Feb 16, 2013





“It’s freezing here!”


And off we are to another adventure.

The day before we left was a pretty hectic and long one. We both had to work. Well, for me it was the end of term and we got off about 20 minutes early, which meant that I was able to leave school at 12.30. While Tom was still at work, I did some shopping, went to the cemetery, to put some flowers on our family grave, and finally met with Tom, who had started the day extra early to be able to get off on time. We still had to take Pixie to the cat hotel and so we put her in her basket, and off to the car. The drive is about 20 minutes and Pixie was SO not happy about it. Once we arrived and she had inspected her home for the next week she was okay.

After a while we said goodbye and went home, finished packing, had dinner, tidied up the rest of the house and finally fell into bed for a very short night’s sleep.

Our travel day started in the wee hours of the morning. We got up at 4.30, got dressed, had a Coke and a sandwich for breakfast. After locking up the house we removed all the snow from the car, loaded our luggage in and off we went towards the airport.

Our airport is pretty small and arriving there 45 minutes early is more than enough, but we still were a little on the “late” side. So we quickly stopped in front of the departures hall, unloaded the luggage and sent it off, before heading back to the car to drive over to the car park. We were pretty lucky as we found a spot right by the entrance where we parked and walked back to the terminal. We walked right through security and took a peek into the duty free shop. We were just looking for a seat when we heard the announcement that our flight was ready for boarding. So off to the gate we went, tickets checked we got on the bus that took us out to the plane. It would have only been a few steps to the plane but since you are not supposed to walk under the wings we were driven there. We all climbed in, found our seats and put our safety belts on. Within a few minutes the announcement that we were supposed to take off within the next five minutes came. And it didn’t take long until we were airborne and on our way to Frankfurt. A few minutes into our 55 minute flight the flight attendant came through, handing out little bags of snacks. Once they were done with that they were serving drinks. Tom got some Coke and I had some water to wash down the little Italian “bread” bites, which were tasty but pretty hard. In no time the captain announced that we were supposed to be landing soon and everyone had to get back to their seats and safety belts closed.

We landed on time and we knew we had a lot of time to kill in Frankfurt, since I had chosen the early flight to give our luggage ample time to transferred to the Transatlantic flight. We were in no hurry and slowly strolled from one terminal to the other which all in all took nearly 45 minutes. Once we had arrived in the other terminal we walked through the shops and then decided to find somewhere to have some late breakfast, early lunch. We knew there was a nice restaurant and went to find it. It required leaving the inner airport area, but since we had so much time to kill we went for it.

We found a nice table and were handed a menu. It was only 9am and they still offered breakfast, but we both didn’t feel like it. I ordered a Diet Coke and Tom had some beer. We actually, both, ordered the same thing, Frankfurt sausages and potato salad. They  were quite generous portions and it tasted pretty nice, even though the potato salad was a bit on the sweet side for me. After we had finished our meal we still sat and chatted and watched the planes coming and going. At around 11am we left and slowly made our way over to our departure gate. It was quite a trek there and required going through passport control and security, then change from one terminal to another. It was then that it dawned on us that Tom had forgotten his camera charger and he did not have time to have charged it at home. Yikes. So off we went to one of the electronic stores to find a charger. What we found was a universal charger, one that charges everything. So in the end we ended up with a really nice device that now allows us to leave all our chargers at home. It is now resting comfortably in our Owner’s Locker box.

Charger in our hand luggage we went towards our departure gate again. We still had a way to walk and crossed through another duty free store again. Tom picked up a bottle of Whiskey and then we finally made it to our gate. We sat down for a while and I was craving some chocolate. So off we went AGAIN in search of some chocolate. What we found was a nice bakery right in the middle of the airport. They had really yummy things and we decided to have another snack before getting on the plane. Tom picked a yummy freshly baked roll, filled with prosciutto. I had my heart set on a chocolate filled croissant, and we both were very happy with our choices, as they were fresh and tasty. On the way to our departure gate we picked up a bar of chocolate and some gum at a newspaper stand.

Once back at the gate it did not take very much longer and we were allowed to board. I am always looking for seats as far up front as possible to get off the plane first when we arrive and this time was no exception. We sat one row behind the emergency exit and settled in, luggage in the compartment above our heads. Again we were off on time and about 20 minutes into the flight we were offered some Italian crackers and some drinks. I opted for some water and since it was a long flight, Tom ordered another beer, which came in a can.

