Aug 13, 2011





Let the memories begin


Finally, the big day was here! I had spent the night at Tom’s house, so I didn’t have to drive there in the morning. We got up around 7am, missing our little princess, Pixie, who had moved into a “cat-hotel” the day before and got ready. Around 8 we had a leisurely breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen and went upstairs to do some last minute things around the house, when Tom’s phone rang. His friend, who had organized the taxi to pick us up, told us, that the taxi was already waiting.

Darn, it was 20 minutes early, so we hurried to check everything, close up the house, load the luggage into the taxi and off we went. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the airport and we arrived there with plenty of time to spare. Once we had hauled our luggage inside the tiny airport we were stunned at how full the check-in area was. Luckily we realized that most of these people were in line for a charter flight and since we had done online check-in, all we had to do was drop off our luggage. Then we breezed through security and spent some time browsing the duty free shop. Since there was not much to see or do we took a biological break and then settled at the gate.

Our flight was on time and in no time we were at cruising altitude and were handed a Corny Bar, a Granola type bar, which was banana chocolate flavour. Then we were offered some drinks and we both had Coke to go with it. The flight to Frankfurt takes only 55 minutes and  before we knew it we were descending into Frankfurt airport. The plane parked at an outside position, so we had to transfer to a bus before we finally got to the terminal building. Frankfurt airport is huge and the unfortunate thing is that we always have to get from one end of the airport to the other, and in doing so we have to actually leave the airport and go through security once again. We had cleared the passport control, all our hand luggage had been expected, only Tom’s camera needed to be “wiped”. So he had to follow one of the security people and they had a good look at the camera, wiped it for explosives and then he joined me again to go through another security check to ensure our immigration in the USA. When we had finally gotten all that behind us we picked up a bottle of my favourite perfume and a bottle of Tom’s and then headed upstairs to our gate. There was still a little time to have a look around the stores and Tom picked up a book that had peeked his interest. And after long last we were allowed to board. Once we had stowed our luggage and settled into our seats we were ready to leave good old Europe behind us and head for the “new world”.

It didn’t take long and we were rolling out onto the runway and took off. Once we had reached cruising altitude we were handed little Snack Bags filled with crackers and pretzels and were served some drinks. I had a glass of Coke and Tom had a can of German beer. About an hour later they started serving lunch. There is a running gag between Tom and me, what lunch will be. Will it be chicken or pasta? So we sat and waited and burst into laughter when the flight attendant asked the people to our right if they wanted chicken or pasta. And then we were handed our trays. There was a Vegetable Mousse Triangle served with tomato sauce as the starter, Tom had the Chicken with potatoes and pepper medley, while I had the Garganelli Arabiata, which were both pretty good.

For dessert we had Chocolate Mousse Cake in a red fruit coulis and there was no way we would let the crisp rolls go to waste, so we had them with a little bit of unsalted butter and a piece of very young Camembert. When we had finished our lunch we were about 2 hours into our flight and it was time to help the time pass faster, so we both took some sleeping aid, put on our headphones and hoped that the on board movies would help us to go to sleep. And after some time we really dozed off. I woke up every now and then, grabbed a glass of water from the tray the flight attendants offered and went back to sleep. Around 2 ˝ hours before we were supposed to land I could not sleep any more and watched a little more of the on board entertainment.

A little later we were all handed hot towels and dinner was served. This time there was no choice and we were both handed a tray with a plate full of Spinach Tortellini filled with ricotta and served with a light cheese sauce and some chunky tomato sauce. For dessert we were offered some rice-cream, an Apple flavoured rice cream and one Vanilla flavoured rice cream, but we both don’t really like the consistency and just ate a few spoonfuls of it.

The roll was cold and crumbly so I just had a few bits of it. Once we had finished dinner we were getting close to Orlando and we both got pretty excited when we saw the NASA assembly building from up above. About 40 minutes later we landed in Orlando. Luckily we got off the plane fast and quickly walked towards immigration. When we arrived there we were shocked that the large hall was virtually empty and we could just walk through the lines, then were pointed towards an officer and in no time we were picking up our luggage and went through customs. There was just one more hurdle on our way to Walt Disney World, picking up our rental car. Once we had hauled our luggage downstairs we saw that there were a lot of people in line for Dollar and Alamo, but yippie, only 3 people ahead of us at the Hertz counter. Again, we got in line and within a few minutes we were talking to an agent who assigned us a car and sent us off to find it in the garage opposite the airport. While we were still trying to figure out where to look for our rental car a Hertz employee approached us and told us that we were already standing in front of our car – a Mustang Convertible, just what Tom had hoped for. We loaded some of our stuff in the trunk and the rest went onto the back seat. About an hour after we had landed we were heading off the airport and towards Walt Disney World. It didn’t take long and we could see that all too well known sign that meant we had reached our vacation destination.

We went straight to Old Key West to check in and even though there were several Cast Members helping other guests, one of the Concierges came over to help us check in. Since we had done online check in, everything was prepared and we were handed our keys and told that they had honoured our request and put us on the second floor of a two storey building. We walked back to the car, drove to Old Turtle Pond Road and found our first vacation home. After checking it out we carried our luggage upstairs and then headed back to the car to pick up some dinner. Our first stop was Publix to stock up on the “bare” essentials. Some bread, salads, tortilla chips and salsa, some extra dressing and some drinks, Coke for me and a few different beers for Tom. Once we had everything in the car we drove over to Downtown Disney. Somehow we had misplaced Tom’s annual pass, so we went straight to Guest Relations to have it replaced. We were both so surprised at how easy it was to have a new one issued. All it took for them was my AP to get his number, as they were purchased at the same time and a photo ID. Once Tom had his new AP in hand we bought a new Tables in Wonderland card, said our happy goodbyes and off we went to Wolfgang Puck’s Express. There we ordered a Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich with Basil pesto, romaine, plum tomatoes and chips  and a Warm Turkey Melt Sandwich with Cheddar, caramelized onions and honey mustard dressing for take-away.

Dinner in hand we decided that we needed a sweet treat as well, since our first day had started so perfectly. Off we went to Krispy Kreme and low and behold the “Hot Now” sign was on and we picked up half a dozen Glazed Doughnuts and a dozen Doughnut Holes, ordered a Diet Coke and  had our first doughnut right there and then. Around 10pm we arrived back at our villa, laid the table and enjoyed our dinner. We unpacked the carryon cases, then settled on the couch in front of the TV for a while until we were too tired and went to bed.