Monday, August 2, 2010

Vacation 2010 day one...( Part 1)

Disclaimer: I typically write a journal for each day while we are on vacation.  I have done this for years and  I dearly love going back and re-reading them from time to time.  These posts I will be posting over the next several days are for our family to read for years to come and remember our special time together.  They may bore you to tears so obviously don't read them if you feel they are too long or have too many pictures.  :)  We took over 1900 pictures on this vacation this year totaling over 19 gig.  Obviously I will not be posted them all.

July 23, 2010

Today began early with the alarm waking us at 4:00am.  Funny how quickly one can jump out of bed at 4am when you know you are headed somewhere fun as opposed to going to work.

We finished packing our last minute toiletries and took our luggage out to the car.  Poor Murph watched us with sad eyes as we carried our bags out.  Little did he know he would be spoiled rotten by our neighbors Pat and Janice for the entire week.  Even knowing what we knew it was hard saying goodbye to him.  It was as if he thought we were leaving and never coming back.  Stupid dog...or stupid me for allowing him to make me feel bad for going on vacation.

With suitcases in the car we departed our house at 5:40am.  The Jergens' family road conversations had already begun. (This was the one thing I would miss since we were flying) As we passed the exit for Nicholas rd Nick said "There is my road". I said "Yep, we named you after that road". Nick said "nutuh". Greg said " Yeah huh, you were born right down there next to that pole"... laughter filled the car.

Nick then began to tell us how weird he thought the street name Gershwin was.  It is a street in our neighborhood and this was not the first time Nick had mentioned it... he thought it was hilarious. 

This then lead to another conversation about changing our names for our cruise... who would know?  Greg said Nick's name could be Gershwin (you have to say this with a proper British accent and draw it out in order to say it the way Greg said it)  Greg said Les could be named Cinnamon but Les and I thought it sounded like a stripper name.

Greg then said we could all be named Indian names. He wanted to be called running with dogs and I could be called flying with birds.  He then said Les could be called White Hawk.  She said suddenly "White Hawk? I don't want to be called White Hawk". We all laughed because that is the name of the street my dad lives on which brought us full circle back around to the street name conversation. 

This conversation kept us entertained the 25 minute ride and before we knew it we were pulling into the airport.  Greg dropped the kids and I off with our luggage while he parked the car way, way, way far away in the economy lot. 


We walked straight to the Air Tran counter (US Air had a HUGE line wrapping all around the luggage terminal).  Les said "Does that mean anything? I mean, should we be concerned no one is in line for OUR airline" ?  Ha ha..

We went through security like a breeze and stopped at Boston Stoker on our way to our gate for the kids to get a bagel and muffin.

Did you know there is a CNBC store in the Dayton Airport?  I thought it was funny.. its not like Dayton is anything like New York.

I thought these creatures were pretty funny too... apparently you will "laugh out loud" while playing with them.


Les was not feeling well which is par for the course.  We typically are very healthy people (knock on wood) but sure as we spend any money on any event one of us will get sick.  She felt like she was coming down with a really bad cold.  We drugged her up on cold medicine and started her on an antibiotic just in case.  I prayed she would start to feel better soon.

The flight was good with very little turbulence.

Everyone on the plane was offered a beverage and a snack except Les and I.  We must not have looked thristy or hungry.

We left the plane and headed to the luggage terminal to pick up our 2 pieces of luggage we had to check.  As soon as we walk up to the terminal it shuts down with our luggage within sight just beyond the fenced off section.  Greg turns to me as if to say "are you kidding me"?  He moves the small gate, walks over to the restricted area, grabs our luggage, walks back over and moves the gate back in place and was on his merry way.  I would have stood there for hours looking at my luggage until it started back up afraid I would get in trouble to move the fence... good thing I have him.

Greg and Nick looking at our luggage just out of reach behind the line. (I was really trying to get a picture of the Harry Potter just beyond them, but I got them staring at our luggage instead).

After picking up our luggage we rode a tram over to the other side of the airport to pick up our rental car at Alamo.

We were directed across the street to the tiniest woman I believe I have ever seen.  She was beautiful and tiny and I think I could have picked her up with one hand.  Anyway, she told us to walk over to the left and pick out our car.  I loved it.  Usually they drive a car over to you while you wait by the curb but we were able to choose ours and that made me happy.

We picked this one.

I wasn't thinking when I made the reservations but everything was in my name which meant I had to be the one to drive.  I am an absolute nervous wreck driving in a city where I don't know my way around.  Greg said "Don't worry, just drive us out of here then we can switch drivers. It isn't a big deal".  Yeah, me don't worry, not gonna happen.  I drove us out of the garage, showed my drivers license to the lady at the gate and off we went. 

We drove past some vultures so we had to stop and take a picture.

Everyone else thought I was nuts, but how often do you get this close to a venue of vultures.  Even if they are nature's trash collectors, I think they are cool.

I drove around while Greg was working with the GPS to find out which direction to go.  We pulled into a local convenient store to try to find some stronger medication for Les because she was starting to feel bad again.  This time I bought her flu medicine and it seemed to help much better. 

Greg and I switched places so I could play with the GPS and he could drive around not knowing where to go.  We later figured out we grabbed the GPS and its cord, but didn't grab the base which is needed to charge the GPS and it was running out of batteries.  Starting to see a pattern here? :)

I continued to fiddle with the GPS, got our hotel address plugged in and finally we were on the road traveling in the correct direction.  We were driving along smoothly and then Greg accidentally ran a toll booth.  (maybe I should have continued to drive) We drove through the pre-paid lane instead of the pay lane.  Greg said " We probably had our picture taken and it will be sent to Alamo and they will see that we not only ran a toll booth, but I was driving instead of you".  I started to flip out... Greg and the kids were laughing and I felt like I was going to get in trouble.  He said "Honey, I am sure this happens all the time, we will call Alamo and get it all straightened out".  I still didn't feel better, I still felt like I was in trouble or something.

We arrived at the Hyatt to change our clothes to go to Universal Studios.  Our room was not ready yet (which we figured it wouldn't be) so we changed in the restroom of the hotel.  Before we left the parking lot a police officer pulled into the hotel.  Greg waved her over and talked to her about the toll booth.  She was happy to see tourists still choosing Florida for their vacation desination.  She was very kind and helpful and told us to talk to Alamo so they knew what happened and not to worry about it.  I felt better. :)

Off to Universal Studios we went.....(I am too tired to finish day one so tomorrow I will continue with our day at Universal which was magical and amazing).

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