Published: October 22nd 2010August 4th 2010
Today we are flying to Orlando, Florida, so while Tim catches up on a bit of sleep I head back to the Rockefeller Centre to do a post home. Even though it’s not far, I can’t walk with the boxes so I catch a cab. Here’s where stereotypes are shattered again - I flag down a cab outside the hotel and when tell him where I need to go, the driver tells me I would be better catching a cab from the other side of the street as because of the one way streets he would need to detour about 10-15 minutes to get me there. Such a nice thing to do I thought, and to add icing to the generosity cake, he didn’t even hang around for an advice tip!
So off to the other side of the street and this is the bit I love the most. My hands are full carrying the boxes so I can’t put my arm out to flag down a cab, all I can do is jut out my pointer finger - and it works!!! The cab drivers have the eyes of eagles!
I walk back to the hotel, stopping along the
way to get Tim one of his favourite muffins from the deli, so he wakes up pretty happy, it’s the least I can do since he has another day ahead of him carrying my backpack (at this stage, I should point out that it a PINK Billabong backpack, not too manly, sorry again Tim!).
We finish packing and go to checkout. We had prepaid our room while the dollar was before we left home as we did with almost all of our hotels. When you do an International bank transfer, our bank charges a fee and so too does the receiving bank. EVERY other hotel has absorbed this cost; it’s around $24 USD, every hotel except The Salisbury that is. Their best solution they can offer is to email their accounts department, while we have to also email their internet provider as our internet wouldn’t work in the room. It’s a shame that our stay ended on a not so nice note as it had started the same way. But it was in a good location (although there are a lot of others in the area) and apart from that a lot of the staff was great and incredibly
helpful. Once Tim has had a bad experience he will pretty well red card the place/activity/food/experience, so Salisbury Hotel has now received their red card, sorry.
OFF TO ORLANDO
We catch a cab to Terminal 8 at JFK and again we have to check in using the computer, so again no chance of sneaky upgrades and then we have to drop our bags in a different area. We also have to pay for luggage since we have been flying with American Airlines, anywhere from $15 to $25 per bag, the cheek!
Our flight is running late and when we get pushed back the pilot informs us there is a problem with one of the engines so we are delayed again while it is investigated - take your time I say! I was a bit concerned how Tim would react when they said we had engine trouble, but he was fine, whew! He’s really good with the flights now unless we hit turbulence, then he goes a bit quiet and holds on tight. After we are declared good to go, we have lost our take off slot and because JFK is such a busy airport we don’t end
up taking off until 6pm. The pilot and staff are really good about it though and keep everyone posted on what’s going on. Worst thing for me is that it gets quite painful sitting in a small seat, but I suck it up and deal with it.
We arrive into Orlando at sunset and it looks beautiful. There are lots of lakes and everglade areas reflecting the colours and it’s a nice ‘Welcome to Florida’.
Once we arrive in Orlando we catch the monorail to pick up the luggage and then go downstairs to Alamo Car Rentals to pick up our car. We are supposed to be getting a Chrysler Sebring convertible but upgrade to a Mustang. It’s black and really nice. We can only fit one suitcase in the small boot and have to take the roof off to get our other one in the back seat, the sacrifices we make, haha!
Orlando is easy enough to drive through and there’s a very distinct smell to the place, like dirty damp laundry or bad body odor. It takes us a little while to get used to it, I guess we could’ve put the roof back up,
The weather is absolutely beautiful, so nice and warm, I love it already!
We arrive at our hotel, the Quality Inn International Drive, at about 9:30pm. Even though it's getting late, there is loads of traffic about, I think they may have 24/7 peak hour traffic where we are! There is security at the entrance to the car park and every car has to have a permit, they said they would gladly look after our car while we checked in. We decline their very generous offer (haha) and go to check in. We pass 2 storey buildings and part of me is hoping to be on the 2nd floor as the outlook will be nice, but part of me hopes we are on the ground floor as Tim has to lug all our bags around.
So, we check in and we are upstairs… But our room is overlooking the swimming pool and large grassed area. It’s a nice large room with 2 double beds (one each while I’m so sore), a bar fridge, microwave and an electronic program guide on the TV which makes sifting through the many, many channels a lot easier.
a quick note on the TV over here. They have a lot of stations, but I’m not sure how many would be free to air and which are cable. The ads during the shows go for a really long time (not good when you are surfing through trying to work out what’s on) but when one show finishes the next one starts immediately. The ads, especially the medicine ads, are really detailed, telling you about ALL of the possible complications and side effects you may experience, when not to take it etc and are often medicines you would only be able to get on prescription. A bit different to home that’s for sure.
We head across the road to Burger King for tea. Tim says the burger is nicer than home and everything, including the chips, is much larger than normal.
Our hotel is on one of the main tourist strips, with loads of souvenir shops, tattoo parlors, restaurants and camera shops.
We are looking forward to a nice lazy day tomorrow and hit the hay after a long day.
There are more photos below