Posted in Florida 2012

12th March 2012 (Day 1): Travelling

Here goes with our record of the trip to Orlando…

We flew out from Gatwick on BA, and booked long term parking at the airport car park.  We booked this well in advance and consequently it was very reasonable and certainly much cheaper than a taxi each way (in fact probably cheaper than a taxi one way) and much easier than getting the train.  Would recommend this route. Checked in (everything is self service these days but we wanted to change our seats if we could) and big kudos to BA as they had spotted we were travelling with an infant on lap and had swapped our seats already to give us a bulkhead seat. Had a quick walk around the airport.

At Gatwick
At Gatwick

And a bite to eat.

Coffee and Cakes
Coffee and Cakes

Got to the gate just as everyone was boarding (not quite at last call but pretty close).

At the gate
At the gate

And boarded the plane.

On the plane
On the plane

Rosemary was brilliant on the plane.  We had packed a lot of small toys to keep her entertained during the 9 hour flight but in the end didn’t need a lot of them.  I also had a lot of episodes of Something Special loaded on my iPhone and these really kept her entertained.  Would recommend the Fisher Price iPhone cover for your iPhone.  Together with some Peppa Pig stickers, which ended up on me, on Julia, on the seat, and pretty much everywhere, these kept her busy for 6 hours.  She then decided to have a nap and slept through landing and to the point of getting off the plane.

Asleep on the place
Asleep on the place
Asleep on the place
Asleep on the place

We cleared customs and collected our bags, although there is a really odd system at Orlando International Airport where you collect your bags but then immediately have to go up an escalator.  With 2 bags plus a child in a buggy we just couldn’t do that (and no lifts) so had to basically recheck our bags and collect them upstairs.  This really added onto the time to get out the airport. Got to the car hire (Budget) to pick up our car.  They always try to get you to upgrade but we had booked an economy car and decided that we would stick to this despite the girl behind the desk telling us we wouldn’t get two bags into the car (and we had a spare seat as there were only 3 of us).  Just how small are their economy cars?  So she comes back and says she’s has given us a free upgrade to a full size.  Of course when we got to the car bays there weren’t any economy cars up there.  So stick to your guns and don’t pay the extra and you may well end up with a bigger car anyway. So we ended up with a Hyundai Sonata.  Nice car but drove like a boat.  Never quite sure where it was going and felt like you were correcting the steering the whole time.

Hawthorn Suites

We had booked a suite room at the Hawthorn Suites Universal on International Drive.  Will come back to a quick review of the hotel in my next entry but generally a nice place to stay, although not an absolutely top hotel and it’s quite basic.  But friendly and nice facilities in the room.

So a very quick unpack and even though it was (in UK time) very late Rosemary was awake we went out to Perkins for a little bit of dinner.

Dinner at Perkins
Dinner at Perkins
Dinner at Perkins
Dinner at Perkins
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