The lady in front of Tom was a bit annoying, changing her seat and her headrest all the time and suddenly all I saw was Tom’s can of beer flying through the air. Beer splashing everywhere and something yellow lying in Tom’s lap. The “lady” in front of him had managed to rip off the headrest and shoot it up, where it hit the luggage compartment and then shot down to send Tom’s beverage on a flight of its own. All the lady was interested in was getting her headrest back and how she could fix it again, not even acknowledging the damage she had done. Tom’s right leg had taken most of the contents of the plastic cup but the poor young man across the aisle had been soaked with most of the contents of the can.

His trousers were still stained when we left the plane. After that incident and after trying to dry off Tom’s trousers with tissues it didn’t take very long until lunch was served. We both were handed a tray that had a small portion of Salad, some Buttermilk Dressing, a roll, Camembert and some butter, a piece of very nice and moist Chocolate Cake and our choice of main course.

Tom had opted for the Beef stew, served with rice and carrots and peas, while I opted for the Pasta which was kind of Mac and Cheese with fresh tomato sauce on top. Both were very nice and since we had eaten so much it made us feel sleepy. To help with falling asleep we both took some sleeping aid and watched an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. We must have fallen asleep right after watching it, as I do not recall anything after having seen it for quite a while. I remember waking up and checking on progress but then drifting off to sleep right again. We both “regained” our being awake status about two hours before we were supposed to land in Orlando.

They handed out hot/cold towels to freshen up and that was exactly what we did. About 20 minutes later we were fed again. This time there were no choices, everyone got the same food.

On the tray we were handed a heated container with some Cheese Ravioli topped with leave spinach in a cream sauce. Very good! We were also given a rather cold roll and some butter. For dessert we got some really nice chocolate pudding. It was creamy and light and not too sweet at all. Once we had finished dinner we only had about half an hour’s flight to sit through. And soon we touched down in Orlando and were in line to get off the plane. We hotfooted it over to Immigration and were very pleasantly surprised that there was nearly no line at all. We only waited for about 10 minutes to see an officer and found ourselves waiting for our luggage in no time. I saw a bag that looked like ours on the luggage band and picked it up.

But something looked odd – well, same bag, different owner. Luckily I had put a DCL belt and a coloured ribbon on mine. It was back on the belt in a split second. Tom found our suitcase and bag on the other belt and we were off to customs. We had a lot of chocolate in our suitcase and I had declared it on the form, so we had to go through secondary inspection. They were very nice and scanned our suitcase and then we were sent off to have a great vacation. Next stop Dollar rental cars. There were long lines at most rental car desks, so we were happy to see that there were only three parties in line ahead of us. It took about 15 minutes to get to the counter and we were assigned a car. Since we usually pre-book in Austria and buy all the insurances there is not much they can still sell to us, but the sales rep was pretty pushy on selling us a Sunpass. We know that the cash lines are gone in the Miami area but we only wanted to go to WDW and Port Canaveral so we declined.

Paperwork in hand we walked out and over to the parking garage. When we walked outside the airport it was pretty chilly and we blamed it on the plane being overheated. Sure enough we should find out lateron that it had nothing to do with the overheated plane, but that there rather was a coldfront going through. Once we had found Dollar we were directed towards a row of cars and told to “pick one”. Now if you have read my last trip report from Disneyland Paris then you might remember that we had some trouble with the rental car rep, so after Tom had decided on a car I started to walk round and take pics of scratches, which earned us some funny looks from other renters. Finally we had put everything into the car, fixed our GPS and off we went.

It had only taken us an hour and a half until we were on our way to WDW. We were about half way to WDW and in line to pay our tolls when we came up with a fun idea. Why not start this vacation with some yummy Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Tom changed the directions and we were on our way. A few minutes later we were directed to an exit and low and behold it does have an exact coins gate, but no manned gate, and I was out of quarters. We panicked for a second then Tom remembered that he still had some change in his wallet. Thankfully it was enough and off we went. 10 minutes later we entered our favourite Krispy Kreme doughnut store and the “Hot Now” sign was even on. We ordered some coffee and Diet Coke and a dozen glazed Doughnuts, found a table and after taking a photo of our beauties we dug our teeth into them. Heavenly, after half a year without them. We both had two doughnuts and finished our drinks before we finished our drive over to Walt Disney World and Bay Lake Tower.

