The Road (or flight) Home

On the road again

The road home from Jackson turned out to be an interesting challenge. I woke up around 3 am only to find that it had snowed.  Yup 6 inches of slippery, sloppy white stuff. My concierge told me I had a front wheel drive car so I’d have no problem getting to the airport. Then he went out to bring the car around and got stuck!

Plow Schedule

Loading my bags into the car my valet cheerfully explained that the roads aren’t plowed until after 9 am. He didn’t even know if they would bother to plow today or just let it melt. I could expect to have snow covered roads and highway all the way to the airport. Oh Joy!

The Snowy Drive

The first part of the drive was pretty dicey. It’s very dark out there in Wyoming! The snow was still coming down and when you met another car or truck, splat! Jackson was a different story. With less snow and more traffic most of the road was just wet. It continued that way until the airport. I’m sure the locals hated me because I kept my speed right around 35-40 mph. Once in the airport I found the car rental return only to face a windy, cold trek to the terminal.

Delay upon Delay

stock photo

Jackson Hole Airport (stock photo)

Once inside I learned my flight was delayed due to the condition of the run way. Ok by me. I’d rather be safe on the ground that plastered against one of the mountains that ring the airport. As I chatted with a fellow traveler I learned she was the same person that had watched the elk herd with me a few days before! Small world.

Elk Migration

Are we ready now?

As we chatted they changed gates for my flight and started to check in. But it was not to be. My connecting flight is in Denver and turns out the airport was closed  due to fog. We had to wait for Denver to reopen. Finally we had the green light and boarding began. One last trip through the de-icer and we were ready to roll. Everyone held a collective breath as the plane slid (quite literally) into position but finally we were airborne, climbing steeply over the majestic Tetons. We were lucky to get out of Jackson Hole!

stock photo

 

Is that Snow I See!?

Is That Tiny Snow Flake?

Jackson Hole Aerial TramThe weather report is for snow.  I’ll break out the winter jacket. At least I packed one. I have an appointment at 10 am to pick up a Gaperguide but I also want to take the tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. They closed it yesterday because of the high winds. With a storm predicted I’m afraid it will get closed again and this is the last day! The concierge says they have a waffle shack at the top. If I go up when it opens at 9 am I can have breakfast at the summit.  As I watched the tram glide down from the top I saw a tiny flake of snow drift slowly down. That’s it. I’m going up. I’ll just be late for my appointment.

Jackson Hole Aerial TramTram at the Bottom

This is really convenient. The tram is right next door! As I lined up I was surrounded by skiers anxious to get to the top for the new snow. They all planned to have a waffle breakfast too. The tram operator had some bad news for us non skiers. The storm had already started at the summit.  The walking was treacherous. It was all ice and the wind was blowing. He strongly advised that we ride up and come right back down. Going up we all watched for animals. Bears and Moose are often seen on the  mountain but not today.

MountainSide

Still ClimbingSeriously Serious Snow

Once the tram docked I stepped out onto the platform and nearly took a header. My feet could not get any traction at all. I didn’t even make it to the path to the waffle house. Safety First, I reluctantly agreed to skip the waffles and returned back down the mountain. The tram operator recommended a restaurant called the Mangy Moose as a substitute. He said it was close to the tram and had excellent breakfast.

 

Pretty Rugged

Greetings from Sunny Orlando

Sunny and 80’s is the word of the day.

Orlando is sunny and hot! A typical Florida experience. I want to thank everyone who has been checking in regularly even though I haven’t been able to post anything. It’s great to see you dropped by.

No phone No Internet

I’ve been out of touch because my resort was without phone or internet. Cell phone service was spotty at best. When I checked in the lobby had a huge hole in the ceiling, no A/C and huge fans going. The poor desk clerks were seated at folding tables with lap tops to process the guests. Half of the resort was without any power but my unit had everything except phone, cable and wifi so no Facebook or Aroundustyroads updates and no TV at night. I guess I can handle that.

HangglidingAll Thanks to Hurricane Irma

I picked Joe up at his work so he had a chance to see the resort. By the time I got settled in it was getting dark out so I didn’t have a chance to really survey the damage. Joe said some of the rides and attractions at Disney were still closed. They had a lot of trees down. We had planned to enjoy the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort but due to the property damage from Irma it was canceled. Instead Joe managed to get Fastpasses for Soarin’ at Epcot. I loved the old ride but its changed now. Today you go Soarin‘ the world. Fantastic! I highly recommend this ride. I could go over and over if only they let me!

