2002: Travel

31st May – Northwestern flight Ams-Miami. ≈7:15am Florida time, 12.15 UK Time.

Well, after a hellish week, we are finally on our way. ≈We were up until well past midnight packing, so when the alarm went at 4am it was quite painful. ≈However, we were up and out of the house by 5am. ≈We realised we hadn’t shown Mum how to operate the alarm, so we wrote out some instructions to put thru her door, ≈then after we had dropped off the instructions, Phil remembered he hadn’t set the alarm anyway –so back to the house to set the alarm, and weare finally on our way by 5.15am.

We got to the airport, checked in and went to Security. ≈Phil set off the alarm, and had to empty his pocket – oops, he was carrying a penknife (it lived on his keychain) – so he had to surrender that, ≈and suddenly we were running quite late, so no trips to duty free and we went straight to the gate and boarded quickly.

It was an uneventful flight from Newcastle to Amsterdam and we quickly arrived. ≈We checked our boarding passes, and we were due to board at 9am for our 10:30 flight. ≈This seemed quite early, but like good passengers we skipped duty free (AGAIN) and went straight to the gate.

They wanted us there early as they were doing additional security checks. ≈Each family was questioned annd we saw lots of bags being searched. ≈Another x-ray and more metal detectors and we were at the gate. ≈Unfortunately, we now had 2 hours to wait and no facilities at all. ≈With hindsight, we should have shopped and eaten and arrived at the gate later.
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Sun, 2nd July – on the way to WDW.

Friday evening: ≈we landed at Miami airport at 3pm, and got thru customs by 5pm. ≈There were incredibly long queues at customs. ≈We picked up the car from Hertz, which was off-site, but not a big hassle. ≈We didn’t upgrade at all and ended up with a Kia Spectra which was a similar size to the Neon we had last year, ≈and the same brown color!
The traffic through Miami was quite heavy, but we didn’t have far to go to get to the Airport Hilton. ≈This was very very nice, ≈but too posh. Although we had a cheap room, ≈the hotel was so posh that we couldn’t get a cheap meal, ≈and ended up having a snack in the restaurant – it wasn’t particularly kid friendly either. ≈We fell asleep very early, ≈probably 7pm and woke up at 3am – you gotta love jet lag.

Saturday: ≈We woke up at 3am, tried to get back to sleep but eventually we gave up. ≈We were on the road by 6:30am, ≈stopped for breakfast at a service station, and got to the villa by 11:30. ≈It was a pretty easy journey- we just went straight up the florida turnpike.

The villa is very nice, ≈there are lots of shops nearby. ≈After a swim and meeting Dave’s friend, ≈we headed to the store, Albertsons. ≈$110 later we emerged with plenty of snacks but not a lot of real food. ≈We went back to the villa, and decided to go to Seaworld for the evening. ≈We exchanged our printed vouchers for annual fun passes and entered the park around 5pm. ≈We wander around the shops, see the Dolphin Show and are heading to the Shamu show when a thunderstorm hits. ≈We quickly leave along with 100’s of others. ≈A quick trip to Target, and we pick up a bucket of KFC and are back to the villa by 8pm, eat dinner and everyone is very sleepy so we have an early night.

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