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Old 08-21-2011, 07:56 PM   #1
bubba's mom
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Cool bubba's mom's annual trip report to Univ...wait! WHAT?! NO Universal?!?!?!?!

That's right...you read it correctly.

We did NOT go to Universal this year. First time in 5 years. But, I think I've covered just about most of it by now anyway....

But, I've been asked for a trip report for this year anyway and we like to have them here to go back and read....so here is what happened:

We were supposed to rent a sailboat and sail the British Virgin Islands w/ DH's brother and his family (us 3, their 5) this year. BIL being unsure if it was going to be financially feasible for him this year or not, I booked a 7 night western caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas as a back-up. Turns out, sailing trip is postponed till next summer and the back-up plan was a 'go'.

So the plan was: a week at Dad's, a long weekend at BIL's and then onto the cruise.


And so we begin.....


Day 1 -- Friday, July 1

DH & I's day started at 4:50am. He had been making time up at work to be able to leave work early today and the co-worker he was hitching a ride to work with, leaves at 5:30am. So, I got up to take him to his house. I'm not a morning person, and even less of a fan of getting up when it's still dark out.

So, husband dropped off and on his way to work, I returned home (only about 5 min. away) to get myself cleaned up and finish packing. Eventually I dragged the boy out of bed (he's starting to do the 'teenage sleeping in' thing these days) and told him to eat and get his act together.

We left our house around 11am or so to drop Max off at my client's house. She & her husband were going to watch him for us while we were away. We stayed to visit for awhile while the dogs played. I didn't want to just 'drop him and run'...so, we enjoyed a nice hour or so with them.

About 12:45 it was time to say goodbye to Max. Bubba was already missing him, and we weren't even off their street yet, and already had some tears in his eyes! This is going to be a long couple of weeks!!

Just before 1pm, we were on our way to pick DH up at work. He was leaving at second break, 2pm. Sometimes the traffic can be nuts at certain parts along the way, so I wanted to give myself plenty of time. I'll say I did! We were there at 1:35! Oh well...better to wait for HIM than have him wait for us. Not a good way for him to start his vacation!

Now DH was driving and we navigated toward the place we planned to park our car while away. It wasn't too hard to find, it was just the first time we've driven from his work to the airport. We checked in right away and in no time, were on our way to the airport.

We knew we'd be WAY early for our 6:15pm flight, so we had planned to have an early dinner at Chickie & Pete's in the terminal. We ate here last year and it was good and very filling. No different this year. And, almost the same seats too! We found our seats right away (last ones in the place) and it was about 3:30. Lots of time. There were plenty of crab fries to go around. I got the turkey wrap I got last year. Bubba had the cheesesteak hoagie and DH had the chicken cheesesteak.

We ordered our food and watched the Phillies game while we ate. We were in no hurry, so we decided to sit and finish watching the rest of the game. We only had another inning or two until it was over, so we hung out to watch our Phils win!
After the game was over, we went to our gate. We got there about 5pm, in plenty of time for our 6:15 flight. We checked the board behind the desk to see if we were ontime. Nope, it said 6:30--late. Crud.

As it neared 6pm, we all went for one last potty break before boarding. When I went, I checked the board again, and the time went back to 'ontime'...6:15. Good I suppose.

When they started calling for lineup, we were ready. We flew Southwest, so when the first half of the A's went, we lined up in their spots. We were B2, 3 & 4. B's were finally called and we boarded the plane, taking row 14...wing seats...not bad. I did notice the sign stating you had to be 15 yrs old to sit in the emergency exit aisle. I was wondering what that minimum age was. Bubba only has a few more years.

Here's where my complaint comes in (& I usually don't have any with Southwest): they rushed everyone on the plane telling everyone to find a seat. Then, we SAT there. And sat there. And sat there. They did make an announcement saying they were waiting on a baggage count or something to do with the luggage. Talk about being slower than molasses...figures...it's Philly! We finally took off at 7:03pm. Our original flight schedule was departure at 6:15, arrival 8:30 in Orlando. This has got to be the first time we weren't ontime with Southwest.