 Once we had parked our car we headed towards the lobby and finished check in. I had done online check in, but the system would not recognize my credit card, so that still had to be fixed. We were told about the new features to pay with our Key To The World and off we were within a few seconds. We had our hand luggage with us, so we headed right upstairs to check out our room. We were right in the middle of the inner circle with a wonderful view of the lake. So down we went again to bring up the rest of our luggage.

Once that was done we called bell services for our Owner’s Locker box and it didn’t take long for it to be delivered. And after we had stowed everything and freshened up a bit we made our way over to the Contemporary to pick up some food and drinks for dinner. First we stopped at the Convenience store to pick up some chips, some salsa and some drinks and then we headed to the Contempo Café and ordered some dinner to take back to our room. Once it was ready they put a lid on everything and put it all into a paper bag, ready to go.

We headed back to our room, laid the table and had our first WDW meal. We had ordered a Marinated Beef Flatbread and a Steakhouse Salad - marinated beef, mixed greens shaved red onions, goat cheese, and vine-ripe tomatoes with mustard dressing and it felt wonderfully relaxed to just sit there, enjoy the view of Bay Lake and munch Disney food. Once we had finished dinner we were tempted to just hit the pillows as it had already been a 23 hour day. But then we knew we HAD TO head over to the Magic Kingdom. I had changed our hotel so we would be able to, there was no way around it now. So we both put on our jackets and headed downstairs and started our way over to the Magic Kingdom.

And we realized it was freezing outside. It was really cold, so cold Tom had left his camera in the room so we could put our hands in our pockets. I had my small camera with me, just in case we should encounter something special. We arrived at the entrance and sped up a bit to make it to the bag check before the next ferry was to arrive. We quickly made it through the turnstiles and were greeted by the true love banners which were still on that day and some very familiar music. So we quickly made our way under the railway station and were lucky enough to catch the second showing of the Main Street Electrical Parade in a none crowded premium viewing spot.

We had spent about three weeks at Disney in the summer and never seen it, so that was a wonderful surprise and perfect start to our vacation. I took a few pictures of it, but since I only had my point and shoot I stopped after a few to enjoy the parade. Once it was over we slowly strolled through the shops l had a look at new merchandise. It was really nice to get inside for a while to warm up again. Once we had made it to the hub and we had taken the usual castle photo we decided to head towards Tomorrowland. There is one ride that we always love to ride and it is the People Mover. You can sit and peoplewatch. Only thing we did not think about – it’s outside and it was windy and cold.

But fun nonetheless. Once we got off we headed right inside the next store to warm up again a bit. We really wanted to see the new Storybook Circus area, so this is where we headed next. It was too dark to take photos with my camera, but we took a good look around and at that time even Dumbo was a walk on. But since we were cold already, we give it a miss and headed to the Big Tent. There were lots of things to check out and it was WARM in there. We took our sweet time looking around before we set out to walk over to the New Fantasyland. People were walking through the Little Mermaid Fastpass line and we first gave the ride a miss thinking that it would be a long wait.

But stop, it was only supposed to be a 20 minute wait. We can do that. The cast member at the standby entrance showed us the way and we started walking through the line. Another bend, this is where the line must start, no, no one in sight. Well, in the end we were only “waiting” in line for about 2 minutes, the ride being a virtual walk on. The ride itself was cute and since it was new to us there was lots to see. By then it was past midnight and the time change had started to really get to us. So we strolled over to Gaston’s tavern, had a look around and strolled through the little gift shop. Then we walked over to the Haunted Mansion, but that had a 10 minute wait and people were lining up outside, so we decided to call it a day and head back to our resort.

We slowly made our way down Main Street, exited the park nd decided to take another ride, on the Monorail. The Contemporary is the first stop of the resort one and it was just coming in, so why not. Once we were back in our room we had a quick drink, then watched a little TV to wind down and very soon had to turn it off as we fell asleep.