Elsa and I got back to Ohio last night around 11:20pm and then were home by 12:30am. My folks were good enough to pick us up, despite dad having to preach this morning. (He spoke on mentors - good sermon, IMO. However, I was a little disappointed because I'd originally thought he was preaching on Mentos.)
I got to open Elsa's birthday present to me last night. It was a big sampling of different kinds of popcorn, plus popcorn forks (whatever the hell they are) and a huge bowl to serve the popcorn in. Cool! I told mom about it and she's also excited. We'll have to have popcorn while watching The Vicar of Dibley or something like that. :-)
This morning, Elsa headed off to the wilds of the North while I headed off (with the parentals) to the Unitarian Universalist church where dad was preaching. On the way home from church, we stopped at The Little Inn at Fort Jefferson for lunch. I had fried chicken, mashed taters and chicken gravy, bean greens, and a salad. The three of us at for under $18, including tip. Quite a culture shock from the prices I've been paying for the past week. :-)
Now, besides my online journal, I have a hand-written trip journal. The one for this trip was really the bookend for what I've written in the LiveJournal. And for those of you who are interested, I'm going rewrite the entries here under some LJ cuts. I think you'll see the style isn't much different. (The one thing I like about the LJ is that I can go back and insert a bit that I'd forgotten. In the hand written journals, I have to just write about it out of sequence. The Miracle of the Hats is the closest that I came to that with my LJ.)
December 29, 2003
7:15am On an AirtTran Boeing 717-200 waiting to depart to Orlando! Elsa is seated next to me, and we hope our luggage will join us there!
Boy, I've never seen Dayton International as busy as this morning. Mom & Dad picked us up at 5:30am and mom drove us to the airport. As soon as we entered the 1st doorway, we saw the AirTran line was out to the doorway. So we got in line. The security folks who need to check the checked luggage had a HUGE backload of bags to search. Which is why we hope our bags made the cut.
By 6:25, we were done w/ the AirTran line and had our boarding passes. We dropped off our luggage (I waved bye-bye to mine) and headed for the security line.
Wow! Now, you know Dayton International... the security line went all the way down to the far end of the baggage claim & wrapped around almost half that length. It was impressive!
Believe it or not, but we were actually through security by 7:05am. Of course, our gate was the last one on the concourse. But there was practically no waiting to get on board. Folks have finally gotten on board now & we should be taking off shortly. It's almost 7:30am. Next stop, Orlando!
9:20am Probably over Florida by now. Ah - 160 miles from the airport. Should be at the gate by 9:50 (only 25 minutes late).
I just finished reading You Bet Your Life, a Murder, She Wrote book. And boy am I hungry! Our delay, BTW, was caused by our luggage being loaded still long after everyone got aboard! Hopefully ours was among the loaded luggage!
We're hoping Judi got on her flight OK. If so, we won't have as long to wait for her as originally thought (unless she's delayed too).
So, what to get for breakfast. I'm thinking Egg McMuffin, myself!
10:30am Sitting down at Baggage Claim A waiting on Judi. Elsa is down aways & I'm perched by the escalators. Thankfully both our bags turned up. Mine was rather early, Elsa's was in the second dump. And, thanks to Trina getting an Egg McMuffin, we didn't have to wait long for our luggage.
Looks like the best way to get to our hotel is via Taxi at ~ $50 for the trip. Split 3 ways, it's not too unreasonable. Judi's flight isn't due to arrive until 10:42, so we've a bit of a wait, yet. The flight after Judi's has already been delayed. Let's hope Judi's on her flight & so's her luggage!
January 3, 2004
9:00pm [There is an arrow drawn pointing to the date.] My first time at writing 2004 in the year! Happy New Year!
Well, I didn't keep up this paper journal during the trip. What I did instead was write it all up in my Live Journal. In the LJ, however, I didn't always go into money & food details as I tend to do in my paper journals.
