Travel Mishaps and Pirate Antics

It is Sunday night and we are set to fly out …all of the bags are packed and stacked in the living room to be loaded in our minivan in the morning. The kids are in bed and completely failing to go to sleep. Roxy is doing some paperwork in the bedroom and I’m in the living room going back over lists to make sure we’ve got it all together.

Roxy has been working on tie-dyed versions of our shirts and has 3 done, with the rest finishing setting before they go through the wash. We’ll iron on the LGMH decal in the morning and they will be the last official items to go into our luggage. Here are a couple of the finished products:

Basically all is well except for one WEE LITTLE SNAG. The weather was shaping up to be great in Orlando and I have tried to keep an optimistic outlook on the 3 storms that had been blowing through southern Oregon since Friday afternoon.

Weeeellllll, here’s what it looks like as of Sunday night:

There is about 3″ on the ground now with more coming over night. It is supposed to stop and get back above freezing an hour or two before our flight leaves, but right now I’m none too happy with ole Mother Nature. Push comes to shove I have tire chains and can get us the 35 miles to the airport …but that doesn’t do any good if our flight is fudged.

I guess no trip would be complete without a little drama …so here’s to this being our slice of it and that it all turns out fine. Tuesday we are back to the rain we are accustomed to so if the trip gets bumped a day we’ll survive and I had that first day as a “kick around Orlando” day anyways.

Well, it ended up dumping about 4 inches on us, but stopped during the night and was looking good until I looked outside in the morning. Lo and behold it had turned FOGGY! I had been watching 3 different forecasts and they all said snow/rain for this AM and no fog on the horizon.

We headed out anyways – shoehorning ourselves and our belongings into our van and drove the 35mls to the airport. On the way there was an accident which backed up traffic for about 20 minutes, but we had left with plenty of time.

We crested the hill heading into Medford, OR and the sun was eating away at the fog a good 90 minutes before our departure time. But we got there and SFO had delayed our flight by 2hrs!!! Right off the bat that put us in a pinch – giving us only 15 minutes at SFO to make our connection 


They did a backup booking having us sit at SFO until 8pm, then flying down to LAX for an hour layover. Then we’d hit the red eye to MCO, getting in at 6am!

But then the fog THICKENED and the plane they sent from SFO circled until it ran low on fuel and then diverted to Eugene. It refueled there and flew back down to us and circled some more. Finally at 12:40pm they cancelled it and the plane flew back up north. Sigh 🙁

Soooo, we got rebooked from United to Delta flying out tomorrow morning at 6am, connecting in Salt Lake City, and arriving at MCO at 4:30pm. We unchecked our 7 checked bags and loaded it all back up. Instead of driving all the way back we tried to take a bad situation and turn it around. There is a Super8 just down the road from the airport that has a big indoor water slide and heated pool.

Roxy called and was able to cancel our 1 night stay at an Embassy Suites (we had already called them about our delays earlier). And we booked a room 1/2 mile from the airport for 1/2 the price of the suites. We had a great lunch at our fav place Elmer’s and then came back so the girls could finally SWIM and SLIDE at this cool indoor setup!

Here’s the slide with Roxy and the girls climbing up

Here’s Kyra going down head first AND backwards 

Here’s Gillian proving she could do it too!

And here I am getting swallowed by the undercurrent

So we spent about 2 1/2hrs in there and had the place to ourselves. Then we came back to the room and rested and later I ran out and grabbed some dinner for us. by 9pm we worked on heading to bed as we had a 3:45am wake-up so we can be back at the airport and check in at 4:30am. This way we will get seats together since Delta wouldn’t let us get assigned seats ahead of time.

Cross your fingers folks, we’re still working our way there. We haven’t missed out on any Dis fun as we only had a trip to the big McDonalds and maybe the Ripley’s museum planned for Tuesday. And we will still get there in time to meet up with me mum just after they check in to the timeshare and head out for our first event – the Pirates Adventure Dinner!

