sunflowery's Diaryland Diary


Hello From Sunny Florida!

We are here. I am paying for internet service just so I can get this all down. I don't want to forget.

Saturday morning, I awoke around 9 and started getting things ready to go. By 11, our ride with Metro Mobility had shown up and we were on our way. The driver was super nice. He even let us use his cell phone so we could call our airline to see if they flew out of the HHH or Lindberg Terminal. Turns out, Lindberg was the one we were to fly out of. OUr driver even helped us with our bags and got Bob into the terminal. We thanked him and even gave him a tip, something we don't usually do with MM. He tried to pass it off, but we insisted, so he took it.

We got into line to check in. While standing there, I noticed that there was a direct flight to Orlando leaving an hour before our flight was to leave. I asked if there was room and the attendent said she could get us on! So we traded a layover in Atlanta with a midnight landing time in Orlando for a direct flight with a 6:10 landing time! As soon as we were set, I made a call to our car rental place and we secured an earlier reservation for the same rate!

We sat in the terminal for a little over an hour waiting for our flight. By the time we were preparing to board, the waiting room was full. They announced that the flight would be full. Bob was not the only wheelchair user and several of us were allowed to preboard. As they wheeled Bob down the ramp, the guy asked if this was our chair or the airline's and before I could answer, he said, "The airline's, huh?" I was quick to point out that it was our chair and we would be needed it put on the plane as soon as we boarded. He apologized and we were set.

Bob and I sat in the first row behind business class. We had plenty of leg room and I was pleased that I not only fit in the airline seat comfortably, but the seatbelt fit around me with room to spare. We were so excited.

The flight was uneventful, if a little boring. We had beverages and pretzels. Bob napped and I read a couple of the magazines I had brought for the trip.

We landed in Orlando around 6 and the sun was JUST setting. It was beautiful. We deplaned and waited for Bob's wheelchair to be brought out from the cargo area. We noticed the temperature difference right away. It was 80 degrees and so humid. We definitely did NOT need our winter coats any more.

Once we got off the plane, we herded ourselves (along with everyone else from our flight) to baggage claim. It took a while, but our bags finally made their way through the chute. Bob carried the bulk of them on his lap while in the wheelchair and I pushed him. Next stop, car rental place.

We got there just in time as the line behind us grew exponentially with each passing minute. We got our car for the quoted rate (under $150! for the week) and went to the garage to get our car. The only one left in the full size catagory was a bright red Monte Carlo. It had a pretty good wheelbase and seemed easy for Bob to get in and out of and the trunk was big enough for Bob's wheelchair, so we were good to go.

Our only problem was that we didn't have the greatest directions from the airport to our hotel. We followed the signs to Kissimmee from the airport and ended up on a tollroad. The first toll was for $1 and they only had a change bucket and NO attendant. We only had bills. We sat there forever wondering what to do before a car came up behind us. Bob bravely offered to get out and go ask them for change. It seemed our only option. So he got out and asked them for change for our dollar. He said they acted like they thought he was drunk so he made sure to tell them he had MD. But they gave him the change and we were on our way again. Only to get lost.

We managed to find the right approximate area, but got turned around and drove in the opposite direction for over 30 minutes before coming to a dead end. So we turned back around, figured out our error and managed to FINALLY arrive at our villa after 10. Yeah, we landed at 6:15 or so and didn't get to our villa until after 10. The airport is only about 25 miles from where we are staying. But this place is confusing and all the roads are twisty turny.

We got in, ordered pizza, ate and went to bed. It was the best sleep.

We got up this morning and dressed in a leisurely manner. We had a cheap breakfast buffet nearby but by then, Bob wasn't feeling so great. So I took him back to the villa and then I went shopping. I needed a new bathing suit and Bob needed a pair of shorts. Did I mention that it's 80 degrees here?

After a bit of some more challenging navigation, I found the factory outlets where the bathing suits are and found a pretty good deal on one. I also found brand new leather sandles for $10! I also found a Super Target where I bought our groceries. I drove around a bit and took some photos. When I got home, Bob was out walking and talking to others in our villa complex.

The rest will have to wait as my time is almost up. More later!

8:58 p.m. - Sunday, Jan. 09, 2005


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