A huge surprise starts of the trip!
August 14 is finally here and we can start our vacation. So, after
getting up and ready I headed out the door after checking that
everything was turned off and nothing got left behind. I went to the
baker and picked up some rolls, so Tom and I could have a nice
leisurely breakfast. When I arrived at Tom’s he had already prepared
the breakfast table and we sat down to enjoy tea and juice and rolls
with butter, ham and cheese and some soft boiled eggs. Once we had
finished our meal we cleaned up, got everything ready for Pixie to
be fed and entertained until the visit of the catsitters and finally
called a taxi to take us to the airport.
Once we had stored everything in the trunk of the car we started our
journey only to turn around after about 150 feet. Tom had realized
he had left his glasses behind and we went back to get them. So a
few minutes later we started the second attempt to get to the
airport. No problems this time, we arrived there in good time, and
since we had already checked in online, all we had to do was check
in our luggage and go through security. Blue Danube Airport in Linz
is fairly small so there is not much to do and after walking through
the tiny duty free shop we waited for our flight to Frankfurt to
leave. While we were waiting I looked around and ….. there were a
few of my pupils. Before I could say a word to Tom they already came
over to tell me that they were on their way to San Francisco for
their 3 week vacation. After a short chat we realized that we
actually were on the same plane to Frankfurt and soon after boarded
We left right on time and since this is only a 50 minute flight they
only serve small snacks and drinks. This time we had chocolate and
vanilla cakes, which were quite nice. Tom had Coke and I had water
to go with it. Once in Frankfurt we had enough time to get from one
part of the airport to the other, sat for a while and had a drink
and some rolls filled with ham and pickles before we finally boarded
the plane to Orlando.
Once we had reached cruising altitude we were served some
refreshments. We each received a small packet of pretzels and some
drinks. We happily munched away on them and before we knew it, it
was time for a late lunch. Before they started serving we joked that
it would be “Chicken or pasta?” and guess what …. It was chicken or
pasta we had to choose from. As our starters we had a small
Salad with Balsamic dressing
and a herbed shrimp skewer! Yummy!!
Tom’s main course was the
Sweet and Sour Chicken, which was surprisingly moist and
flavourful. I had the Trofi-pasta
with Two Kinds of Pesto. Pasta cooked perfectly, don’t know how
they do that with pre-packaged food and the pesto went well with it.
A very nice lunch. For dessert we had some strange looking
We had the same thing on one of our previous flights, and even
though it had improved it was still tasting a bit odd. After we had
had tea and coffee we took some sleeping aid and turned on the
little monitor to watch a movie or two and dose off. Tom was clever
taking two pills and sleeping on and off for some time. I had only
taken one and was afraid of taking another one, so I watched “Young
Victoria” and fell asleep a few times but never for too long.
I then changed to “Alice in Wonderland” and finally fell asleep for
some time too. We both woke up right before we were served a light
dinner. This time there was no choice, it was
Sicilian Pasta with
olives and very tasty too.
dessert they offered yoghurt. I didn’t like the strawberry one and
tasted Tom’s cherry one, which he didn’t want to eat anyway and it
was at least a little nicer. Shortly after dinner we arrived at MCO
a little early only to learn that a Virgin Atlantic plane was still
at our gate and we had to sit on the plane for another 15 minutes.
Once the doors were opened we were lucky to be able to leave the
plane fast and got in line for immigration.
Thankfully there were not too many people in line ahead of us, so it
only took us half an hour. We went to search and pick up our
luggage, took it through customs, only to learn that we were to hand
it in again to be delivered to a conveyer belt in the terminal.
Okay, at least no carrying it. We then made our way across the
terminal to the conveyer and waited for another 15 minutes for our
luggage to arrive. While we waited we both talked about how nervous
we were about the rental car. In February we had booked a larger
type car only to learn they were out of that category and to go to
aisle xy to pick up a car. Well, they only offered “buses”! 6 to 8
seaters and we actually had to downgrade, as I would not want to
drive around in one of those, let alone park them at a WDW parking
Now this time around we had booked a convertible, our plane was the
same time as in February, 7pm and by the time we got to the counter
it was past 8pm. We were welcomed after about 3 minutes and guess
what, the representative looked kind of puzzled and told us to wait
a second, as our reservation came up “funny” and he needed to talk
to a supervisor. After 16 hours of travel time I was in NO mood for
problems and could feel a knot forming in my stomach. The guy came
back a few minutes later and told us they were out of convertibles.
Yeah, here we go! He then put on a really happy face and told us we
were to be upgraded. I was waiting for the – here’s a bus for you,
but no, he offered us a Camaro. Guess I have to explain – these are
NOT common in Austria and I had NO idea what it was, so I asked Tom
and he said that he thought it was kind of a “sporty” car.
So I lean over the counter and asked the guy if my luggage would fit
in the car. He was puzzled too by the question and I guess our not
freaking out over the upgrade. He told us about 5 times that it was
a C-A-M-A-R-O!!! We didn’t blink! Once our paperwork was finished we
made our way over to the parking garage, a bit puzzled as we are
usually told to “pick a car in row xy” and this time we were to ask
for the key at the little booth in the parking lot. Well, looooong
story short, we walk out and they have ONE car parked right close to
the booth and we both look and read and look and read again and this
is it ……… our car! Yeah, NICE surprise and a GREAT upgrade!
Even though I could barely see over the dashboard we really fell for
our car for the next four weeks. It took us a few minutes to figure
out how to put most of our stuff into the trunk and how to work
everything, but we were soon on our way. After a few minutes on the
highway the first billboards made us realize that our vacation had
actually started and with a wonderful upgrade surprise. We made it
to WDW in about 25 minutes and checked in at Old Key West at around
The wait was short and we were welcomed home. There is something
about the feel of Old Key West, that quiet little village feeling
with lots of smiling and happy inhabitants – Tom and I love it
there. The CM looked for our paperwork and handed us the Keys to the
World and I realized we were on the first floor. That is something
else I am funny with – I do not like to stay on first floors. So she
asked a manager if she could change our room assignment because we
were staying for nearly two weeks and he agreed and she put us in
the same building, actually just above the villa we had originally
been asigned, but only on the second floor. I am fine with that. We
drove down Old Turtle Pond Road, walked up to the building and up
the stairs and when we opened the door we knew we were finally here
and at home. We moved all our luggage upstairs and went out to do
some shopping at Publix. There were a few snack items and drinks we
wanted to pick up and there was more than enough time to do so.
When we had finally finished shopping we went to our all time
favourite counter service place to pick up some very late night
dinner, Wolfgang Puck’s Express. Since we did not feel like either
cookies or brownies we decided to pay out of pocket for our dinner.
Our order was put in and in no time we were on our way back to Old
Key West and sitting at the dining table with two plates of
delicious food and some cold drinks.
We had chosen two sandwiches to share, the
Warm Turkey Melt with
cheddar, caramelized onions and arugula in freshly baked all natural
bread with yummy sweet potato fries. It was SO good, still warm,
even though we had to take it back to a very air conditioned villa
and the sweet potato fries were SO good! Our second choice was the
Pesto Chicken Salad sandwich
with romaine and plum tomatoes in freshly baked all natural bread
with crispy herbed fries. TO DIE FOR!!! Once we had enjoyed our
sandwiches we noticed just HOW tired we were so we fell into bed for
a good night’s rest.