We made it out Tuesday morning with that 3:45am to make it there by 4:30am for seat assignments. We managed seats together for both legs with both girls still getting window seats :-] But we did all have to go through the “extra special screening” because we changed our tickets. That is apparently a flag for TSA – ugh! It made us the last ones to board, but we still took off 5 minutes early and got to see the sun come up as we headed up to altitude

We flew into Salt Lake City, which was at an invigorating 20 degrees outside. It was a brisk walk into the terminal for sure! The time passed quickly and we were getting ready to board the chariot that would take us to warmer climates.

Even the Great Salt Lake was showing signs of freezing

We landed just before 5pm and picked up our bags, which were very easy to spot thanks to the lime green pom-poms Nana and the girls put on them. Also notice the little laminated lime-green Mickey heads on them …each one had our nicknames on them

Next was the rental pick up …got a brand new Town and Country with double sliding doors and a BIG cargo area behind the rear seat – yay!

By the time we got out of there we had to put the pedal to the metal and get to the resort. We met up with my fam and had enough time to dump our bags and splash some water on our face before heading back out the door to go to The Pirates Adventure Dinner!

There was a pre-show and buffet which wasn’t bad, but we got there too late to have a decent place to sit. We were assigned the “Orange” pirate Andre, and he lead us into the main theater. Similar seating to a Medieval Times, except there’s a big ship in the middle instead of a horse arena.

There was no flash photography allowed and it was kind of dark, but I have a fast lens for just such occasions so some shots came out pretty good.

There was much buckling and swashing and dancing about

And acrobatics played an ongoing role

Lives were threatened

And the fair maiden found herself in jeopardy in the company of the pirate queen

Our pirate Andre was full of bravado and strength

And then it was time for more gypsy acrobatics

The “Blue” pirate turned good and attempted to rescue the damsel princess

The Pirate Queen protested and set about to hang said princess

More fighting for honor and yes, more acrobatics 

Somehow all turns out well and the pirates swing out over our heads

The kiddos got a pic with our Pirate Andre

As does my Mom despite the attempted picture thwarting by an errant waiter

Everybody went to the restroom except me and PumpkinGirl, which gave her more picture opportunities …she’s a bit of an opportunist ;-]

Gillian finally caught up with her sister in time for a final shot with the Pirate Queen

As an interesting aside my Dad left the show towards the end to grab a smoke and check on their dog who unfortunately had to sit in the truck during the performance …she is a traveling dog and is used to it. While he was out there the pirate queen came out to catch some air. As soon as she saw their dog she came running over.

Oh, I should say that their dog is a 100lb Rottweiler named Precious. She said hi and asked if she could pet her and fawned all over her. She was also nice enough to ask if she could get them anything and he asked for a cup of ice for Precious. Just then she heard her cue to come back inside but promised to send some out. Sure enough a waiter came out a couple of minutes later with a large cup of ice :-]

We also got a family picture commemorating the event

After the show we headed back to the resort, took showers, and collapsed into our beds.

Speaking of beds, I realized that I hadn’t done the obligatory pics of our humble digs. We had dumped off our bags and headed straight out to the Pirates thing, so I never got any pics of the place before we “moved in” and I didn’t get any pics of the mini-suite that my parents stayed in at all. So I made up a collage of shots I took and ones they had on the Grand Beach site.

The place had a mini-suite consisting of a bedroom, living room/kitchenette, and a bathroom with a spa tub (where my parents and their rottweiler stayed).

And that was attached to the main suite which had a full kitchen and living room, a bedroom with two twin beds where Kyra and her Nana Ann slept, and the big master suite including a very comfy California king, a 2-person spa tub.

It had a separate shower and sink/bathroom and was where Roxy and I crashed. For the 2 days my sis was here she just crashed on the couch in the living room

And you may have noticed in my inventory of people and sleeping arrangements that Bean is MIA …well that’s because she didn’t want to sleep by herself on the fold-out or sofa. Sooo, this was our compromise – hehehe

Each night we pulled the cushions off the couch and put them in the tub, tucked a fitted sheet over them, added another sheet and blanket, a pillow, a platoon of stuffed animals, and of course Bean. And no, Roxy and I never got to actually use the tub.

What does Day 2 bring us? When do we wake up? Where do we go? Will I be able to navigate WDW’s convoluted road system??? Tune in for the next chapter and see!!!!