Final daze in Florida

The Hampton is a great place to stay. It’s economical, it has all the facilities you could ever want – to me complimentary broadband internet was a big plus – and this includes a complimentary breakfast.

There were several Hamptons in Orlando, but the one we chose was in a huge estate of hotels – roads and roads of multi-storey buildings, all offering accommodation.
We had been up until the early hours packing and repacking. I was exhausted. It was a struggle getting everything in to our bags but I was determined not to leave anything behind. I had such wonderful goodies, souvenirs and gifts for friends and family.

After breakfast we struggled with our bags to the car and drove to the airline terminal. I realised that we were going to have to park the car and then take the bags to check in. We got there without too much difficulty, although we walked right past the check in counter, and found that we could not check in until two hours before. Our flight didn’t leave until later that afternoon. Aargh!

We had too much luggage to have with us throughout the day – espeially as we had to quit the car at 9am – so it was off to Hertz.We had made it to the airport okay, but without the GPS (now packed away) we got lost getting back to Hertz. A GPS unit is an amazing accessory, saving a lot of time and mileage in locating shops and points of interest – and finding the quickest way to and fro. Highly recommended.

The huge Hertz depot was abuzz with people leaving vehicles and taking the shuttle bus every five minutes to the airport. People came and went, as we pulled up we were greated by awoman with an electronic machine who inspected the car for its condition and printed out a receipt.

I asked at the counter if we could leave our bags, but there was nowhere. This was a huge facility – and on one particular day they had processed over 2,000 vehicles! Isn’t that amazing?

I phoned my friends who were driving up from Delray Beach; fortunately they had a huge boot in their car and could take all our luggage. They soon picked us up and we were off to have brunch with them and then explore Orlando. It was wonderful to catch up with Baron and Marcia Degner, who I had guided on a visit to New Zealand about ten years ago.

The TGIF that we lunched at was noisy, but we were able to share a few laughs and catch up. Then we were off to Disney World, a shopping mall offering Disney treats and some delicious sidelines, ice-cream and sodas

All too soon it was time to check in and we were off to San Deigo via Denver, with Frontier Airlines. Orlando International Airport was massive – after going through departure procedure, from the departure lounge, we were taken by shuttle to the aircraft and more shops.

On the shuttle my cellphone rang. It was a call from NZ – I answered it and then never saw my cellphone again. Where it went to was a mystery.

We were off to California.

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