Loved the Show Skip the Food

Soarin’ was as great as I remembered. There were breaching whales and Polar bears! A calving glacier and shifting sand with camels and Pyramids. Look quick! It’s the Eiffel Tower all a-light! Around the world we go! After the ride it was definitely time to eat. It was almost 9 pm! There’s a food court right there where the ride is located. Since it was raining that seemed like the best option.  I was very disappointed in both the food choices and finally the food. I can’t recommend the food here but I can recommend the ride.

 

Yes I’m still Florida Bound

Heading to Florida In Spite of Irma

I’m Florida Bound after all. I really thought my trip would be cancelled not just postponed. I had this nightmare vision of lounging at the pool while  all around me work went on to repair the hurricane damage. I’m feeling guilty before I even get there! But several things came into play in my decision. The first thing is an all day tour to swim with Manatees.

The Manatees are still at Crystal Springs

manatee and snorkeler

I called the tour first. A very pleasant young woman assured me that the damage wasn’t that bad. They were still running the tours. She promised I would have a great time. She said around Central Florida it was just like a bad rainstorm. The winds weren’t that bad and the biggest gusts were only about 70 mph. She said getting the tourist dollar back into the state was really important too. She was very convincing. Besides I really want to see these gentle giants up close and personal.

Diamond Resort Logo

We Love To Say YES!

Next Call, the Marketing Department of my Resort

My trip was a promotional trip. I had tried to cancel it before but would have incurred huge fees to do so. I was pleasantly surprised when the marketing rep immediately agreed to reschedule. The only problem, he didn’t have anyone to do my “update” (aka sales pitch). Finally he suggested I call another department to see if I could use my points to get a resort. That call went very well. So many people were canceling that they had tons of rooms available. Once more I heard how getting the tourists back was a real necessity. He set me up with another 4 day block. I called back the marketing department and they canceled that trip and agreed to refund my $150.00!

Delta, can you help me?delta airlines

I held my breath as I called Delta Airlines but I shouldn’t have worried. I got a former “Tauntonite”. We compared notes on the changes in Southeastern MA and Logan vs T.F. Green before we tackled the reason for my call. I had a non-refundable ticket that I needed to change. To my pleasant surprise she immediately offered me a new itinerary that worked perfectly with my new dates. Even better she gave me the hurricane waiver so there were no charges or penalties for making the change.

All the little details

Now that the big things were done all of the little details began to fall into place from rental car to pet sitter.

Rocky my cat

 

To have all of this work out this easily must mean I am meant to take this trip. Can’t wait to see the Manatees!

And along Came Irma

Hurricane Irma takes Aim for FloridaMickey Mouse

As Hurricane Irma heads for Florida even Disney is not immune. The World famous home of Mickey and Minnie is closing for only the 5th time since it opened in 1971. Why am I talking about this? Because it looks like I may be heading for Orlando just as Irma leaves the state.

A Mini Vacation in Jeopardy

About a year ago I had a chance to grab  a quick visit to Orlando. By quick I mean only 4 days. Fly down, spend a couple of days and fly back. The cost, just $150.00 so I jumped at the chance. The only problem was that I had to use the trip before September 30. I usually avoid vacations before October because of my work load but the price was too good to say no. So now I find  myself watching the weather channel nightly and getting updates from my friends in Orlando.

Saturday Morning Update

storm track

 

According to the weather folks, Irma’s hurricane strength winds are going to begin to reach Orlando tonight. On Sunday Orlando should be in the thick of it but as the pitchmen say-But Wait! There’s More!-. They just announced that Irma’s winds are going to hang around through Monday before the storm moves on out of the area.

So what about the trip?

I continue to monitor conditions. My resort is expected to be open for business on Tuesday. It’s been closed as of yesterday. Disney World is planning to welcome visitors again on Tuesday. Everyone is planning to bounce back quick. One can only hope the optimism is well placed. I guess it will all depend on the planes. If they are flying into Orlando I guess I’ll be going. House sitter/pet sitter is on standby so everything is in place if I get to go. I guess I’ll have a new adventure. I usually run away from disaster zones not toward them. I know my limits. In the meantime, keep your eye to the sky.

UPDATE

Just announced Irma is shifting to the West. Bad for the coast good for Orlando.