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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Orlando Vacation: Day 1 - Flight & Resort Check-in

The buzz of the alarm clock took me from my deep sleep like a freight train rolling by. Traveling is a passion but the early morning flights are never easy. I pulled myself out of bed and after taking a quick shower, brushing my my teeth, I felt ready to go. The rest of the house started to get themselves going too and it wasn't long until everyone was in full prep mode.

After a quick check of the necessary items we were on our way to Logan Express to catch the 6:30 bus. Little did we know that the schedule changed and buses now leave every hour rather than every 30 minutes. We left plenty of time so the slight delay didn't affect us.

Once we reached Terminal E we made our way thought security and on to our assigned gate.  As fate would have it, the flight was over booked and they were looking for volunteers who could change to a later flight. Even better was that the later flight would land earlier and was a direct.  The cherry on top, was the free upgrade to business/first class that our friendly gate attendant hooked us up with.

The best part of being in business class is the early boarding and the free drinks. As we settled in for our flight the flight attendants fixed us some rum and cokes as all the passengers boarded.  Once everyone was on and seated they ran through their safety checks and passenger orientation while our captain taxied us down the runway.
Our take off felt nearly vertical as we ascended to our cruising altitude. Again our flight attendants came around with drinks and snacks. After two rum and cokes I sat back and read the inflight Spirit magazine. Almost at the end was a great article called "Hover Craft" it was a step by step tutorial on how to make a origami hummingbird using a dollar bill. Dan and I gave it a try. In the end mine might have flown but Dan's didn't hatch. Dan tried to commandeer mine but it flew away.

Our 2 hour and 40 minute flight was otherwise uneventful and in no time we were beginning our decent into Orlando. Being in row 1 has its advantages with being first to disembark amongst one of the most important!  That means we get to enjoy your vacation all that much sooner.

After a quick stop at the Alamo rental kiosk we were in the garage picking our mid-sized sedan from aisles of different vehicles. We picked a grey VW Jetta. It was different experience to have a bunch of cars to pick from but I liked the experience. As we drove out of the garage. With the GPS guiding us it took roughly 30 minutes to arrive at our destination.

As we drove into the entrance it was clear that it was a sprawling complex. While checking in at registration in the west village they gave us a $20 voucher towards on property services. Those services included the lazy river, the hippo, all 4 of their mini golf courses, and even the 3 full size golf courses. In order to use the voucher it had to be validated at the activities desk. It was there that we learned that each of those activities was $9 each a day or $9 for the week if we went to the RCI welcome center.

After getting our 7-day passes we headed off to find our room. After wandering we finally found it in the basement. I was fairly disappointed with the room considering the timeshare we had traded to try this resort out was a corner penthouse on Fort Myers Beach that was gifted to me to use or trade this year. We changed into our swim trunks and made our way to the River Island Water Park.

We floated along the 1,200 ft on one of the many blue inner tubes. Along the way we were doused with water from the two bridges and blasted by the water cannon. After a good 45-60 minutes we head over to the Hippo. the Hippo is the world’s largest inflatable water slide. The Hippo measures 36 ft tall x 47 ft wide x 175 ft long.

After enjoying the pools, river, and slide we headed back to our room.  When we arrived back I had decided to complain about the quality of our room. When I arrived at guest services I was told that the reason why I was put there is because I'm a week’s owner and not a points member. I politely told him I didn't care what kind of member I was but that the room was not acceptable. He made a few phone calls and got us moved from the basement to the top floor. The room configuration would be the same but it would be overlooking the pool instead of being an inside room.

We accepted the change and settled in. We all changed and showered and ventured off to find someplace to have a nice meal. When we drove by the Red Lobster we all chuckled since we thought they might be an urban legend since there are none that any of us know of in New England.

We all enjoyed our meals and the service. By the time we got back to the resort we were all tired and ready for bed. Plus we had an early morning appointment at the Sales office. We set our alarms and went to bed.

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