Ali's Mom's Disney Adventure Report
Dates: 8/3-8/8, 1999 (five day trip)
|August 4: Day 1 (Or How
We Get to WDW Via a Turtle)
We are now up, we are now dressed, we are now eager to go it is 4:00AM, and it's the start of our vacation, and all the woes of yesterday are forgotten (okay, not forgotten, but man, I'm trying)
I had arranged to take one car to the airport to leave there, and Jennifer's boyfriend has this huge pickup truck (this is Texas, so boyfriends usually come with pick-up trucks), and all 14 pieces of luggage goes into the back of it to be transported to the airport.
We get the airport at 5:45, and with the 7 (count them 7!) hard coded tickets, and the 7 assigned seats I go to the window, with 6 people behind me, and 14 pieces of luggage (it looked like we were going away for ever, and not just for 5 days LOL!) .
The lady at the counter is nice, but slow . Way too slow for my liking and I finally say to her "Is there a problem that perhaps I can help with"? At that point, she says, I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly, let me get someone to help me. (Okay, I calmly say to my inner self - what else can go wrong? Maybe asking myself that question was not the correct question to ask)
Now, there is this lady and this man looking at the computer, and my tickets, and the computer, and my tickets, and the computer (I think you get the picture). Okay, I pipe up "Is there a problem"? The lady says, "Well, none of you are in our computer system, and the plane is already 29 people over-booked"...Okay, I think this is where my father wishes I probably had an intravenous supply of Prozac, because I kinda sorta LOST IT! . To which the man standing next to the lady says "There is no need to get upset here, we will get you on that plane". Which he did? One of us in the middle seat of row 6, one in the middle seat of row 9, one in the middle seat of row 11, one in the middle seat of row 14, one in the middle seat of row 19, one in the middle seat of row 21, and the last one in the last row middle seat. Now, I'm not a happy camper at this moment, in fact, I am in tears, since Ali is only 6, and is now sitting between two strangers, and I'm envisioning her getting molested, or any other worse thing that could possibly happen. I then let the man know I was not happy, and now my dad has gotten involved, and insists on speaking to whomever can straighten this mess out. The "red-coat" comes up, and says, no problem, at the gate, they will fix it all for you, and you'll all sit together, just trust me (BTW: He lied!)...
So... Off to find the gate, we have 7
people, 3 carry on luggages and 1 very unhappy
We get to the gate, and lo and behold, we can not sit together, they can NOT get anyone to move out of an aisle or window seat and into a middle seat (hmmm.. I wonder why?), so an adult can NOT even sit next to Ali ah, but, the plane is overbooked, and if we would be so kind to take the next flight out, they will upgrade all of us to first class, plus give us a $300.00 per person free voucher. A quick look at flight times tells us, we should be in Orlando by 2-3pm, so we decide to go ahead and switch (mistake number one for the day here folks!).
We get the new tickets, the new seating, the vouchers, and a free coupon for breakfast, and notice that it was not the next flight out - but the flight 2 planes later (when I question, they stated, well we could not get you all together until then). Now, I am bound and determined to turn this bad start around, so I say fine (mistake number 2 here), and go look for the rest of the family. Okay, anyone reading that has a 20 year old and a 22 year old, that had gotten up at 4am, and not happy with that fact, ever tell them that they can not get on a plant until 12:50, and its not even 7am yet? If you have, then you know they outburst I got from them.
We went and got breakfast - compliments of Continental airlines, and the girls (all three of them), went in search of blankets, pillows, and a large piece of floor. The girls promptly fell asleep, and mom and I left Dad and Hubby to go in search of stores in the airport. The girls diddled away the time by sleeping, and around 12:15 all woke up on their own, which was nice, since we were supposed to board at 12:50. The plane got in at 12:48 to the gate, so it was more like 1:20 before we boarded. But we were in first class, we had all six seats in the first row (AB CD EF), With Mom and Dad in AB, Doug and Ali in CD, and Jennifer and Rachel in EF. If you notice, I am missing... I volunteered to be the one sitting in the second row, all by myself (please, give me the time out!!!)... The nice person in blue and white, gave us all a drink (I was really tempted to have an alcoholic drink at this point, but I resisted!)...
And we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... did I mention that we sat?... in fact, we sat for over an hour, before we taxied away.
And we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat...did I mention that we sat? in fact, we sat for over an hour, before the pilot said we needed to go back and disembark so they could fix the engine (he felt it was needed to fly the plane LOL!)
And we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... and we sat... did I mention that we sat? in fact, we sat for over 2.5 hours, before we could get back on the plane
Did I mention that it was 7PM by now? Did I mention that I now had a grumpy father, two grumpy kids, one hyper kid (guess which was which), and a planner, all in a horrible bad mood?
We got back on the plane and I asked for alcohol!!!! Ah, but Continental gave everyone a coupon for a free drink, a 3 minute phone card, and a certificate that you have to spend money to save money, and that is supposed to make up for it (NOT!).
Now, mind you, all during the day, I am on the phone with the concierge of Grand Floridian, canceling dinner at Chef Mickey's, canceling lunch, canceling five massages that were scheduled, and with Tiffany's making sure they knew that we were not going to be at the airport at 10 AM, but 9 PM instead, and everyone was wonderful on the WDW side of things. Also with Jane from Gifts of a lifetime (see footnote).
We get off the plane about 9:30PM, the luggage is already there, Desi is waiting for us from Tiffany's, and we get to the Grand Floridian just in time to see the fireworks. The concierge people were great, and to find our silver lining again, we did not have to wait for our rooms, they were ready, turned down, and a chocolate piece waiting on the pillows for us. It did take over an hour to get our luggage, which I thought was strange, but hey, at least we HAD luggage, right? With the way our day had gone, I had half expected the luggage to be sitting in Europe somewhere. A nice touch -- when we checked in, the concierge had typed up a very quick letter, and let me know of all the changes that had made for me today, and what was now what. Our tuck in note for the night was from Disney's Cinderella "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes".
At the Grand Floridian, we are on the
first floor, room 6105 and 6107, we have the
Footnote: As I'm waking through the halls with my mom at the Houston Airport, I say out loud, "Oh, I have to call Jane" (who was doing something at 5pm for my parents)... My mom says "Who is Jane, and why do you have to call her"? I lied and said "Oh, she is just a friend who was going to come to Chef Mickey's to have dinner with us. What she REALLY was doing was:
As Mom and Dad walked into their room, there was this HUGE white basket, with ivy interlaced all throughout the handle, OVERFLOWING with camera's, sunscreen lotion, Pepsi (see you CAN get Pepsi at WDW with Jane LOL!), Bubble bath, A Grumpy, A Mickey, Chocolates, mints, chips, granola type bars, nice stationary to write little notes on, pens, tons of other stuff that escapes me at the moment, with a little love note saying Welcome to WDW, and that I loved them. There was not a single piece of filler in that basket. Jane did such a wonderful wonderful job on it, and it was just the first of many surprises planned for my parents.
But... we are here... we are happy... and day two will be much better, I am sure.