We must have had a tailwind or something because we arrived in MCO about 9pm. I remember checking the clock on the wall on my way to the potty (the first stop when we arrive...of course!)

I was afraid the car rental desk would be closed because we were so late (and we've never used Thrifty before), so we decided to go there first. I was going to get the luggage while he got the car, but we decided to all go to Thrifty first. When we got down to that level, I joked Thrifty would be the very LAST car rental desk on the row. And, of course, I was right. It was.

Luckily there wasn't anyone there and we checked in right away. Now we had to go back to get our bags before heading out to get the car.

We were back at the carousel our luggage was supposed to come out on, but it wasn't running? After waiting for about 5-10 minutes, we didn't recognize any of the people standing around either. DH decided to walk over to the SW Baggage office. He looked at all the luggage sitting outside the office in a roped off area, and there was our luggage sitting there waiting to be claimed. MCO is that efficient! We claimed our bags and then headed all the way BACK to car rental place to retrieve our car. It's a good thing luggage has wheels these days!

We went outside to where they told us to pick up our car. When we got there, the gentleman told us to go to the next aisle and pick any car with the trunk open. We've never done it that way before. Which, turns out, proved to be more difficult. Then it was a matter of "what color car you want?" and "what kind of car is this one?" (you couldn't tell because the trunks were open.) We just wanted to get going, so we got a black Chevy Cobalt. Yeah...black. Cause THAT won't get hot sitting outside in the Florida sun.

On our way out, they scanned the barcode on the windshield. I'm still not used to showing ID on the way out of rental garage. Granted, good idea, but I always forget!

It was an uneventful drive to Dad's. We ended up getting there about 11pm. So far, this is just over an 18 hour day for DH & I (worse for him, cause he worked!) We were ALL tired! But, we stayed up for about an hour visiting before hitting the hay. I did send Bubba to bed about 11:30 or so, he was tired. Just a long traveling day all around

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(some Universal) Trip reports:
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Last edited by bubba's mom; 08-22-2011 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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Yay!! I love your reports! Can't wait to hear more!! Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
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I hate the travel days like that. Our March trip started with delays as well, and Allegiant is usually pretty much on time. Then we had to circle in the air another 40 minutes due to storms. I was getting so antsy. And we were tired when we arrive, but hungry too, so we had to go eat....of course I was too excited and only slept like 3 hours that night.
I wish I would've flown SW this trip. I could've out of Columbus ...about 2 hours or so away, but when I booked they didn't have any deals. Of cousre about 2 weeks later they did. I flew Spirit and reminded myself why I don't fly with them anymore. They charge for everything and they only have a bag weigh limit of 40lbs.....lets just say I tipped the scale at 48...luckily I weighed it at the hotel and bought another bag for $50 and then another $45 to put it on the plane.

I can't wait to read more!
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:58 AM   #5
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I'm all aboard for your TR!!!

Good to have the long travel day over with. How nice to have some visiting time with family before setting sail.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:01 AM   #6
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rollcall "i'm here"

hmmm, odd sort of flight delay down for you (always better to have one coming home lol).

Never have tried thrifty, doesn't sound like I will. Was their price the best for you this trip?
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #7
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I'm on deck! Can't wait to read it all!
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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Checking in as well! Always love your TR's, Brab!!
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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My flight arrivals at MCO are always around midnight... all rental car counters are closed...

Great TR!

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Old 08-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #10
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WOW Barb, loving the trippee, looking forward to the rest of it.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #12
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:26 AM   #13
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Day 2 -- Saturday, July 2

Today after breakfast, I unpacked and then DH & I went to Walmart for some necessities. Later in the afternoon, after we were settled, BIL & crew arrived. This was a lazy day of visiting, hitting some balls, swimming, eating and wrapping up the day by watching the Phillies game. Always good to have the family together. Dad & Bubba even got in on the action...but, I didn't get a picture of Dad hitting. Our nephew practicing and Bubba fielding!