So, where are we now? On our plane to Dayton. Alas, it's not in the air (though it should've taken off 1 1/2 hours ago!) but is still boarding. Judi's flight was delayed even more than ours. She was supposed to depart at 6:30, but when we parted company at 7pm, her flight (and ours) was delayed to 8:45pm. It'll be interesting to see who gets home 1st.
Poor dad preaches tomorrow & here I am having him come out late to pick us up. Mean Trina... But he knows of the delay & I figure he & mom will be waiting for us when we arrive. I have wonderful parents.
Once we're airborne it should be 2 hours in the air. So hopefully we'll arrive in DAY by 11:30pm. Home a bit after midnight. Knock wood!
To thank mom for babysitting Leo, I bought her a selection of Disney coffees & a cool Mickey Mouse (old fashioned) mug. I hope she likes it! I hope it survives the trip! [Yes to both of those, it turns out...]
So, the trip was a blast. After a rocky start, it turned into a trip to remember. & the most exciting NYE I've ever had. And if all goes well, I'll have the Rose Bowl Parade to watch (while I grade papers). Never used my new VCR to record. Oh yeah, and there is a present still awaiting me. Cool!
I had just over $400 cash with me on the trip (including my b-day gift and $100 emergency bill) and at the end I have 11 cents. Pretty impressive.
So, we got up late (ish) this morning and scheduled a late check out. We played in the room (computers mostly) until 1:30 when we headed down to check out. They stowed our luggage until Gene arrived & we hung out by the pool for the rest of our stay. Lunch was from the restaurant - I had a Reuben & fries & a Coke. I was suffering from dizzy & needed the burpy pop. Alas, it tasted terrible to me, but Elsa said it was the normal taste. Fries seemed substandard too. So I think maybe my taste buds were screwy. Could be sinus drainage or the onset of a cold. Bleh! The Reuben, at least, tasted fine.
I listened to my MP3s while I sat w/ my bare feet up. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, as it had been our whole stay. And it was lovely just vegging. Judi fell asleep to the sounds of her Xmas carols on her Ipod.
After 4pm, we started to get our gear together. When Gene arrived, promptly at 4:30, we loaded up & he headed off. Nice guy though he was, I think he gouged us. He didn't turn on the fare meter and charged us $55 as we paid the last time. And with the traffic rather mild, the trip (plus tip) would probably have been less than $50. Ah well, he got us where we wanted and at a reasonable time.
"We're moving! We're moving!" as dad likes to say. Actually, we're taking off. So we should be in Dayton by 11:25pm.
Had to take off my hat to see out of the window. Cool - Orlando's pretty at night. Actually, most cities are. :-)
American and AirTran were on the same side of the terminal, so we met up after checking in. And I think they've rearranged the way security & the food court relate. I'm sure the shops & food court used to be behind security, but now they're in front. So we sat at the food court & vegged some more. I listened to Scherzo, Judi to carols, & Elsa finished her Spike & Angel book.
At 6:30pm, I got us some supper from a noodle place. Judi & Elsa helped subsidize my supper. Elsa & I had pad Thai & Judi had Miso soup. The pad Thai was OK - either my taste buds are still screwy or it was a substandard pad Thai. Not as bad as the UK one I had this summer, however.
At 7pm, we parted company, Judi to her concourse, we to ours. We were the first gate at the concourse.
Then it was the waiting game. I listened to more Scherzo after showing Elsa the DW 40th anniversary stuff on my laptop. She then went to get a book from WH Smith's. The plane were were to travel on arrived at 8:35 & they booked it to get us boarded & out there (however things were delayed when the flight crew went to get McDonald's for take-away.) Now we're in the air & awaiting beverages. Time to read more Blue Box.
So, y'all now know that for all the detail I gave in my LJ entries, I get even more nitpicky in my paper journals. I have such a sucky memory that I feel if I write everything down, I'll remember it all better. And indeed, when I reread the journals, I do indeed remember it better. :-)