USA ‘09 – DAY 1

151 Bloomingdale DriveSo we have made it into the US without any problems. In fact things went pretty smoothly. Once off the plane we were straight to the front of the security line to get our passports checked. Previously we have been waiting in line for over an hour so to be through so quickly was a real novelty. Then, once through, our baggage was already waiting for us on the carousel. Orlando has this peculiar system where you collect your baggage and them put it onto another conveyer while you get a short train to the main terminal where (eventually) your baggage arrives on another conveyer. This year we were allowed to take our bags on the train saving another wait. So we made it to the car hire desk in double quick time.

We had already pre-booked a small SUV which we knew would be sufficient for what we wanted but the guy behind the Alamo desk had clearly recently been on the up-selling course as he tried to persuade us that what we had ordered wouldn’t be capacious enough for the four of us and our two bags. Also, apparently, we didn’t have enough three letter acronym insurance or road side assistance. What this guy hadn’t appreciated was that we had just stepped off a nine hour flight and were in no mood for his sales ploy. He got short shrift particularly from a disgruntled Helen.

So we were on our way. The SUV (a Kia something or other) of course had enough room for all our luggage along with another couple of families too. It also had the most vicious brakes I have ever encountered. One slight touch on the pedal was enough to put the rest of the family through the front windscreen!

Out on the road and we had the first problem of the trip when I missed the turning for the cash toll booth and went through the pre-pay lane meaning, no doubt, that I will have been caught on camera and will have a charge added to my card at some point. Don’t know how much and right now and I don’t want to know.

Got to the villa in good time. It helped that we have been here before and so were familiar with the roads. Dumped our stuff and went back out to get some food – Dominos and Chinese. Helen and I sat around like zombies for as long as we could manage (until 20:30 as it turned out) while the boys stayed up playing air hockey before finally getting to bed at 21:30.

Looking forward to our first full day tomorrow!