Adventure 2 of 2012

We’re off to quite a start for this brand new year. First there was that little jaunt up to North Conway for the “Steam in the Snow” train ride and photo shoot. That was an awesome time. Just goes to show an adventure doesn’t have to be far away or for a full week. Sometimes just a day long get-away can make lots of memories.

But this time I am a lot farther away than New Hampshire. I am sitting here in my Timeshare in Sunny Orlando, Florida. It’s a cute little one bedroom this time and I am very anxious to try out that bed. I was up at 5:30 in the  morning to catch an 8:15 flight. The only thing was that I thought the flight was at 8:30. No matter, I planned to be at the parking lot between 7:15 and 7:30 so even though I had the time wrong I should have been at the airport within plenty of time for a domestic flight. I was all checked in online and had my seat assignment. All I had to do was drop off my bags and clear security.

I didn’t count on hitting rush hour traffic in Providence but I did so I arrived at the parking lot at 7:30 on the button. The sign said bring keys to attendant. So I tried the door but it was locked. I walked around to the other side of the building and that time the door opened. A nice man was sitting at the counter and I gave him my credit card and paperwork. Unfortunately his computer wouldn’t boot up. Then once he finally got going by using a lap top, he had problems with his credit card machine. 20 minutes later he finally told me to put my luggage in the van.

I have to confess that I am not used to that. I normally pull in and am greeted by an employee who takes my luggage while I go in and pay. In and out in 5 minutes, onto the shuttle and we’re off. Not this place. I put my own luggage in the van and waited. Another man came in to pay and pick up the shuttle so that delayed us further. Finally with both of us in the van the fellow who processed my paperwork locked up shop and hopped in to drive us to the airport. Looks like a one man operation. Not very efficient.

I don’t wear a watch but I’d guess I arrived at the airport at about 8:00 am. Still time for an 8:30 flight but that’s when I realized that it was an 8:15 flight…when the kiosk flashed the’re too late!

The counter attendant said I could make the flight but that my luggage wouldn’t so without any further discussion she changed all of my arrangements booking me on a later flight.

This flight went through Philadelphia with a 2 hour layover in Washington DC. In Philly I just waited on the plane but in Washington DC it was not only a 2 hour layover but also a change of planes. It gave me time for a nice lunch.

Back in the air the flight to Orlando was pretty uneventful. I was stuck in the middle seat with 2 strangers. Not my favorite arrangement but they were nice. The plane was full. The last passenger on was a large man. He easily made me look thin. He had an aisle seat but the man in the center seat started mouthing off loudly. He made a comment that “I’m stuck sitting next to the biggest man on the plane”. You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone on the plane turned to look and send dirty looks toward the mouthy guy. One of the flight attendants went to that row immediately. I didn’t hear anything but Mr. Mouth shut up after that. I felt so bad for the big guy. My seatmates could have made a comment about me. I’m no frail , little thing, and I would have been devastated. There is no call for that kind of rudeness.

Once on the ground in Orlando I headed to baggage claim. It would have been ironic if after all that my luggage got lost but it didn’t. It was one of the first off the plane. So in no time I was on my way to the rental cars.

I’m renting from Enterprise this time. No more Payless for me after the fiasco in Phoenix. This went off without a hitch. There was no line. The car was ready. The amount due at pick up was the rental + 20%, exactly what I was told when I booked it. Smooth sailing!

I have a little 2011  Kia Rio with about 25,000 miles on it. It proved to be quite “peppy” as I pulled into traffic on RT 4.

Check in at the condo also went smoothly so I think my vacation is back on track.

So to sum up my first day on vacation , a “travel day” , I have to say the parking lot company needs to step up its arrival game a bit. No names yet, I have to get my car back first.

The airline I flew was US Air and I was impressed. They were pleasant and professional. They didn’t charge me to change my flight. The new travel arrangements got me into Orlando by 5:30 instead of 2:30 but with no stress or rush to make connections.

Enterprise rental car. They were absolutely wonderful. They held my car reservation for me, were pleasant and professional and actually charged me what they said they would. No surprises! They walked me through the inspection and answered my questions and even gave me a map and directions to my timeshare. (I’d been to the same one before  but it was in 2010). All in all a very positive experience.

Posted in Florida, Travel and tagged , , , .