DH also had fun trying out his new Father's Day gift. We had gotten him a Kodak Playsport videocamera. It's waterproof so he wanted to play with that in the water. Turns out, it took such good video, my SIL ended up buying one too! More pix of the family in the pool. Even Dad & Joyce (who hates the heat), came out to sit and visit with us! Our niece watched the annual family game of poolball while I took pictures.

BIL & SIL made chicken wings and ribs on the grill for dinner. They were delicious...Bubba kept telling me how good they were. Yeah kid, I get the hint. Get the recipe....

After dinner, we settled in to watch the Phils game. Some of us just couldn't make it though

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- '04
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:35 AM   #14
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hey...welcome everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
I hate the travel days like that. Our March trip started with delays as well, and Allegiant is usually pretty much on time. Then we had to circle in the air another 40 minutes due to storms. I was getting so antsy. And we were tired when we arrive, but hungry too, so we had to go eat....of course I was too excited and only slept like 3 hours that night.
I wish I would've flown SW this trip. I could've out of Columbus ...about 2 hours or so away, but when I booked they didn't have any deals. Of cousre about 2 weeks later they did. I flew Spirit and reminded myself why I don't fly with them anymore. They charge for everything and they only have a bag weigh limit of 40lbs.....lets just say I tipped the scale at 48...luckily I weighed it at the hotel and bought another bag for $50 and then another $45 to put it on the plane.

I can't wait to read more!
Well that sounds more of a headache than what happened to us! But on the bright side..you gots a new bag We always fly SW out of Philly... Next year we are flying American to St Thomas and I already have a plan to take 4 bags, but only manage to check only 1 bag . I just hate being late....must relate back to work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keishashadow View Post
rollcall "i'm here"

hmmm, odd sort of flight delay down for you (always better to have one coming home lol).

Never have tried thrifty, doesn't sound like I will. Was their price the best for you this trip?
Actually, since we had no where to "be" on the way down, it was the best time for a delay. DH had taken Monday off jic there WAS a problem getting home Sunday. Nothing worse than having to be work and being delayed getting home.
Thrifty actually WAS cheapest believe it or not. I HAD to go w/ a car company that I could return the car at the port (leaves options limited). The others were mid $300+. With taxes and everything, this one was just over $200 for the week. (more what I'm used to!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquibiri View Post
My flight arrivals at MCO are always around midnight... all rental car counters are closed...
Marquibiri
So...you don't rent a car then?
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(some Universal) Trip reports:
'12 - '11 - HHN '10 - '10 - '09 - '08/DCL - '07(Jan.) - '07(July) - Mickey Mouse @ Universal!
- '04

Last edited by bubba's mom; 08-25-2011 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:40 AM   #15
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Day 3 -- Sunday, July 3

We ALL slept in today. Including BIL & SIL who are the chefs when they are at Dad's. I think it was around 10am before they got up. Dad *almost* got his own breakfast cause he was tired of waiting.

Later after breakfast, BIL, SIL, DH & I went out to get Dad his birthday gifts. We usually get it there so 1) we have an idea of what he could use and 2) so we don't have to haul it on the plane with us. (although, we usually buy him a Phillies shirt and bring that) DH & BIL had some things to help Dad with around the house, and Dad's "lady" Joyce, had a water leak at her house, so they went over to check that out. When we got home, we found our niece already taking a nap! Now, she'd just returned from Italy with her grandparents a couple days eariler, so we all blamed "jet lag"...which, she seemed to still have over a week later when we would see her again!

Other than the busy morning, all we did was swim in the pool, hit some more baseballs, hung out in the pool and visited with family, ate and watched the Phils game (see a pattern?) Bubba got in plenty of hitting time this go around: 1, swing batta, his cousin pitching to him, ooops! Swing and a miss , but determined!

Dad's menu tonite was filets and baked potato. As usual, BIL manned the grill and did a great job. Everything was delicious!

After dinner, I did the dishes, it was time for the game. After the game, we played cards for a little while and then called it a night.

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(some Universal) Trip reports:
'12 - '11 - HHN '10 - '10 - '09 - '08/DCL - '07(Jan.) - '07(July) - Mickey Mouse @ Universal!
- '04
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