he quickly tried to backpedal and make me feel better. Jeff explained that we were trying to get to Orlando to make a ship by 3 pm and he assured me that we would make it by then. I don't think he realized how FRAGILE I was when he shared the weather report with me!

As the plane was headed back to the gate, there was a little girl a few rows behind me having a TOTAL meltdown. She was crying and wailing. “I don't want to go back...I HATE this vacation!” Believe me little girl...I'm right there with ya! Jeff did his best to reassure me, but I was really upset. I knew we didn't have much time to work with and you never know when a weather delay will end. When we got back into the airport, of course everyone was scrambling to find a way to get where they were going in a timely fashion. We got in line to see if there was another flight to Orlando that we could get on. Remember that grandmother I was talking about? She was in front of us and it was obvious that she was trying to get to the same ship that we were! She asked about a different flight and the representative told her that they were making accommodations for some other passengers at the moment, but that we could come back in a few minutes and ask again. So...rather than wait for the same answer...Jeff and I sat down and tried to do some research on our own.

We got out our iPods...and thanks to a free 5 minutes of wireless service...began to search flight options. Unfortunately there was NOTHING leaving Rochester for Orlando that would get us to the ship on time. Just then, we overheard the grandmother talking to the lady at the desk again. It turns out that they had a direct flight leaving for Tampa at 8:00 that had seats available. It was scheduled to arrive in Tampa at 10:40. Jeff quickly looked up how far the drive was from Tampa to Orlando.....2 hours and 15 minutes. Not bad. He then found the phone number for Thrifty car rental in Tampa. We had our car for AFTER the cruise reserved through them so we knew they had an office in Port Canaveral. He asked about reserving a car for today...no problem....for $110. FINE....reserve it! I'd rather pay an extra $110 in order to make the ship. With all the groundwork laid, we got in line to get our tickets switched to the Tampa flight. It was now about 7:15....we should have left over an hour ago.

While we were in line to change our tickets....don't you know our original Atlanta flight begins to reboard! NOW WHAT? Do we stick with Tampa or take a chance on Atlanta? We are supposed to make a connection in Atlanta that we may or may not have missed at this point. And will the airport STAY open?? When we got to the front of the line, we asked the representative and she said that it was likely that Atlanta would be open and closed off and on most of the day. At this point, we may make our connection, but the airport may close again before that flight could leave. She advised us to avoid Atlanta if at all possible. OK...decision made. As all of our original plane-mates boarded the Atlanta flight, we moved over to the next gate to wait for the plane to Tampa.

I need to give a nod to Airtran here. The nice representative at the desk assured us that our luggage would make it from one flight to the next. Both planes were getting ready to leave and we were concerned about timing. She said she would see to it. Jeff says, “you're not going to do it yourself are you?” Her response, “most likely!” And sure enough, we watched out the window as she went under the plane to the baggage area, got our luggage personally (we had written descriptions for her), and wheeled our bags to the waiting Tampa flight at the next gate! Kudos to Alanna from Airtran...she's my hero!

At this point I am stressed but feeling better. Given the choice, I would much rather take things into my own hands than to sit at the mercy of nature and hope for the best. Now we were planning to arrive in Tampa at 10:40. That give us 4 hours to make a 2 hour drive. If all goes according to the NEW plan, we should get to the ship on time.

As we are calling my mom to let her know of our little situation, Jeff gets to talking to the grandmother and finds out that they are indeed going on the same cruise as we are. She had pre-paid for a rental car in Orlando and asked if we would be willing to drop her off at MCO to pick it up. I expressed concern over the time issue and realized that she thought we had until 4:30 to get on the ship. I told her that we needed to be on by 3 due to government regulations. (See....a little research goes a long way!) So, she agreed to forfeit her car and we agree to upgrade to a minivan, split the cost, and ride together. It's a win-win.

At about 7:40, we begin to board the plane for Tampa. Again...we are finally on our way! Now we are under a time crunch and feeling the stress, but at least we are headed to Florida!

Up next....Welcome to Tampa!
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:35 AM   #30
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Wow Missy! I would have felt the same way! That must have been so scary knowing that you only had a certain amount of time to work with. I'm so glad that you were able to get on another flight even if it meant a little rearranging in plans and....that you were finally on your way to Florida.
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