Dave & Dot's 25th Anniverary Tour

Week 1 - Orlando, Florida

Saturday, September 29th - Our Adventure Begins . . .

Dot & I and our two oldest granddaughters, Melissa, 14, & her sister Elizabeth, 12, awoke at 3:00 a.m. to begin our trip. We were required to be at the airport 2 hours or more ahead of our scheduled flight time due to the events of September 11, 2001. Security was extremely tight and there was no curbside check-in available at this time. We had hired the Super Shuttle to take us to the airport and we were to leave the house at 3:30 a.m. in the morning!

We didn’t leave the house until 4:15am due to the Super Shuttle being behind schedule, and we arrived at the airport around 4:45am to find an enormous crowd at the ticket counter. Fortunately the line for TWA was the shortest of all but even then the process of ticketing and baggage checking took nearly an hour and we arrived at our assigned gate just in time to begin to loading the plane.

The flight to St. Louis was uneventful as was the wait for the next leg of our journey. While waiting we grabbed some lunch and put in a call to Randy Quackenbush (who lives in Springfield, MO) on our cell phone and let a couple of his former choir members talk with him for a few minutes.

The flight from St. Louis to Orlando seemed really short when compared to the first leg. It was a larger plane, having 6 seats across rather than 5 and due to some error by the airline we were given the opportunity to watch the movie Shrek for free. I sat next to a newlywed couple from Colorado Springs, CO and had a wonderful conversation with them. They were beginning their honeymoon at Walt Disney World that included a cruise on the Disney Cruise Lines newest ship, the Majestic later in the week. Little did I know that we would actually run into one another again on Monday during our visit to EPCOT.

We arrived in Orlando ahead of schedule but by the time we got our luggage, got our three, matching Chevy Blazers, it was getting dark.  Not being familiar with Orlando, we missed the exit to our condo, and were well on our way to Tampa, FL before realizing our mistake and turning around. By the time we found our way back, got our keys, and unpacked, it was 9:00pm. 

Our condos (we had two) were at the Orange Lake Resort and Country Club which borders Disney World. Can't get much closer than that! Although we were unable to secure both condos together, they were on the same street, just about a block or so apart. Both were three bedroom, three bath and on the ground floor for easy access. Very spacious, beautifully decorated, and just out the back door was a nine hole lighted golf course. I was in Heaven!  Joe & Debbie, Lee & Linda and two of our singles, Peggy & Donna, shared one condo, while Evelyn & Sherrie, our granddaughters Melissa & Liz, and Dot & I shared the other.

It was late and we were hungry so Lee suggested we eat at a place called Bob Evans and all agreed. (we were really hungry so the first suggestion was good enough for us) The meal was average, and was compounded by the fact that the server got all our checks mixed up. It took us a while to unravel the mess and after having only a couple of hours sleep the night before, we were really exhausted but finally settled into our beds near midnight.

Our adventures at Walt Disney World were to begin early in the morning with a visit to MGM Studios.

Photos are of all the people in our group . . . well, except for one . . . can you guess who the stowaway is?